…three shows we should discuss
Three television shows I’ve recently checked out online:
Castle. Stars Captain Mal of Firefly….need I say more? The crime drama falls into some of the typical pitfalls of the detective/police genre, but the strength of the characters is (so far) carrying the day quite well. The writer must have read Dorothy Sayers–the wise-crackin’, egotistical rich boy detective thing is thoroughly amusing. Major pitfalls so far: the female lead isn’t as strong as Fillion; the series mines a magnificent plot line for the first episode and it’s over way too soon; so far the formula is a murder an episode…we’re going to need something a little more prolonged than that. That said, the show is self-indulgent mystery fare, in the absolute best sense of the phrase. It’ll be interesting to see if it keeps its tongue-in-cheek tone and light drama…or eventually goes into deeper conflict and more serious dialogue. Out of the three, I have the highest hopes for this one–don’t let me down!
Kings. Wow. Lofty concept. Very strong casting. I’m only one episode in, so we’ll see if they can keep it going. The springboard of the David and Saul story is brilliant so far…familiar enough to captivate my attention, but tweaked and reinvented enough to keep me surprised. Discussions of authorship are subtly hinted at, as well as a promise for thoughtful consideration of the supernatural vs. man’s manipulation…so far, I feel it’s handled very respectfully. Weaknesses so far: I wasn’t completely satisfied with the way they handled David’s “annointing,” and I squirmed a bit at the PC flip of having peace between enemies what Samuel/God seems to want…although I, myself, wish that was the case more often in the Old Testament! Additionally, there’s a very big question mark about what’s going to happen with Jonathan and David–I’d say more, but you’ll have to watch the first episode to get my gist (or find your spoiler elsewhere). But it’s a good question mark, in the end–as with the rest of the Biblical inspiration, I’m quite curious to see how they handle it.
Dollhouse–Speaking of Firefly, here’s Whedon’s latest. So far it SUCKS. The writing is simply atrocious. Oh, how the mighty have fallen…? I’m five episodes in and supposedly six is the deal breaker. We’ll see. It is well shot, but even there, lacks anything to grab your attention–it’s ho-hum pretty. The biggest problem (out of many, many problems) so far is the total lack of decent humor–the “funny” characters are also, by far, the weakest. That said, there are people saying it’s going to have a very high-reaching premise before too long…all I see so far is one cliche after the other, without any reinvention or spin (a la Firefly or even Buffy)…
…if you’ve seen any of ’em, I’d love to know your thoughts. As a side geek note, I love the fact that I can watch all of these for free online, in quite decent quality…legally. C’mon, it’s cool! Death to television and all that.