Friday, August 20, 2010

Television: Bitemarks and Brouhaha

You know you're watching too many vampire shows when you find yourself comparing and contrasting the bitemark effects.

I'm not sure I'm liking what's going on with "True Blood" this season.  Once again revealing the differences between female (book author Charlaine Harris) and male (HBO series writer/producer Alan Ball) writers, Alan Ball has taken a street-savvy-but-romantically-inexperienced Sookie Stackhouse from the books and turned her into a stupid, whiny woman who doesn't have the sense not to scream for help when she's in a house full of sleeping vampires and werewolves.  Get a female writer on staff, Alan, because you're being a chauvinistic dick.

Meanwhile "The Gates" has ramped up their own revelations of how their Vampire and Werewolf societies work and interact.  The police chief is now aware of the werewolf community... I wonder how long it will take him to realize what's going on with his wife and make the revelation to her as well.

"Covert Affairs" has emerged from its infancy and revealed itself to be a straight-up espionage thriller, without the distracting and annoying mystical trappings foisted on us by "Alias" or the constant (but still appreciated) comic relief present in "Chuck".  Piper Perabo has proved she can carry the drama and action required for this role, at least to me, and I now count the show as one I am eager to watch.  Since the show's cast is mostly a "who's-who" of actors from most of my past favorite sci-fi series, they had me half in the bag from the beginning, but it's nice that the production quality seems to be properly supporting such diverse and excellent talent.  I've had my eye on Christopher Gorham since his guest role on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and lengthier role on "Odyssey 5".  Add in additional cast members such as Kari Matchett (Invasion), Peter Gallagher (Rescue Me), and Sendhil Ramamurthy (Heroes) and you've got a pretty good recipe.

AMC's "Rubicon" is harder to gauge.  It's less a "flash in the pan" action thriller, and more a slow-burn conspiracy/intelligence drama.  The problem with this kind of show, the slow-burning kind, is that it will probably take an entire season to get really, really grippingly interesting.  The pilot led me to believe it would have at least one "Aha!  Aren't I clever for figuring it out too?" moment in each episode, but instead it's turned into a drama/documentary on the realities of intelligence analysis.  Rather dull.  It has enormous potential, but when it's this slow to find its gear, they may lose their audience and be off the air before things get good.

"Fringe" will be returning to the air on September 23rd, just a short month away.  I cannot wait to find out what happens with Olivia... and Olivia.  If you don't watch the show, don't worry, that's not a typo.  And I can't wait to see Walternate get his comeuppance.

School here in our district starts on Monday.  Expect my posts to start showing up at an earlier hour from now on, since the woogie will be back in school.

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