Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Schwarzenegger, Please!: TIC vs. The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Ep 2.1

I'm trying to enjoy The Sarah Connor Chronicles. But it didn't do itself any favors during its' first season, and last night's season premiere didn't show signs of stopping that trend.

What should've been the show's best moment was instead a depressing clue as to the series' wrong direction: the follow-up to Cameron's seemingly blowing up in the truck and subsequent turn on John and Sarah Connor should've been a BANG-BANG-BANG/quick-cuts/high-tension score/BOOM sequence, careening into the credits or the first break. Instead the scene slogged by in a slo-mo morass, dragged down even more by -- and I can't believe I'm writing this -- a horrible song by My Beautiful and Beloved Shirley Manson, something more appropriate for those tearjerking not-endings we get on Smallville. In "humanizing" the story, the creators neutered it, instead.

If this show is going to make headway, it's going to need one thing: humor. I don't mean the played-out "Cameron learns humanity" jokes from last year. One of these people has to bust out a joke every now and again, please. Don't get me wrong, Lena Headley and Thomas Dekker are good in their roles, but their roles seemingly have no dimension but Angry, Hurt, Sad or Scared. Wouldn't Sarah Connor be at least a little confident in her and her son's abilities by now? Strength without swagger a dull character makes, especially when everybody in the ensemble seemingly left their sense of humor in the Days of Future Past. You've got Brian Austin Green RIGHT THERE, for criminy's sakes.

The result of all the heroic moping is, the most "human" characters in the show are still not the Connors. Cameron's struggle to stay on John's side ("If I go bad again ... don't bring me back") is more compelling than the millions of furrowed brows John and Sarah throw at us every week. And I'm pleased to report that Ms. Manson is already classing up the show as new Big Bad Catherine Weaver; her character's twist led to my only pleasant "oh SHIT" of the seemingly interminable hour. And she got to keep her accent! Here's to hoping she gets more refreshingly cool evil shit to do this year. In fact, here's to hoping somebody gets to do something cool this year.

Photo 2 courtesy of zachklein.com

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