Posts tagged ‘Deadwood’

Westworld

I typically stand wholeheartedly against anyone doing a remake simply for the sake of remaking something, especially when the original was not only pretty darned good but also something that I have a bit of a soft spot for.  Zack Snyder managed to win me over with his version of Dawn of the Dead, a film I desperately wanted to hate just because I thought that the original film should never ever have been molested by a remake.  And now here comes Jonathan Nolan and HBO to molest Michael Crichton’s classic Westworld.

And y’know what?  It works.  It’s in the process of winning me over.  The pilot episode seriously intrigued me.  I always loved Crichton’s original film, and this new interpretation looks like it could visit some pretty interesting (and rather dark) places.  I would love to see them address the various aspects of artificial intelligence and questioning reality that the creative brains behind Caprica and Virtuality suggested those shows would eventually visit.  I’m not even missing Yul Brynner.

Speaking of Ronald D. Moore, yes indeed, I have to say that this new series appears to do for the original film what Ron Moore’s reimagined Battlestar Galactica did for the original ’70s Galactica series.  The third episode here is bogged down by too much dippy exposition and some dodgy de-aging CGI, but it also includes the most chilling moment thus far:

“Analysis: what prompted that response?”
“I don’t know.”

So … three eps in and I’m enjoying it enough to ride it out for the rest of the first series.  The production value is impeccable; the interior of the park looks even better than Deadwood, and the behind-the-scenes parts of the park look far sleeker, colder, more sterile and more chilling than any of the behind-the-scenes bits of the original Delos.  The cinematography for the location shoots is gorgeous.  And Evan Rachel Wood is just amazing.  As long as we don’t dive back into dippy exposition, I expect I’ll enjoy the rest of the run.

 

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Fear The Walking Dead

Fear The Walking Meh, more like.

I’ve said several times before that I’m a sucker for a zombie apocalypse.  Part of me was really looking foward to this show.  I assumed from comments that Robert Kirkman made about the comics a long time ago that he would never bother to revisit the beginning of his zombie apocalypse.  For that aspect at least, I was intrigued.

And then they cast Kim Dickens.  Yay.  I adored her in Deadwood and Tremé.

The result?  Yawn.  Yawn The Walking Dead.

Problem #1: Boring zombies.

Problem #2: The main reason that they’re boring is that Kirkman & co. are using them in the pilot to threaten main cast members.  Anyone following the development of the show or being exposed to the myriad previews knows that those characters will survive the pilot.  Yawn.

Problem #3: Are any of these main characters likeable?  As much as I adored Kim Dickens in Deadwood and Tremé … um, no.  Except possibly Travis, depending on what more we see of him in the next five weeks.

Problem #4: Kirkman & co. have a built-in audience who knows exactly what this apocalypse evolves into years down the road.  Do we hit the ground running here in full-on outbreak mode?  Um, no.  Instead we spend the first hour trying to figure out if an unlikeable oh-someone-please-spare-me-by-feeding-him-to-the-zombies-now junkie is hallucinating or insane.  Yawn.

I understand the desire to go with a slow burn style of storytelling, possibly to differentiate it from the original series, but it just didn’t work for me.  From the moment we saw a flash of Cal’s gun, I knew exactly how the rest of the story was going to play out … until the damn show ended and I was left shaking my head and swearing at my television (“What the fuck, was that it?  Was that all?  They’re ending it there?!?”).

So … I’ll still tune in for the next couple of weeks to see how they end up trying to tell the story, but I am less than impressed.  I have seen the occasional bad-to-mediocre pilot end up becoming an awesome series in the past, but that’s usually an exception to the rule.  And how much faith can I possibly put in a showrunner who was a writer and creative consultant on something as insipid as Defying Gravity?  Ew.

 

Shit, Revisited

Caprica

So … the final five eps of Craprica have aired in Canada (and are available online as torrents). And the best thing about them were the final few minutes of the final episode. We got an all-too-brief glimpse of what would have happened through the rest of the series. I really want to know if that was intended from the very beginning or if that was added after the fact when the producers realized that SyFy was going to can the series. As I said before, “very mixed feelings here.” The STO storyline is pure hokum. The Tauron mafia storyline, as much as it originally intrigued me, ended up being far too clichéd. The Greystone Industries storyline, as much as I want Amanda Greystone to be brutally disemboweled (I still find it amazing how much I liked Paula Malcomson in Deadwood compared to how much I despise her here), could actually sustain an entire second season. But no. Denied.

No Ordinary Family

Oh dear God … this show could’ve been fantastic … but it ended up as complete and utter crap … why the hell do I continue to waste my time with this?!? Oh yeah … Julie Benz … that’s why …..

The Walking Dead

The greatest piece of news I’ve heard regarding this series was that Frank Darabont fired the entire writing staff for season two. Again, this show should’ve been fantastic, but the first season ended up mediocre at best. It’s still stretching my suspension of disbelief (can you *REALLY* outrun a thermobaric weapon on foot in four minutes and thirty-one seconds?!?) Yeah, as I mentioned before, the source material ain’t all that great to start with, but I can’t help drawing analogies between the first season of The Walking Dead and the first season of Babylon 5. Babylon 5‘s first season had just a few bare hints of what the show would eventually become. Hopefully The Walking Dead will do the same. Bring on Michonne and the prison.