David Hines (hradzka) wrote,
David Hines

SCC: looking up

Since half the folks on my flist seem to be geeking out over THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES, I gave the show another look. (I ran screaming about halfway through the pilot, which I just found to be abysmal and boring. This means that it was worse than the pilot for the new KNIGHT RIDER -- I just fell asleep halfway through that one.) It's not a great show, but it's a heck of a lot better in the later episodes. Of the episodes I've seen, there has yet to be one that really works for me, but there have been several individual scenes that were nicely effective: Brian Austin Green's Derek Reese uneasily interacting with Summer Glau's good!Terminator as she calmly destroys one of the baddie machines; Sarah's ex-fiance's wife being nicely unstupid. The show still isn't firing on all cylinders, though, and even in the best of scenes something feels a little off behind the camera. I don't know if it's the editing, or the directing, or the cinematography, but it feels a little clumsy, a little... not quite there. The show needs to do a better job on guest casting; the ex-fiance's wife had a nicely-written speech, but the performance, though it started out fine, wobbled into the stodgy. (Dean Winters, who plays the ex-fiance, also annoys me: the guy was excellent as Ryan O'Reily on OZ, but he's got to loosen up a little here.)

Overall, I think the biggest problem the show will have to face is getting good individual stories out. The best TV series in speculative fiction have a simple premise that offers a wide variety of storytelling possibilities -- BUFFY: THE VAMPIRE SLAYER's "High school is (literally) hell" may be the best high-concept premise in SFTV history, because as soon as you hear that pitch you realize, "Jeez, there's a zillion stories you can tell there." THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES will have a harder job turning out good stories week to week; it'd be all too easy to turn it into a game of dodge-Terminators-stomp-Terminators-rinse-lather-repeat.
Tags: scc, tv

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