Monthly Archives: September 2007

New Amsterdam: Immortal + Detective

If you didn’t think you heard it before then you should have your head examined, or just look below towards review of Moonlight.

Or maybe I should have my head examined.

After all, the number of shows where supernatural meets detective work runs in perpetua, and I am exhausted, bored and frustrated. New Amsterdam, bearing so many semblances to numerous other show formulas – Immortal Detective Guy Meets a Girl – that not even Fox had the guts to show it to the world yet. In the meantime, it has been set for the back burner, aimed at replacing whichever show fails Fox first in mid-season. Fox network has been well known to cancel shows in a merciless, thoughtless manner. So much, in fact, that it often has to bring them back (ergo Family Guy). Unfortunately, the not-so-drawn shows are harder to resurrect, because staff tends to disperse and look for other jobs, sets get dismantled and are costly to rebuild (remember Farscape?).

The X-factor on this show is the appearance of Zuleikha Robinson, who you may fondly remember as Gaia in “Rome” – a wench/mercenary that made my blood boil. One of those actresses that are captivating due to their strength, beauty and intelligence – a rare combination. Noone has seen a stitch of this show yet, which means that its qualities were deemed insufficient to showcase at the beginning of the season. On the other hand, we just may be lacking in mediocrity by mid-season, and I personally still hope we may be surprised by what the storks may bring for holidays.

Stargate Atlantis: Fourth Season Has Begun!

Stargate Atlantis has finally arrived in its fourth season. Few months ago, I had the opportunity to sit with Joseph Mallozzi and pick his brain as to the details of the upcoming season. Now we just have to sit back, relax and watch it all unroll. I also had a list of praises and criticisms. Here are some of the highlights:

My major criticism of the show was that these pesky human new comers seemed too well-off. I mean, they arrive to an entirely new galaxy, and yet they seem to enjoy too many victories and comforts.

They awaken an entire civilisation of technologically sophisticated, life-sucking monsters, and manage to defeat them in few swift episodes. The alien city they inhabit is full of secrets and valuable information, and yet they seem to be so well versed in its technology, programming things so quickly and efficiently…They are just too smart for their own good.

To top that, all of them get along so well, my heart aches to work there. Pegasus galaxy, here we come! They are nice, and protective of one another, and kind to each other, it is as if they are just shallow characters created by a few family-friendly writers.

Casting was done incredibly well, recreating some of the endearing qualities showcased in SG1. Saying that, the casting was not flawless.

Rachel Lutrell, who plays Teyla, is well versed in variety shows and Disney productions. I am certain that she is remarkable on a theatre stage, yet on television screen she appears too controlled, too unnatural and wooden. She has that rare ability to appear as if every body movement, every uttered word, every eye flutter is perfectly controlled and well thought out in advance. If she was playing an android, her acting would have been more than justified. Just once, I would love to see her with a swollen lip and a hangover…and maybe they shouldn’t even give her a script in advance, just to see what happens?

David Hewlett as McKay is brilliant. Which is why this show should be called “McKay’s Adventures in Space!” Or not. The trappings of having one amazing actor such as Hewlett, is that the writers suddenly run out of ideas that do not prominently feature “the doctor.” Sounds familiar?

Jason Momoa’s introduction as Ronon Dex into the show’s fold was one of the most exciting moments. I adored the character – the prowl, that stubborn pride of a lone warrior with unmatched strength… let’s face it, we needed Klingons, and this seemed like a good way of having them around. But then immediately after, Momoa has shown himself to be a budding actor with too little experience. Quickly after being introduced as the Tilk of Atlantis, he also displayed all the qualities of an awkward teen who has grown too large too soon, still getting used to the depth of his voice. A bit clumsy and lacking in confidence, Momoa could use a bit of a boost. Maybe they should even portray him as an alien adolescent in throes of puberty!

Saying all that, Stargate Atlantis is a “cupcake show.” A delightful production with sugar on top. As the spin-off of SG1, one of the most beloved, long-running television shows, Atlantis showcases the same kind of wit and creativity that we need on our screens. Atlantis represents that missing element of human drive. A fantasy where we do go beyond our expectations, daring to exceed our human limits by reinventing ourselves as humanity. At its core, it is classic science fiction. The kind that we grew up loving and will continue to love. This is why we care so much about the show.

The first episode, shown on Friday, displays severe changes that were and will continue throughout the upcoming season, and that is commendable work on part of its staff. Keep on watching because this show has the potential to outshine all of its competition.

Moonlight: A Very Sucky New Show

This week also marked a premiere of Moonlight, a new show about…wait for it…a Vampire who “moonlights” as a PI! What will they think of next?!

Oh boy, it seems that the generation that had those three-martini lunches, and way too much coke snorting, has completely run out of ideas! At this point I am begging for Bruckheimer to come up with a new show. Yes, we have reached an entirely new low point, but back to tragedy of the “new and exciting.”

Moonlight is not starring Bruce Willis. Instead, the vampire in question is played by Alex O’Loughlin. The show constitutes the most boring concept ever conceived with vampires in it. He is slick, immortal and smart, and fast, and lives in luxury towers, sleeping in a fridge….making Blade look like a work of a genious alien mastermind. Yes, he is a private eye, and has a thing for a smart girl. Need I say more? All this together makes Moonlight so dull.

I miss vampires and werewolves. I ache for another Joss Whedon, or Whedon-like copycat. I miss the action, the gritty of teeth and nails; the sexy and the dirty, hungry, conflicting co-existance of evil and good, with lots of grey areas in the middle. And Moonlight, unfortunately, will not provide me with any of that.

Bionic Woman

Premiere of the show garnered huge success. Considered the highest rated show yet to grace our screens this year, Bionic Woman is one more 1980s’ idea re-hash, this time around played by Michelle Ryan. The pilot for the show featured very different rough cuts, and actors.

Jamie Sommers’ kid sister was initially less of a cheerleader – a sort of normal looking, a bit pudgy, average orphaned teen with her own problems – namely, hearing disabilities. Knowing the American love of people with disabilities (the less you see them, the less you have to think about your inadequate health care coverage), this was quickly repaired by re-casting of Lucy Hales as Becky Sommers with that distinct 16-going-on-30 hotness.

Katee Sackhoff plays the FIRST Bionic Woman, a sort of glamour creature with serious emotional problems who also happens to be very adept at killing. The role itself is not that distant from BSG Starbuck, and I personally cannot get enough of her. The rumours are that once BSG’s fourth season comes to an end, Sackhoff will ease into a more permanent role in Bionic Woman. This I do not mind at all. My current rule of thumb is “the more Sackhoff, the better.”

Now come the growing pains though. The show itself has had tumultuous times, with writers signing on and promptly leaving. And how bad do you have to be in order to mess up the very “introduction of Bionic Woman”? The stuff practically writes itself!

Whether the show lives up to the expectations is the question of the week. We know though, that in order to do so, it has to adopt a stringent quality control and tread into the subversive and provocative themes of today and tomorrow. For once, I would like to see a show that tackles on some of the more repugnant issues concerning the public – you know, like Superman did way back in the day. But something tells me that instead, this will be a sort of Superwoman of the yesteryear show. Now back to watching.

A Touching Moment Between Father and Son

Ol’ Daddy Vader has got the blues…

Canadian Premier of Spirited Away

Sunday, Sept 30, at 5 pm on CBC, the animated fantasy epic Spirited Away finally gets its Canadian debut. For those of you who don’t know what it is, it won an Oscar, is directed by one of the best animation directors in the world in Miyazaki, and is produced by the masters at Studio Ghibli who are famous for such films as My Neighbour Totoro, Princess Monoke, and Nausicaa, which are all available on dvd. CBC however, has the rights to show these movies and if you want more anime on CBC I urge everyone to drop the hint over at their website at http://www.cbc.ca/contact/index.jsp . They are your public broadcaster with your tax dollars, why not use that cash to show some of the best anime ever?

ROBO ROCK!


Gonzo is a well known anime studio in Japan producing series like Last Exile and the currently airing Darker than Black that suffered a script burglary, but they have recently branched out into producing live action and do they ever have a killer one on the way. Not sure when it is coming out, it is Japanese, but damn it looks awesome. It is a cyber punk, rock and roll, super robot movie called “Robo Rock” and judging by the poster and trailer it is going to be stupid awesome in the way that “Wild Zero” was. Check out the trailer at http://roborock.jp/index.html and check out that slammin poster!

17:00-Hi-Sci-Fi by Jevon Ryan and Irma Arkus

17:00-Hi-Sci-Fi by Jevon Ryan and Irma Arkus

17:00-Hi-Sci-Fi by Jevon Ryan and Irma Arkus

17:00-Hi-Sci-Fi by Jevon Ryan and Irma Arkus

Testing

If you can see this then hot action is on the way