retsuko: (gwen)
As I blogged previously, both "V" and "Flashforward" went on five-months hiatuses (hiati?) to increase dramatic tension to build buzz (and let the writes do some tinkering to the scripts, I suspect). Both have recently returned, but only one has snapped up my attention from where it left off, while the other continues to flounder, a sad-eyed fish on the chopping board of my "whatever, I've got better things to do with my time" feelings.

Specifically, V, why did we ever fight? Let's never bicker over stupid things again! )

But in the meantime, FlashForward, why do you bore me so? )

In the case of both shows, I forgot the names of the minor characters entirely and am still trying to put them back together. However, in the case of FlashForward, when other characters used the missing names, I found they just weren't as good as the nicknames I'd mentally assigned while I attempted to figure out who was who. "Natalie" isn't as interesting as "Moon-Eyed CandyStriper" and "Bryce" isn't anywhere near as good as "Mr. Sensitive".

If you're interested, my mental names for the characters of the shows: )
retsuko: (dramatic tension)
Dear "V" and "Flashforward":

Wait... you're not back on the air until March of next year?

OK. This is like having a lukewarm romance with a semi-good-looking person for a short amount of time. Everything's going along well, but not stellar (there are weird problems, like them ignoring your questions about their shadowy pasts, and picking their teeth with the mail), and all of a sudden, BAM~!, they're announcing that they're leaving and won't return for several months hence**. And as you watch the credits roll, you wonder if you're even going to remember them a few months down the line. There are promises, yes, of them showing up with great bouquets of action, excitement, and answers about those shadowy pasts. But the preceding relationship pattern is just meh, so-so enough that you're only a little sad they're gone. If they could just shape up a little bit--kill off some annoying characters, make the meta-plot move a little less like molasses, I would be champing at the bit for their return. But now I wonder if I'll even care about them when March comes around, or if it'll be awkward, like seeing an ex-significant other at a bar when you're with a much more attractive partner and the previous relationship was left horribly unresolved.

Specifically, Flashforward )

And also, V )

Both of these programs seem to suffer from the writing problems of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, where the writers were convinced that they could do deep character episodes fairly early on in the series' progression. What they didn't realize was that character development on an episodic TV show works best after a few seasons of plot have gone by, when the characters have the beginnings of a background that the viewers have "participated in". Stories of "way back when, before the TV show" make more sense when we're actually familiar with the characters and what they're capable of. (It's far more interesting to hear about Sisko's friendship with Dax, for example, when we've seen their relationship build in the present day, or discover Picard's missed relationship with Dr. Crusher when we've seen their rapport grow and change and wondered what, exactly, makes them so familiar with one another.) If the writers could just move the plots along in both of these shows, there would be plenty of time for the ensemble casts to stretch their acting chops later on, when the plot fat has been trimmed and the viewers actually care about the characters.

** To be fair, I knew about the V "one-third now, two-thirds later" approach early on, but I had completely forgotten about it and so was annoyed when I heard about it again all of a sudden this past Tuesday.
retsuko: (eels in the photobooth)
Dear Flashforward: There's so much here that I like, but it's bogged down with a lot of stupid and very poor pacing. More spoilers, more plot advancement, less treating the viewers like two-year-olds-with-no-long-term-memory, please! )

Dear Office: Aw, don't ever change. Well, maybe a little, but not much. We need more subtle scenes, like Tobey showing Pam how to throw a punch, as if he's been planning to punch Michael for years, but never quite worked up the guts to do so. We need more Andy singing and more thwarted Dwight. I would dial down the awkward a notch, but that's just me.

Dear Code Geass: WTF. I mean, sincerely, what the hell is going on here? You can either have a re-write of world history and a rebels-taking-down-the-empire show, OR you can have a harem-esque, high school romantic comedy drama anime. Mixing the two leads to some really, really weird moments. It's like Star Wars with a cast of far more cliched characters, reset in a Southern California high school; Darth Vader's the superintendent of schools, Luke Skywalker's a scrappy transfer student with a plan to cancel all pep rallies, and Princess Leia's the captain of the swim team. It works well, but only sometimes, and in that weird, fanfic-y way that doesn't necessarily equal quality. Oh, and did I mention that there were giant robots? It gets crazier, with spoilers! )

Constant Viewer
retsuko: (love this show)
On TV so far this fall:

Flashforward: Although I'm a little sick of the writers acting as if the audience didn't watch the previous episodes, I really do love this series and can't wait to see where it goes. And John Cho is fabulous--I do hope his character doesn't die!

House: House, you bastard! Wait, I need more of that and less of House being a reformed addict. I watch this show firstly in order to see Hugh Laurie's brilliant acting job of being a total asshole to all those around him (particularly foolish people); secondly for soap opera drama between the secondary characters; and thirdly for thorny moral medical dilemmas. This season has been way too heavy on #2 and #3 and far too light on #1.

I did get a huge kick out of Wilson calling House "Sookie", though. And James Earl Jones is always an amazing actor to watch. Unfortunately, these two things could not save the rest of the episode.

Dollhouse: It's easier to write about this show in terms of the unaired episode "Epitaph One" and the episodes so far this season. So, spoilers ahead for both of these, starting with Epitaph One )

Then, we have the two episodes of this season so far, which have been incredibly lackluster and gleefully returned to the same problems that I had with the show in the first place as if "Epitaph One" never happened (or never *will* happen, depending on your point of view). In fact, the show upped the level of skeeve with the second episode in which Topher somehow managed to alter Echo's body so that she could lactate and awaken her Mothering Instinct, (which, of course, all women have lurking around their edges--watch out, it turns them into knife-wielding psychopaths!!) so she could mother some lazy schmuck's baby after his wife died. This lead to scenes along the lines of NO THEY BE STEALIN' MAH BUKKIT BABEH!, which were creepy and tiresome at the same time, not unlike a slasher film around the two-thirds mark. Attention, Dollhouse writers: I don't want a slasher film; I don't want soft-core fetish mindf*ck porn. I want a well-thought-out sci-fi drama that doesn't treat its female characters like disposable whores and actually goes somewhere with its very interesting premise. Is this possible?

(Also? Alexis Denisof's character's goofy accent?! I am glad to see him back on TV, but WHUT.)

May 2016

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