December 24th, 2008


SCC: man, how 'bout that "Alpine Fields," huh?

Caught up with SCC again. "Earthlings Welcome" was all right, I guess, but man, how 'bout that "Alpine Fields?"

"Alpine Fields" *works.* It shows what the series can be when it fires on all cylinders, and it shows the techniques that really suit the show. It also shows that the series is getting better. One thing I like about SCC is that you can see experimentation. The show hasn't just stuck in the mold of the clunky pilot, or even of last season. It's been experimenting, and the experiments are telling. Sometimes they work, sometimes they fall short, and the show has been slow to learn what it does well. But then, so was STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, and that turned out okay.

Lately, the show has been doing some very interesting stuff, even if it hasn't always worked. "Self-Made Man," in particular, was a really neat idea, and it was executed about as well as it could be, but there was no getting around the fact that it was Cameron and a guy in a library giving us exposition dumps for most of the hour. The character scenes between Cameron and Eric, the librarian, were terrific; I especially loved the bit where Cameron taught him how to shoot, and I'd like to see the character again. Still, the episode tried to do something really difficult, and it didn't quite work out. But it was a neat try.

"Alpine Fields" knocks it out of the park. The hard thing about a show getting set up is that it's hard to figure out the dynamic that will work best, but when one does you can sure as hell point to it and say, "Yes, *that.*"

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