Monday, October 20, 2008

New Recommended Sci Fi T.V. Shows

I can't remember a time when so many new T.V. shows were out. This is clearly a result of the writer's strike.

I can recommend two out of three new shows that I've started watching. I've seen two or three episodes of the all of them, a small sampling, but enough to show promise. And the fourth I've watched from the beginning.

FRINGE is the new J.J. Abrams' T.V. show (Lost, the new Star Trek movie). The characters haven't been exactly fleshed out, but we're curious to learn more about them, which is a good sign. Each episode is X-Files-esque, featuring a new creature or weird event each week. While the press promised no conspiracy like the X-Files, they lied: there is definitely an underlying theme of conspiracy. Old boyfriends coming back to life, appearing in almost every episode, if ever so briefly. The head of the biggest science corporation plotting and morphing (no kidding) into whatever she needs to be at the time, obviously with murderous intent and popping up from time to time. The show has a definite sense of humor, not in our heroine, but in the older scientist she's sprung from the mental institution and his wise-cracking son. We're not sure what it all means, but we're there, at least so far.

SANCTUARY started out as an internet bunch of webisodes, but now that Sci Fi has picked it up, it's visual fare for the rest of us. Amanda Tapping (Stargate) puts her formidable talent to good use here as the head of a sanctuary for mutants, strange (but misunderstood) creatures that walk the earth and need safe haven. Some continue to be locked up, while others serve tea. It's got a bit of a sense of humor about itself, much needed in this very serious dungeon of weirdos. Great sets, excellent fight scenes, artistic direction is top-notch.

LIFE ON MARS just changes one little thing, and builds on it normally (without additional sci fi events). Our hero. a policeman living in 2008, is involved in a police accident on his way to rescue his kidnapped girlfriend, and finds himself in 1973. Worse yet, his boss is Harvey Keitel. And Harvey's police captain doesn't exactly follow Miranda, if you know what I mean. I'm not sure why I am still watching Life on Mars, except that I like our guy and wonder what will happen to him. But I am truly irritated by his fellow cops, those guys who don't follow the rules and are the original chauvinist pigs. And at the end, we have a cop show that's just a cop show. Why then bother with the sci fi stuff? Still, there's a quirky sense of humor about it all. The jury is out on this one.

TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES isn't really new, as the 2nd season just started, but it's starting to find its legs. I actually had sworn off the show, but watched the season opener, and I was hooked once again. I'm getting a little tired of the teen angst, but all the actors are compelling despite the oftimes lame dialogue and confusing plot. Still the best special effects on television.

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