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Sunday, 4 October 2009

Views On The New Seasons Of Smallville, Flash Forward & SGU (No Spoilers)

Having watched most of the premiere episodes for a number of T.V. shows over the last week or so I thought I'd post some minor thoughts on 3 of the newest.

Smallville Season 9

When you think about the fact that I'm obsessed with the character of Superman and that this blog is pretty much based around him and the Justice league, it would be easy to think that Smallville would be my favourite show out of everything I watch... Unfortunately at the moment that theory couldn't be farther from the truth.

I've watched the "alternate universe" of Clark Kent's upbringing avidly for the last 8 years but I admit right here and now that the series lost its way a very long time ago. Smallville is a show that has way too many cop-outs, too many rubbish ways of either introducing DC characters or getting rid of them and copping out in the basic execution of those scenes. It's survival is beyond my comprehension when shows like The Unit, Firefly, SG-1, Atlantis, Sarah Connor and many others which I believe are better in almost every way, die by the wayside in unceremonious ways.

Don't get me wrong though, Smallville sometimes has it's moments... It's just that those moments are fleeting and have no further impact on future episodes. It's a show that has throw away scripts that seem to be dreamt up hours before filming starts with many of the actors phoning in their performances just to collect their paychecks at the end of the month. That's a frustrating fact that shouldn't be the case for a show like this.

It's a real shame because the potential for amazing stories based around the plethora of Superman back-catalog characters is wholly untapped. The story themes, either by episode or by season, are getting so diluted now that week on week the audience is hoping, nay praying, that something is going to come along and blow them away... but to no avail.

I really hope that if a tenth season comes along that the writers consider it their last season and get Clark flying and into the old red and blues before it's too late. I know this isn't the point to Smallville, but the original point seems to have gone walkies with no one remembering what it was or where it went. Season 9 has had two episodes so far and neither have been that good in my opinion. It's a bit darker, maybe a bit gorier, a little more adult, but it's a strained series to put it politely. I will still watch it every week regardless... Just because it's Superman...


Flash Forward Season 1

The opening double episode for Flash Forward was something I've been looking forward to for a while. Dark Knight originally made me aware of the series a few months back and from then on I've been sitting on the sidelines waiting for the season premiere to make my judgement call on whether I'll be watching the whole series.

I can safely say that the answer is "yes", I most certainly will be. And it seems the missus will too, she enjoyed it and wants to watch the whole thing. In a world where shows like Heroes and Smallville seem to be getting a little stale, it's good to find that intriguing new shows can still pop up and grab your attention.

Flash Forward has a good workable concept behind it, with an air of true mystery for the audience to go along with, a capable cast to back that all up, a good writing team to flesh the series out in the future and (for now at least) has a real "I want to see what happens next" hook to it.

I'm looking forward to seeing how things pan out and what, or who, created the 2 min 17 sec worldwide blackout where people saw their futures... "Intriguing" is definitely the word for this show!


Stargate Universe Season 1

I know The Dark Knight has already posted about SGU earlier today but I thought I'd give my view regardless.

As you may or may not know; I am a Stargate obsessive. I love pretty much anything to do with Stargate, unconditionally, and have been longing for SGU ever since I first heard of its pending existence. At last years SDCC the hype was incredible and as casting info, images and snippets of news have been released I've gotten more and more hyped as to what we'd be seeing. I admit that when I heard Robert Carlyle would be a main cast member I was put off a bit and my enthusiasm dwindled slightly, but after seeing the initial trailers I was completely sold.

There's been a lot of flack already (and some "it looks too much like Battlestar" comments posted even on here) but after watching the double season opener I admit I was pretty blown away. You may ask "why" as I know you all want to see how it all pans out before you make your own judgments, but I say I was blown away because it's a series so far removed from SG-1 and Atlantis. It's grown up and evolved and has a sense of tension, distrust and stress that I don't think you ever really saw on the two previous shows.

The humour is lacking so far, and maybe that's a good thing. Sure there were the odd moments of geekiness and I've seen that there will be more, mostly from David Blue's character "Eli Wallace" but at the end of the day this is a series spawned from chaos, confusion, loss and fear. Like I said before it's grown up and I think it's obvious that the writers have taken a leaf out of BSG's books... and that's not a bad thing for those that loved BSG like me.

This series has some serious potential for excellent viewing experiences over the course of the first series, but at this point I can't see the future of SGU reaching SG-1, or even Atlantis proportions. It does however fill a much needed void left by other Sci-Fi programmes that have either ended or been cancelled and I'm loving it already. I'll say this for it, there aren't a lot of shows that are able to so perfectly flesh out their characters so quickly as SGU has. That double episode had everything the audience needed to know about who these individual people are and what they're like, so that we can connect and care about them from the get go. When one dies or they screw someone over in an evil way it's going to be effective to say the least. This is probably the show I'm most happy about so far, no big surprise there then!

Watch it when you get the chance!

1 comment:

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