Monday, August 5, 2013

Almost Human

I have been known to watch TV occasionally...

My last post was all about how much Defiance disappointed me, how I had hoped for better, better writing, better acting, better stories, just all around better. And yet, well... you can read all about it here. But for the lazy, basically there are two main reasons I was disappointed with that show.

1. I just like this shit 

It's true. Sci-fi. Fantasy. Horror. And all the shades in between. In my TV, in my movies, my comics, and my books, I love that shit. Spend any amount of time with me and you'll see, the topic will swing that way, at least if I have my druthers. I'm not all about it, of course, I do like other stuff, but y'know... close enough. Especially when it comes to the topics that appear on this blog. What can I say? I like it. I know it. I'm somewhat well-versed in it, so I like to talk about it. And, as is probably a bit obvious after reading a post or two here, I have opinions on the subject. Also, I'm very picky. Some people out there might say I'm too picky, but I would simply encourage those poor souls to raise their abysmally low standards. In a nut shell, I really wish Defiance had turned out to be good, because I would have loved to watch a show like that.

2. Fringe was great, but now it's gone

I've mentioned Fringe before.

A well-written sci-fi show that somehow survived for 5 seasons on Fox? That's unheard of, people, a rare beast indeed; it was like a God damn Bigfoot Unicorn or something... Of course, it only managed to pull this off because the usually underwhelming auteur J.J. Abrams was behind the show and Fox really wanted to be in the J.J. Abrams business. Unfortunately, being in the J.J. Abrams business not only means J.J. Abrams, it means Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman, too. The three of them together? I am not a fan. Yes, they certainly make money, but I don't get why. They can do the Big Wow, they're occasionally thrilling, sure, but their scripts are hollow, a narrative failure, and often kind of dumb. In simple terms: They disappoint.

And yet somehow, Fringe did not.

Fringe was about FBI Agent Olivia Dunham. She stumbles into a weird case and gets pulled into a bigger conspiracy. At first blush, it sounds a lot like X-Files, huh? Sure. That's fair. It definitely shares some DNA, but the differences are readily apparent upon viewing. For one, the cases aren't the same. They aren't alien-y, it's more weird super science and crazy comic book stuff. You will see things like a city bus with everyone inside frozen in amber, or a disease that makes people's skin melt like wax, or an airplane crash caused by a passenger who turns into a rampaging porcupine-monster-man. To solve these cases, and the much bigger, world-shattering mystery behind it all, Olivia recruits insane genius and super-scientist Dr. Walter Bishop, a man who spent decades in a mental institution, and his genius son, Peter, a con-artist and jack-of-all-trades. It was way better than X-files. For one, the show actually answered the weird questions it posed. Big things happened on the show that actually changed the status quo, often radically. Most of all, it told a whole story. Sure, it had the occasional down episodes, every long running show does, but overall, it was ballsy and imaginative and filled with some really great performances.

...And now it's gone, and I'm looking for something new to watch.

Posted below is the trailer for the first of two possibilities. Let's take a look:

Almost Human is by J.H. Wyman, he was one of the main people behind Fringe. Yes, Abrams and the boys will probably be in the mix too, getting their big stupid ham-handed sausage fingers all up in everything, but with Fringe's legacy, I'm willing to give the new show a chance. Will it be as good? I don't know. Karl Urban is pretty damn fantastic, I do know that. His Bones McCoy in the last few Star Treks was amazing and I loved him in Dredd. But like I said, we shall see, the specter of Defiance still looms. Honestly though, this looks much better, doesn't it?

Fingers crossed...


Terrace said...

You do realize that Kurtzman and Orci had nothing much to do with Fringe beyond the first 13 episodes, right?

Jon said...

Yeah, man... I'm aware. Thanks for the help.