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Thursday, October 05, 2006

TV Watch: Post Premiere Review

So the season is off and running... how's the start looking?

Veronica Mars
Veronica is still my girl, but the season opener was a bit of a sleeper. Considering other seasons have started off with quite the bang, the lack of a huge event to really grip the viewer was a bit of a letdown. The transition to college seems to be fairly well handled, which is good. It feels like Keith is a little more detached from the story - but I hope that's just a factor in how the subplot was framed. Don't get me wrong, any Veronica is better than no Veronica - but I can't help but feel that we're a long way away from the grit of the Lily Kane Murder at this point.

The premiere had plenty of hooks, but the second episode spent way too long rehashing past events. I mean - it's only the second episode and yet Hiro's portion consists of last week's backstory, reading a comic to rehash the backstory and about two minutes of new stuff. The writing feels unsure of itself - as if it's desperately afraid to outpace it's audience. If the real sell of the show will be the overarching conspiracy about these people - it's going to need a lot more zip than that.

Studio 60
The show really is Sports Night 2.0 and I couldn't be happier. You have a strong female role in a top position over two male characters who are close friends and spend much of their time quibbling about writing content and a host of quirky and witty staff members who make up the peanut gallery. Sound familiar? It's fine with me that Sorkin is going back to the well ... because honestly I don't even know if I want more emulation or more new ground out of the show. I don't really care - because this show feels like an old friend that just decided to call back after several years.

What to say about Lost? A co-worker may have put it best when she said that if this had been a mid-season episode it would have been perfectly good ... but as an opener it missed the mark. Seeing the Others' camp is somewhat interesting but a) we're clearly not seeing the whole thing and b) what we have seen isn't terribly surprising. Jack's flashblack was completely uncompelling to me since it didn't add much new to his character. It's been a long summer and about the biggest piece of information was that the Others have a working aquarium (which, btw, leads me to think that a lot of The Monster and mystery will actually be explained biologically).

I've said for a while that Season Two felt padded. Hopefully this premiere is not a sign of how Season Three will play out.



Winkyboy said...


Most of the office here, too, was a bit underwhelmed by the season three initial offering. I think there's more being revealed than easily noticed, but it still doesn't explain much of anything.

I don't think that the Monster is necessarily biological; if it were, the only explanation of why it wouldn't attack the Others would be maybe because they trained it or something... It is definitely driven by an intelligence, though, so there is that.

What's puzzling to me is: Now that the Others have Jack, Kate, and Sawyer, why do they apparently plan on just penning them up for two weeks?

Josh said...

I think we might get a lot more genetic monstrosity info down the pipe. We've got polar bears that can survive in the tropics, apparently superintelligent bears, and people that can sprint across an island in ten minutes or less while getting a change of clothing done in the process (oh, and punch out a fully grown man with a single blow).

Somehow an invisible dinosaur or some kind of psychic swarm of bees isn't seeming so odd to me.

I'm also guessing that a) Jack & Co. have all had their blood drawn. b) The next two weeks for them will be about breaking them down and testing their personalities so that c) if they're genetically and behaviorally compatible the Others will try to recruit to do "what needs to be done" to "save the world."

Thomas said...

Apparently Veronica Mars hasn't been renewed for a full 3rd season, so they won't be doing the big bang mystery for fear of not finishing it.

Which is too bad. I was hoping that Kendall's suitcase would be the macguffin this year, even if that's a bit Pulp Fiction.

Josh said...

Ah, yes. The grand logic of a studio exec. Kick a show in the kneecaps and hope they can figure out a way to do well enough to earn a full season.

Yeah, I was a bit thrown off by how the Kelly thing turned out and still mildly confused. Course, I think the last half of Season Two's closer was bit oddly paced too, so maybe this is a bit of that brushing off.

Winkyboy said...

> I'm also guessing that a) Jack & Co. have all had their blood drawn.

But didn't Juliet tell Jack they'd given them some drugs?

Yet, on the other hand, we know that they are taking blood since they did that with Michael. One could theorize that they're possibly looking for descedants of people who survived the "innoculation" that happened 30 years ago (as revealed in the Lost Experience)... ?

Josh said...

They did - and I think they were probably drugged. Just guessing that yeah, they're comparing their blood to something else.

Tidbits include: Walt's "powers", the genetic data they collected with the "innoculation" (Lost Exp.), the natives, etc.

Maybe they've got some genetic tricks to augment people and they have to test them both physically and psychologically to see if they are worthy/compatible/etc.

jvm said...

Due to travel, I just now got to see last week's episode. I thought the premiere was spot on. I enjoy tension and leisurely development, and this suited me just fine. I also appreciated the smaller cast of this episode.

Josh said...

I did appreciate the smaller cast. I'd rather focus on a subgroup per episode than try and filter through all the cast in one.