Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Ubiquitous "What I've Been Watching on DVD Lately" Post

Most recently received from Netflix: season 1 of The 4400. I originally avoided this when it was on TV, because Sci Fi's ads made it look like the sort of cheesy alien-abduction thing they're entirely too fond of, but hearing various positive things about it later on made me decide to take a chance on the DVDs. And I'm glad I did, because it turns out my first impression was entirely wrong.

The premise is that 4400 people have mysteriously disappeared over the course of about sixty years... and then suddenly reappear in a ball of light in 2004, looking no older, and with no memory of what's happened to them. And, over time, some of them begin to display strange, almost superhuman abilities... It's an interesting premise, albeit one that could have led to something terribly cheesy if executed with a little less intelligence and care. As it is, the result is really interesting, in large part because it focuses as much on the implications to people's lives of suddenly finding themselves displaced in time as it does on anything else. And the first season, at least -- all five episodes of it -- also does a very nice balancing act between revealing too much of the mystery to keep us interested and revealing too little of it to, well, keep us interested. Whether the second season manages to keep that up, I don't know, but I'll definitely make a point of getting my hands on those discs, too, when they're out.

In other news, my last House disc, which I had to re-insert on the top of my queue after it boomeranged back to the warehouse the first time, still has not arrived, despite supposedly having been mailed on the 23rd. Why does the Post Office hate me so? And why does the universe apparently not want me to see the last couple of episodes of House?

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