The Sopranos Jumps the Shark

Monday, June 11th, 2007

Did you see the final episode of the Sopranos last night? Are you as confused and disappointed as I am? I don’t think I’ve ever seen this before: a great series waits to the very last episode, and almost to the last minute of the last episode, to conclusively, utterly, and completely jump the shark.1.

Hex Jumps the Shark

Monday, June 11th, 2007

BBC America is broadcasting season 2 of Hex now. What a mistake. British fans already know this, but season 2 is an absolute disaster. I’ve already watched it on imported DVDs I got from Amazon UK, and that’s 12 hours of my life I’ll never get back. What was a sexy, scary, mysterious and original show in Season 1 turned into a bad Buffy knockoff in season 2.1. You remember how bad you thought Buffy the Vampire Slayer was going to be until you actually watched the show? Well, that’s exactly how bad Hex Season 2 is.

The departure of Christina Cole and then Michael Fassbender hurt badly. Laura Pyper and Joseph Beattie just couldn’t pick up the slack. However the real fault lay in the writing. Characters didn’t so much grow as careen madly from one personality to another throughout the season. The plot was incomprehensible and seemed to shift every couple of episodes. Every time it looked like the show might be going down an interesting path, it would back off and wander off somewhere else. Unlike the clear story arc of Season 1 (pioneered by shows like Buffy and Babylon 5) Season 2 felt like a random agglomeration of ideas. It was sort of like one of those writing exercises from freshman English where everyone in the class writes a paragraph of a story and then hands it to the next student to write the next paragraph. And the final episode was the absolute worst. I watched it less than a month ago; and I now couldn’t tell you what happened, who won, or why I should care.

What Happened to Oceanic Flight 815?

Saturday, May 19th, 2007

The latest episodes of Lost have strongly hinted that the survivors are, in fact, dead; and in some sort of afterlife. This is a red herring. They are very much alive and present on our Earth, in the present day.

The strongest evidence that they’re dead are the helicopter pilot’s claims that the plane was in fact found four miles down in the ocean, with the bodies on-board. However, there’s a very simple explanation for that, albeit one that is used frequently in real life and almost never in fiction:

Someone is lying.

Good Cliffhangers; Bad Cliffhangers

Monday, March 26th, 2007

I was fairly impressed with last night’s season finale of Battlestar Galactica. Spoilers after the fold.

The Dalek in the Fireplace

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

Friday night the Sci Fi channel reran The Girl in the Fireplace, a Doctor Who story in which some alien robots punch a hole through time and space to steal the brain of Madame Pompadour from pre-revolutionary France. This plot makes about as much sense as it sounds. In fact, it makes so little sense that the Doctor repeatedly comments on this fact during the episode. He does save Madame Pompadour of course, and he figures out why the robots needed a human brain, but he never figures out why they wanted Madame Pompadour’s. The audience does get a big clue, though, at the end of the episode that the Doctor never sees; but on reflection I think there’s another meta-reason.

Battlestar Galactica: Wow

Sunday, October 22nd, 2006

Was that a spectacular episode of Battlestar Galactica Friday night or what? I was on the edge of my seat the entire hour. And the scene where the Galactica “arrives” at New Caprica? I know it’s just special effects, but it was amazing. I’ve never seen anything like that, and it totally surprised me. The whole episode just set new standards for what a sci-fi show can look like. If not for the Cylons and laser beams, you’d think you were watching the nightly news from Iraq, not fiction. If you aren’t watching this show, start now. There hasn’t been anything this good on TV in years.