Saturday, July 17, 2010

Television: Summer Fare

Networks that are not in the top three biggies (ABC, NBC, CBS) have been experimenting with starting their new series in the summer, avoiding competition and boosting their numbers.  I don't remember who did it first, but it caught on in a big way.  Now, summer doesn't have to mean boredom if you're a couch potato.

Not much in the summer crop has caught my eye, with the exception of "Rubicon", which I mentioned last week, and now "The Gates".  This new supernatural, vampires-among-us FOX series has the potential to be really, really good, or fall victim to the weight of its own ridiculousness.  I've viewed the first three (free on Amazon's VoD) episodes, and so far there are vampires, werewolves, succubi, witches, and a possible fifth supernatural species as yet to be identified.  They have a slight "CW" problem, by which I mean there are a lot of too-pretty-to-be-real teens running around with teen drama, but fortunately that light, fluffy sweetness is mostly counteracted by the new chief of police and the vampire drama.  While vampires struggling with their addiction is nothing new, this british pair are also trying to raise an adopted human daughter who is oblivious to their true nature, which could prove intriguing.

So far I am not convinced that this show can be something I can love.  I was certainly disappointed by "The Vampire Diaries" for reasons I can't fully grasp at this point, since I have stopped watching.  At least "The Gates" does manage to make me want to watch again, but who knows what can happen in the next three or four episodes?  If they can avoid the pitfalls of some series' mistakes, and create a mythology that remains constant to its rules, then it has great potential.  Otherwise, I may stick to re-watching "Buffy" on the Netflix "Watch it Now" service and skip new shows altogether.

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