Gate.Fail. and other Musings

Well, tonight was the airing of the much-talked about episode of Stargate: Universe – ‘Sabotage’.  The initial ‘sides’ very much indicated a rape of one of the female characters (Camille Wray, by Nicholas Rush), along with the misuse of the ‘stonesofstupidity’. It appears that some work, no make that a lot of work, had been done to fix the episode. Most likely to appease the critics, especially us at Television Without Pity.  All in all, it ended up being perhaps the best episode of the so-far disappointing series. Granted, ninety-five percent of the offensive story had been reworked/edited.

So, why the ‘GateFail’? The initial story (that leaked) was wrong on so many levels. Woman-as-victim is a standard plot device. A rape storyline that is handled with intelligence, tact, taste, and sensitivity could make for very good television. A cheap grab for ratings and attention? Well, no. That’s common.  Factor in a  poorly plotted show, minimal characterisation/character motivation, and loads of unanswered and ill-considered ethical questions and concerns. Are there boundaries for the exchange of consciousness? What exactly makes a person who he or she is? What is the idea of the soul?

Also add in that the woman in question is openly gay. With a well-planned season, yes, a story arc dealing with the ethics of the consciousness exchange could be remarkable and compelling television. The ‘rape’ could be an excellent catalyst and springboard to do so. And on a sci-fi genre show? Great. Less creative boundaries. Beg the question, let the audience think.  Wow.

Instead, we got the ‘ick’ factor. There was no dramatic or story purpose, except for negative audience fallout.

HBO’s ‘The Pacific’ has two episodes to go til its finale. This week’s installment dealt with Iwo Jima. I am impressed with the miniseries’ production values, but along with many others, I have still yet to find a truly compelling character that holds my interest. The battle scenes have been second-to-none, but there is just a bit of soul missing.

Have started to watch the new ‘Dr. Who’. The pilot was all right, and I’m not really sure about Matt Smith as the new Timelord. He doesn’t appear to have the necessary depth and gravitas and control. Not truly compelling in the role.  At least not yet.  The second episode started out fantastically – the creepy figures in the boxes, the child sent basically to Hell, and then……. the episode fell apart. This Princess of Darkness was disappointed. Starship UK, please. Little more than a Farscape/Moya redux. The Dalek episode fared a bit better. Given that the show is about a Timelord, I expect cool and dark.

‘Nurse Jackie’ has greatly improved and is probably one of the best medical dramas/comedies currently on television. ‘United States of Tara’ again is flipping between good and crap. Like last season. Ditch the son and daughter storylines and bring on more Buck.

I am hoping that ‘V’ finds itself. It’s been less than compelling, and the most interesting character is Anna. Elizabeth Mitchell does not have the writing she has on ‘Lost’. Disappointing that Nicholas Lea (X Files’ Krycek) has not been used well. Perhaps the rat-eating episode will air soon.

Am hoping that ‘Lost’ doesn’t collapse under its mythology. Like ‘The X Files’ and ‘Battlestar Galactica’ before it. I am concerned for the finale. I hope it’s not some snowglobe or some kid playing with toy airplanes or we find out that it it Hugo’s (Hurley’s) fantasy – as he is in some asylum, or John Locke’s fantasy. I liked ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’ but I truly hope that I will be rewarded for my patience.

‘Flashforward’ is plodding along. Please give me more Simon. I’d like another blackout too, in order to erase a lot of this season.

‘Fringe’ aired its ‘musical’ episode the other week. An interesting idea, but the execution was off.  Mashing ‘The Princess Bride’, 40s noir style, and Motown/modern music was a bit weird. The 40s look coupled with modern technology and the usual sets didn’t quite work. I don’t know why there is the push for the Peter/Olivia ‘ship’. Sorry, writers – no chemistry. Walter has more chemistry with his cow. This week’s was a Peter episode. Reminded me of yet another old X File. Unremarkable until the end, when Mr. Secretary appeared (the alt-Verse Walter Bishop). Now, let’s get to the finale.


~ by hooklineandthinker on May 8, 2010.

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