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Saturday, August 11, 2007
TV Round-Up
Rescue Me: Solo
Thanks for the FX Rescue Me site, I knew before I watched the episode what the fate of baby Gavin would be. And while I'm not sure about the decision to give the baby to Sheila (seems like you're trading one version of crazy for another here), I love the fall-out this decision had on the show. First, the fight with Janet, which we saw in the previews. But the most fascinating part of the show was watching Tommy's ghosts give up on him and leave him. The entire first act of this one was some of the most dramatic and intense we've seen from Rescue Me all year.

Watching Tommy's desperation to get into the bedroom to save his ghosts as well as his breakdown on the floor as they all screamed in agony was superb. Something else that fascinated me about this--Tommy convinces himself that he has to hit the bottle to knock himself out and drown out the screams of the ghosts in the fire. A superb performance by Dennis Leary here and I imagine this will be in the running for his Emmy submission next year.

Meanwhile, down at the firehouse, the guys are still acting like teenage boys. Here's something I noticed--the only guy at the station acting with any sense of maturity is the new probie Sean. Seeing him show genuine concern for Tommy and offering to be a friend, while all the other guys acted like fools and gossiped about what harm had befallen Tommy was interesting.

And I've got to ask this--why was the new chief so hot for someone to take out his daughter? And is Tommy really the best choice? I mean, as a father, do you want your daughter who is in therapy seeing the guy who is a serial liar and in the midst of a divorce and a hormone imbalance on legs? Seems to me you'd want to steer your daughter way clear of this guy....

Things should get interesting from here. I can't see Janet letting Sheila keep the baby. And if Tommy isn't the father, what right does he have to hand the baby over to Sheila? Personally, I think there's a huge crossover just waiting to happen here--Janet or Tommy could hire Patty Hewes from Damages to be his or her lawyers. How cool would that be?

Flash Gordon: Pilot
Flash Gordon's first episode suffers a lot from "pilot-itis." It throws everything and the kitchen sink into the episode. In the course of 90 minutes, we meet all the characters who will appear in the eventual opening credits and set up the entire situation and story arc. And it all feels so rushed that we never have any time to build any sense of connection or interest in the characters. Oh sure, all the players look pretty, but beyond that there's not much else.

So, we find out that Flash's dad vanished earlier in his life, left him behind some kind of secret databank that Ming wants and that there are portal from our world to Mongo. Oh and we also set up at least two or three love triangles. Ask yourself this-did Dale's fiancee serve any other purpose in the story other than to be a potential love triangle? Couldn't we have left him out until the next episode and had Dale say--oh I'm engaged. Then we meet him next week after we've had some time to want to root for Dale and Flash to be together and build some chemistry between these two.

And I also have to wonder at what point we'll find out the portals can go to other worlds. Otherwise if it's just a trip from Earth to Mongo and vice-versa, that is going to get old fast.

It also didn't help that the script was a bit predictable. Gee, could they have telegraphed more that Princess Aura wasn't exactly who she claimed. As if it weren't obvious enough, we had Dale saying "Gee, she's not all she appears Flash," while Flash doesn't listen. Until it's too late and she comes to steal the IMEX (I kept thinking they were trying to find the IMAX theater in town to catch a movie....not good). And here's another thing--so, Ming is the ruler of Mongo and he's a bad guy. Why? Because he's got the good water and all the other water on Mongo is bad. Yeah, not exactly the greatest motivation for a bad guy.....of course, as I said before, we get such a touch and go couple of scenes with Ming that it's hard to really care that much either way. He's a bad guy because the script says he is....and there's not much more to it than that.

That said, I think this series has potential. Hopefully the next few episodes will settle down and start to develop these characters a bit. (Don't even get me started on the female bounty hunter who comes to our world, gets trapped here and Flash allows her to drive off in a truck). I'll watch during the summer but come fall with all the new genre choices on the horizon, this one may fall of my radar.

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 8/11/2007 05:47:00 PM | |
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