I still kind of like it. And that’s strange because it’s sort of poopy.
I mean, I watched the X-files for a very long time. Long after everyone was like “this sucks” I was still faithful. Like “OK, yeah, the plotlines are a little convoluted and that’s not what Scully would do and Mulder’s not even really on the show anymore, but I love Robert Patrick. I can stomach this.” And then whatserface showed up and I could barely even pretend it was the Skinner/Doggett lurve hour. Then they killed the Lone Gunmen and I was like “I’m out!”
But this show is losing me even faster. For starters, the fringe science… I’m sorry. I don’t believe it. I don’t even REMOTELY believe it. Even if these things WERE possible, this group of people is not selling me on the fact that they’re crazy weird things. They just do them like they’re nothing and nobody is like “Excuse me, but this isn’t possible.” Like, I thought Pacey was supposed to be the down-to-earth skeptic, but he’s like “Let me jump start this chick’s heart with a car battery.” Look, MacGruber, I don’t care how long you spent at MIT before dropping out. I don’t believe that this would be possible without seriously damaging a person! Other things I find unbelievable: Astrid, the junior FBI agent? Is a little too conveniently equipped with skill sets that come in handy. “We need to find somebody to fix these computers.” “No problem. I’m a computer science major.” Or words to that effect.
And the dialogue! I mean, there was a line from last week’s episode that was like “She stopped somebody’s brain from leaking out his ears, isn’t that enough!” Ummmm…. no.
That this line was intoned by Cedric Daniels makes it worse. Because I really like Lance Reddick. A lot. I wish he was my tough-but-fair boss. He’s at his best when he’s defending his people. And Anna Torv, I was all set to like her, but she’s kind of… wooden. Really, I’m watching this show because I’m bored on Tuesdays, Pacey and Lieutenant Daniels are on it, and Kirk Acevedo has beautiful eyes. I wish they’d give him more to do other than stand around and be the heavy. I think maybe the cast of characters here is a little too big.
I want to like this show more, becaue it’s giving work to a lot of people on The Wire. Last week’s episode featured Chris Partlow (who was given some mysterious dialogue, so that means he’ll probably return) and Frank Sobotka, who ended up dead, so he won’t (or will he!?) but that’s OK, because he’s detectiving it up over on True Blood. The week before THAT, Stephen Schnetzer, who had a small role in the final year of The Wire as a seasoned investigative journalist, was the first scientist to become infected with the giant parasite thingy. Stephen, you’ll always be Cass Winthrop to me! I still like the relationship between Pacey and his mad scientist father. John Noble is playing it just loopy/drugged up but grumpy enough to make it endearing.
Maybe the problem I have is this: JJ Abrams is behind this show and I can already see it going off the rails. Nothing makes sense, we’re told it all has something to do with a lame “pattern” and like, three people have revealed themselves to be double agents with ulterior motives. Doing that before the audience really has a chance to really like or know a character is, I think, a mistake. It would be like, if they’d had Walter Skinner at the forefront of the X-Files from the start and revealed he was making secret deals with Cigarette Smoking Man. I CAN’T KEEP UP, JJ! What happens when you get bored and go off to do some other series or movie?
Watching an Abrams shows makes me appreciate Joss Whedon that much more. At least he gives his shows his complete and total attention before they’re turfed by the networks. Speaking of which… I’m prepared for Dollhouse to have its own set of problems, judging by how much tweaking has gone on behind the scenes. Entire characters that were present in the first clips we saw have either totally changed or been eliminated altogether and Whedon himself changed the show’s production run by moving the pilot episode up one and shooting an entirely new first episode.
As with all things Whedon, I’m excited, but wary.