A brief rundown of shows currently or recently airing around the world. Probably a few minimal spoilers.
When women give birth, their brains are flooded with hormones that cause them to forget how painful childbirth is, so they’ll do it again and propagate the species. Something similar occurs in my brain when I watch Heroes. I sit there thinking, “Holy SHIT, this is awful. This is just so bad. I am never watching it again.” And then the following week a new episode is out and I get excited and watch it all over again. Madness. Terrible show.
This series is like a superband of sci-fi actors. Firefly’s Inara (or SG:1’s Adria) is the leader of the alien Visitors, along with her daughter Kara from Smallville. They’re opposed by Serious Face Agent from The 4400, Flashforward’s Naughty Wife, Supernatural’s Castiel and this other guy who hasn’t been in any other sci-fi shows, but I shit you not the actor’s name is Morris Chestnut, which is pretty fucking cool. Oh, and Kees Van Dam from New Zealand’s terrifying drama Street Legal is in there, his performance utterly shown up by everyone around him. And Bailey from Party of Five (ROMAN NUMERAL V OMG) is the guy who we don’t know where his loyalties lie. Continues to be entertaining. Watch it.
It took me until Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone to be sold on the 11th Doctor, but now I am. I’m going over well-worn territory when I say that David Tennant got a little bit too omnipotent while Russell T Davies was a lot too panto. Matt Smith’s Doctor doesn’t know what the shit he’s doing and Stephen Moffat’s wasted no time in introducing this season’s overarching storyline with some cool dark stuff, and the reoccurrence of the Weeping Angels wasn’t as shit as I thought it would be.
Smallville â€“ season 9 finale
This season has been a bit of a drop in standards, with only one stand-out episode: Absolute Justice, starring Stargate’s Michael Shanks as Hawkman and a bunch of DC Universe legends showing up (including Doctor Fate and the original Sandman). The finale was okay, but the cliff-hanger would have been better if the season had managed to raise any tension at all.
Supernatural â€“ season 6 finale
The thing about Supernatural is, it’s a love story but with brotherly love instead of romantic love. I tell people this and they say, “Oh, yeah, bromance is all the rage.” But “bromance” doesn’t do Supernatural justice. It’s a genuine brotherly love story. The main highlight of the last few seasons for me is the actor who plays Castiel, who’s some kind of comic genius.
The season finale followed the usual pattern of showing “the road so far”, a montage of the past set to Carry On Wayward Son. The ending was great. So great that it could quite satisfactorily be the end of the series. Sadly, it doesn’t look like they’ll let it die, so I hope they’ve got some good plotting set up, because things feel really complete.
SGU is consistently pretty good. It’s beautifully shot, perfectly acceptable stories, good acting, good characters, cool premise. It’s really now just a matter of giving it a chance to take all of those elements and turn them into something that really stands out. Slowly developing situations and characters are all very well, but before this first season is done, there had better be some really fucking cool surprises in store.
I lost track of Flashforward sometime during the 70-year hiatus the United States apparently likes to impose halfway through seasons. Kiwi viewers have not suffered the same irregularity and are probably enjoying it as much as I was at the time. I want to get back into it. The casting and acting were great. There was just this growing sensation that the story was going to get away from the writers. If the flashforward is to six months in the future, how can the series last past one season? Without, of course, having another flashforward again, and again, and so on, which gets us into Heroes territory. Dominic Monaghan is fucking cool, though.
My friend Morgan got me into Fringe, and he was right that I would like it a lot. There is something unsatisfactory to me, though, about the two-universe cosmos in which it takes place. If you’re going to have more than one universe, why have only two? Maybe there are more in store, but it’s in danger of becoming a cul-de-sac of story potential, again the threat of Heroes territory, but the Bishop characters are cool enough to keep me watching. Still can’t decide if the female lead is the most annoying person alive or not, but Daniels from The Wire is consistently b’dass.