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Saturday, January 27, 2007
Short (or long) TV Round-Up Thoughts
The Dresden Files: Birds of a Feather
Couple of reasons for my interest in this one. I've read the first few novels in this series and found them enjoyable and fun. Then, you add in the guy adapting the novels for TV is Robert Hewitt Wolfe who oversaw some of the best seasons of DS9 and you've got a pretty good combination.

So, the first episode--so far, so good. I'm not devoted enough to the original texts to point out everything that's been changed, but some things obviously have to be in order to make it work for television. I will admit that I do miss the first-person perspective we get in the novels, but I'm not sure having a Harry Dresden voice over would work as well here. The first episode of the show nicely establishes the situation, the tone and the on-going plotlines for the show, all while delivering a creepy, entertaining main mystery plot for Harry to solve. It has my interest and it's one of those shows I think could really grow into something, should SciFi give it a chance. I don't think SciFi did it any favors by having the first episode airing during the AFC Championship game. I hope that the potential audience won't tune it out, fearing they're lost and won't catch up. This one has potential.

Smallville: Labrynth
Seems that every sci-fi show worth its salt has one of those episodes were the hero or one of the heroes questions what is and isn't real. Is the reality Clark experience in the show just a fantasy he's made up to not deal with the fact that he's kind of crazy and in a mental hosptial. The success of episodes like this hinge on how the two realties feed each other and where the differences emerge. Seeing Lex in a wheelchair with no legs is a nice homage to the pilot. Thinking that Lana would wait around while Clark is the looney bin screams of adolescent fantasy to the n-th degree and, unfortuantely, revives the Clark loves Lana plotline that, dear heavens, I thought this show was done with. Plus notes go to the show for the introduction of Martian Manhunter, moving the Phantom Zone fugitives plotline forward and actually being better than I thought it'd be based on the preview. Show loses points for Clark being able to walk out of mental hospital just by putting on a baseball cap.

But just so you know--Buffy did it better.

Friday Night Lights: Little Girl, I Wanna Marry You
Curse the NBC promo department for giving us the last scene in the previews all week! Someone needs to be taken out and flogged--either that or made to watch endless repeats of My Mother the Car until they see the error of their ways.

That said, this show continues to get better. If you're not watching, make this appointment television immediately. Trust me, it's that good.

This week's episode comes from the pen of Jason Katsims who wrote for Roswell back in the day. I think he created it as well. He knows how to write for teens and not make it sound, well, like Dawson's Creek. (I actually watched Roswell for a season and a half or so..it was entertaining and it was on after Buffy, so there you go. Plus any show with Sheri Appleby and Katerine Heigel....how can you go wrong?) Katsims also wrote the second episode where Friday went from good to great and hasn't looked back.

There were so many good scenes that this post could just be listing them all. But I won't. I've narrowed it down to three.
  • Jason goes to confront Buddy Garrity. Buddy sets Lilah up on a date to show her there are other guys and to maybe push her away from Jason. Jason shows up, demands to the truth and gets it. Buddy wants more for his daughter than the life of caretake of the crippled quarterback. Powerful, raw, real and intense.
  • Coach Taylor and his wife, Tami, disagree on whether she should work on the mayor's re-election campaign. The mayor, in case you missed it, is a gay woman and this makes Taylor a bit uncomfortable. The show could have gone PC, but it doesn't, making us disike Taylor in this plotline, but respecting him in the other one we see this week. His assertation that the mayor wants Tami's help because she wants the help of the coach's wife is the highlight of this.
  • Smash's use of steroids is found out. This leads to Taylor having to make a hard choice--keep quiet and risk forfeiting all the games that year, thus losing his job or report Smash, effectively ending Smash's hopes of escaping Dylan and providing any kind of good life for his family. The scenes between Smash and his mother about the steroid use are great and while they could be cliched, they ring true.

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/27/2007 01:06:00 PM | |
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