A Tale of Two Teen Dramas

Sunday, December 30th, 2018

I binged two teen-focused series while visiting my brother’s house this Christmas, Riverdale and Runaways. The difference was striking. Runaways is everything Riverdale isn’t. Complex, conflicted, imperfect characters who aren’t stereotypes in dramatic, not melodramatic, situations. It almost completely avoids monologuing. (Frank Dean does monologue his motivations at one point early in Season 2, a scene that is jarring only because it’s so out of place with the subtext and show-don’t-tell that reveals the other characters in the series.)

In many ways this show surpasses the comic book series it’s based on, especially when it comes to the parents, who were a little cardboard in the original. This show alone will get me to sign up for Hulu at least long enough to finish watching Season 2.

Best Series Finale Ever

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Monday’s final How I Met Your Mother episode is going to go down in the history books as the best wrapup to a series ever. It shows just what can be accomplished when the show runners really know where they’re going and plan it out in advance. It’s particularly impressive coming off of the worst season of the show ever.

Children of Star Trek

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

Children of Earth just finished on BBC America last night, and despite having to get up at 5:15 A.M. this morning for a marsh census, I couldn’t avoid staying up to watch it. Wow. Russell T. Davies surpassed himself and reached new levels of creepiness with this one.

Sadly it was marred by an ending that would have embarrassed a Star Trek TNG writer. Torchwood might as well have saved the day by reversing the polarity on the deflector shields. It was that bad. I can think of at least five preferable and more plausible endings: (Light spoilers follow)


Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

I caught the premiere of Fringe last night. More plausible than Alias but not quite as plausible as Lost. I’ll probably set the DVR to record future episodes, but as long as they’re enough King of the Hill repeats to keep me occupied, I probably won’t get around to watching them until they’re automatically erased.

Men In Trees

Thursday, August 9th, 2007

In Chicago last month I happened to catch Men in Trees on TV. It was mildly amusing, but I liked it better the first time I saw it. You know, when it was called Northern Exposure.

ESPN Chokes

Monday, July 9th, 2007

I almost never watch ESPN, but tonight they’re venturing into new territory with a miniseries entitled the Bronx is Burning. They’ve been hyping it heavily, and I’m actually interested in New York in the 70s, so I was all geared up to watch it. Then I turn it on at the advertised time of 10:00 P.M. and what do I see? The National Home Run Derby.

I have no idea what this is, nor do I much care. If it were an actual baseball game I could almost see the point; but some silly, made-up event that does little but fill dead air? For this they preempted their new flagship show?

Screw it. If the miniseries is any good, I’ll watch it on DVD in a few months, but I probably won’t bother with ESPN again for another ten years.