10.06.2006

Dramatic Overview

Now that we're a little ways into the new television season, I'll share some thoughts on new and returning shows. As always, SPOILERS abound, so read on with caution:

Prison Break

In case you're just joining us, a man wrongfully accused of murder and sentenced to die was freed by his ridiculously smart younger brother, who got himself arrested and used information concealed in his full body tattoo to formulate an escape. Throughout the first season, many nail biting snags were encountered, yet they overcame them all. Unfortunately, the brothers had to enlist the help of a few other inmates, and ended up freeing a mob boss, a murderous pedophile, a crazy-eyed psychopath, a punk kid who stole the wrong baseball card, a former soldier, and a man about to complete his sentence for armed robbery, desperate to escape sooner to prevent his cousin from marrying his pregnant girlfriend and raising his child. Phew. The murderous pedophile is the worst of the bunch, and even having his hand axed off by the mob boss doesn't stop him from finding a vet to reattach it, euthanizing him once the operation is complete. There was also an old man who stole an insane amount of money and buried it somewhere in Utah. He dies during the escape, but not before disclosing the location. Now set in the outside world, the show deals with the consequences of the escape as the former inmates race to reach the money and stay one step ahead of both a government conspiracy and a brilliant but secretly unhinged agent hunting them down. It's been good, and getting better each week.


Heroes

This is the new show I most anticipated, and I haven't been disappointed. The first episode was a little slow, as it introduced a variety of people from different walks of life in different parts of the world, discovering they have strange powers. A woman sees her reflection doing different things, and has blackouts during which her double either takes control or physically emerges; it's not clear yet. The younger brother of a politician believes so strongly in his dreams of flying that he steps off the roof of a building, only to be caught when his brother turns out to be the flyer in the family. The second episode had the younger brother hovering as well, but subsequently cut to a drawing he made of the exact moment where he hovers. This makes me think he absorbs other abilities when exposed to other metahumans. Why? Because he previously encounters a painter whose artwork reveals the future, but only while he's on drugs. There's an indestructible cheerleader who walks through fire without burning, heals broken bones and cuts in seconds, and whose stepfather may be some sort of evil conspirator hunting her kind. In Japan, a comic book and science fiction geek discovers he can control time and space, stopping or accelerating time, teleporting as far as New York, and teleporting five weeks forward, where he finds the precognitive painter has written a comic book about him, and has had his brain removed by a serial killer. The really bad news is that New York gets nuked, something else the painter foresaw, but fortunately our teleporter returns to the present. These budding heroes have a lot to do in five weeks, and they haven't even teamed up officially. Along with a cop that can hear people's thoughts, and the son of a scientist who had been studying the next stage of human evolution, the show has introduced just about everyone, and it will be great to see how their stories eventually unfold and intersect. Each cliffhanger brings me back for more.


Lost

One of the things I had a problem with in school growing up, was the notion of writing as though one's readers had no idea what I was talking about. It's a problem I've never fully bested, especially since explaining everything takes the wind of of my sails and I lose momentum. With the internet, I think I get away with my sloppy writing by simply linking to other sites. If a name is unfamiliar, a click will always lead to more information. If only my papers in school had such efficient footnoting. With a show like Lost, especially at the start of a third season, it's impossible to explain all the players. Once again I must break that writing rule, and assume people know what I'm talking about when I say we see the plane break apart from yet a third awesome perspective, a suburban community of Others hidden in the jungle. We see Jack held prisoner in what turns out to be the underwater station, The Hydra. He learns this when he opens a door to escape and lets in the ocean. Good one, Jack. A pretty female Other saves him from his own stupidity before clocking him for it. Kate fares slightly better at first, provided with a shower, a clean dress, and real breakfast on the beach. Unfortunately it's with Henry Gale, the creepy leader of the Others who makes her wear handcuffs and tells her she's being treated well so she has a happy memory before two unpleasant weeks. When next we see her, she looks shaken and her wrists are chafed. We also learn Henry's real name is Ben. Finally, Sawyer, locked in an outdoor cage, is tested like an animal. When a kid in a cage across from him escapes and frees him, he's captured within minutes and dragged back while the kid, probably a plant since he was seen working on one of the houses at the beginning of the episode, is dragged away. Sawyer figures out how to press a trio of buttons in his cage and not get shot, only to be rewarded with kibbles and a fish biscuit. Tom chides him for his pride, since the (polar) bears who previously occupied the cage figured things out more quickly. In other news, the internet message boards were ablaze with people complaining that nothing happened, no mysteries were solved, and we didn't learn the fates of any of the other castaways, some of whom may have exploded at the end of last season. It sounds like these people aren't watching the same show I am, given some of their expectations and gripes, and despite announcing to the world that they're “done with this show”, I can guarantee they'll be back with more to say next week.


Smallville

I can't believe I'm saying this, but Smallville has been good this season. The fast-paced premiere could have been two hours; so much happened. This week's episode was a little quieter as Clark raced around at night to clean up the destruction caused by Zod while he possessed Lex. Clark pushes himself to exhaustion and actually gets a cold, his immune system possibly exposed to something during his brief time in the Phantom Zone in the season premiere. When he sneezes off a barn door, it sets the stage for Lois to discover a sudden interest in journalism, one of the weaker points of the episode. Chloe figures out Clark must have a strong lung capacity, and helps him realize another new ability, his super breath. It's been a while since the show introduced a new power, especially since the one-time flight in season four doesn't technically count. Did I mention that a new archer moves in to Metropolis, a wealthy former classmate of Lex's with proficient archery skills and green arrows? I wonder who this Oliver Queen could possibly be? Tune in next week...


Supernatural

A demon is found over a baby's crib by the baby's mother. The demon pins her to the ceiling and sets her on fire. The horrified father arrives, and has his oldest son carry his baby brother to safety. The trio become demon hunters, tracking and killing anything undead or supernatural. When the father disappears years later, the older brother seeks the younger brother out for help, but he's left them for college and a chance at a normal life, a life denied him when his girlfriend is taken from him in the exact manner as his mother. The pair roam the country in their black ‘67 Chevy Impala, searching for their dad. They find him, and the demon, who they fail to kill after he possesses the father. The demon is expelled, only to take over a truck driver and ram their car. Near death, the older brother's spirit wanders a hospital while a beautiful reaper tries to convince him that his time has come. The father summons the demon and cuts a deal for his son's life that involves turning over the only gun that can kill the demon, and giving his own life. The second episode of the second season doesn't give the brothers much time to grieve or work on the massive repairs their car needs, as they must hunt a killer clown. This thing wins children over and gets them to invite them into their homes so it can slaughter their parents. In a funhouse, a kid is spooked when he sees the clown, but his dad, who can't see the clown, reassures him that clowns are his friends. Creepiest moment of the night? The little boy wakes up the groggy dad and tells him, “You were right daddy! He is my friend!” The camera pans over to show the kid's hand in a gloved adult hand, then pans up to this horrific clown. The father scrambles back as this thing grins and the screen cuts to black for commercials. Shades of Pennywise will make it difficult to sleep tonight...

4 Comments:

Blogger Kev said...

I'm enjoying Heroes as well. The realization that Hiro was in the future was interesting, as well as the serial killer removing brains from the artist and from the frozen guy....

I missed last nights Smallville...

Don't watch any of the other shows you mentioned.

10/06/2006 2:05 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

I've only seen the season premiere of Smallville and all I could say was--nyah. It was OK but not great.

It felt so rushed....

I wanted more of Clark in the PZ and more Clark vs Lex/Zod.

That would have rocked.

10/11/2006 1:24 PM  
Blogger Xtine said...

I just watch eps. 1 of Hero's...I think I like it. Lets see where it goes.

10/11/2006 9:10 PM  
Blogger susannaheanes said...

Supernaturally Addicted - a year ago, I watched maybe 5 TV Shows A Year.

Then I was clued in to The Awesomeness.

Now I'm online every single day getting my fix of the *boiz* and their unbelievably crafted, soulfully rendered, skillfully directed, classically rocking, worthy-of-multiple-Emmy-awards show.

And counting the minutes until 9 p.m., October 4th, 2007.

9/08/2007 10:41 AM  

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