Thursday, January 22, 2015

My Exciting TV Adventures

So, I watched last week's pilot to the "SyFy" Channel's new Twelve Monkeys series. Or, rather, I watched maybe a bit less than half of it before reminding myself that I am not, in fact, contractually obligated to finish watching things that are boring me silly, and turned it off. Part of the problem is that, of course, it's impossible not to compare it to the movie, and it suffers a lot from the comparison. I know it's really not at all fair, but I kept finding myself thinking things like, "Boy, is this guy no Bruce Willis." And "Well, there goes the logically consistent time travel that set the movie apart from most of the genre. I knew it was inevitable, since it probably wouldn't be much of a TV show if there was no prospect of changing anything, but it still makes me a little sad." And, "Wow, does this thing need a Terry Gilliam. Or anybody with any sense of style and originality, really."

That last point is the killer, honestly, because it meant there was just nothing about it that remotely stood out as interesting. Not the characters, not the visual style, not the writing. The only thing it might have had going for it is the premise, if it had been able to provoke some sort of "Whoa, what's going on here?" reaction. But not only does that not work for anybody who has seen the movie version, or even who's read anything about the basic concept of the show, but even if you do somehow go into it completely ignorant, I think it quickly exposits away anything that might have been interestingly mysterious.

Of course, I know pilot episodes can be rough, and seldom give you a good idea of what a series will be like one it hits its stride. But if, twenty or thirty minutes in, it hasn't even given you any sense of future potential, that's a bad sign. As is making you feel bored stiff, even if you did start watching it in a grumpy mood. And I have zero desire to repeat the complete waste of time that was Under the Dome. I mean, I really should have listened to my instincts when they told me I might as well stop after that pilot. So... If 12 Monkeys miraculously gets awesome somewhere down the road, somebody come and tell me about it then, and maybe I'll give it another shot. Until then, that's an hour of my life I'm keeping.


In other exciting TV-viewing news, for those who haven't heard me talking about it elsewhere, I've been watching Avatar: The Last Airbender on DVD. (I'm just about to start season 3.) And, you know, I'd always figured all those folks who seemed to think that this was, at the very least, the best kid-friendly animated series in the history of TV were exaggerating. My mistake! It really is just about that good. Two-thirds of the way through (and with a sequel still to watch), and I'm already feeling preemptively sad about running out of it.

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