Friday, February 06, 2009

TV and Comics This Week (LOST, BSG, 24)

BSG. This mutiny plot is clearly going to last at least one more episode, which means that the remaining 6 episodes -- 4 hours -- are going to have to 1. feature the final showdown between our guys and the bad Cylons led by Al from Quantum Leap, 2. find a home for everybody, and 3. explain a very complex mythology involving Ellen Tigh, Starbuck, "the secret of the opera house" and how the Cylons lived on earth 2000 years ago even though they are also with us now. Thats a lot to get done, but at least every moment should be exciting. For right now I am really enjoying the fact that BSG is committed to telling stories about people, even though everyone wants the big mythology addressed. The mutiny is being handled well and it is nice to see Starbuck with something heroic to do -- nice bit of gender reversal with her shooting the guy who had Lee at knife point. It was also nice seeing Adama fighting side by side with Tigh and just generally being active. The show does a good job of knowing everything feels more important and anything can change and anyone can die with only 7 episodes to go. 

LOST. I still basically love Lost but right now watching Deadwood on DVD and the final BSG episodes have kind of eclipsed it. I am not as into the show as I used to be, even now that we are 25% of the way through the season, for no reason I can exactly describe. I remain a little detached. I will continue to say that I am baffled as to why it was necessary to lie to the world to keep the people on the island safe. Brad pointed out that the thing with Aaron and the lawyer seemed like a bit of a waste of time, and I agree. Most of the off island stuff does not really have my attention yet. I still adore the group on the island and I love the device of flashing to some other time to learn the history of the island and shake everything up on the drop of a dime -- I love that maybe the Indian plan crashed on the island in the FUTURE for example. With a jungle island, you could even make it the far future without too much set design. That said, it was hardly a surprise the Rousseau plot would make a return -- the actress playing the young Rousseau by the way is breathtakingly beautiful and has been in hardly anything -- though I was surprised by the return of Jin. Not impressed exactly, but genuinely surprised. It gives Sun a reason to return. I am not sure I needed such a long shot of Sawyer seeing Aaron be born, except for thematic reasons. I like the show, and look forward to new episodes without being exactly impressed by anything other than structural decisions thus far into season five. The nosebleed thing does not seem like enough of a problem at this point for one thing. 

24. This show has always been pretty dumb and a lot of the time that was part of its charm. But our big bad -- who just killed hundreds of people -- getting away from a paramilitary team by taking a bus and then seeing his waitress girlfriend who he promised to have dinner with later today even though he has tons of secret president threatening terrorism to do is kind of a whole other level of dumb. Like Jack Tripper dumb. Like I should seriously stop watching this show but I probably won't because I am an idiot dumb. Can you imagine -- there must have been a moment that 24 could not have shown in which Dubaku is waiting for the bus to arrive with a bunch of old DC ladies. Having to sneak out of dinner to be a terrorist without his girlfriend noticing -- that's gonna be some shenanigans. 

5 comments:

James said...

Jonothan Hickman, Brian Bendis & Stefano Caselli's Secret Warriors #1: This is Hickman's book; Bendis gets a co-writing credit because the plot for the first arc (or so) comes from his outlines. Hickman's first Marvel work (an in-continuity, ongoing, no less), it's a relief that he shows no signs of diluting or restraining his writing style. The dialogue is sharp and distinct, and the scenario suitably dark and gritty.

Where this issue kind of fell down for me, was (as so often is the case in the superhero mainstream) in the art. I'm somewhat familiar with Stefano Caselli - thought he was pretty bad on Young Avengers/Runaways, maybe a little better on what I saw of Avengers: The Initiative, but he really impressed me on his issue of Mighty Avengers, which functioned as an #0 for this series. His work here seems a little stiff and mannered in comparison, while the colours from Daniele Rudoni (who again, impressed on the Mighty Avengers story) are over-rendered and fussy. Another significant part of the problem is the stylistic gap between the art and writing. I could absolutely see this script illustrated by Hickman a la The Nightly News - albeit with less flashy action than Caselli provides - and I think that'd work better for me.

I had pretty much written off the series by the time the comic ended, but my interest was re-ignited by the prose material in the back. Essentially Hickman world-building via Nick Fury's computer files, it's compelling and typically well-designed stuff. Unfortunately, it also adds to the overall impression that Hickman really wants to write the best-ever Nick Fury comic (that I had no idea I wanted to read before now) but has been lumbered with a more traditional superhero team title (and art department). C?

James said...

You know why I always misspell Jonathan? Because in Generation X, they would always call Chamber "Jono" for short. Thanks, Scott Lobdell.

neilshyminsky said...

I can't help but feel that part of the problem with Lost this season is its structure. It seems as if I should be totally engrossed in the story, but there's something about the very different pacing and feel of the two narrative threads that isn't working for me. It also feels as if very little actually happens in each episode, probably because the show's attention is so divided. Maybe it would work better if they devoted an entire episode to just the Oceanic Six, or just the people left on the island?

scott91777 said...

I,for one, await the arrival of the 24/Three's Company Spin-off...

Telosandcontext said...

The only place where this season has truly faltered is that there is little connective tissue between our jumping between the on- and off-Island stories. Traditionally, whenever there's been a flashback or forward, there was almost always an emotional beat that tied into what people were doing in their flashback/forward and what they were doing on the island. Now, we can find ourselves cutting from Locke and co. on some important journey toward the Orchid to some staid narrative off-Island, creating an emotional disconnect that leaves me, at least, angry that we're not on the island more. All of the most fascinating questions we have about this show have their answers buried in the mysteries of the Island, not Los Angeles. And I think it was a miscalculation by the writers to assume we'd find it interesting how Jack and Ben managed to bring the Oceanic Six back together. This story line is quickly becoming annoying. Just get back to the island already using whatever interesting scientific tomfoolery Hawking is cooking up. If the titles of the upcoming episodes are any indication, I suspect they do in fact understand this annoyance and will have our islanders reunited and getting on with destiny pretty soon.