Tuesday, January 10, 2006

TV? Check. Sofa? Check. Fat ass? Check.

Yup, the good times are back for couch potatoes, alright. Tonight it was the new series of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA on Sky One, the new series of THE O.C. on E4, and SHAMELESS on Channel 4.

Despite an initial reluctance to embrace the idea of new BATTLESTAR (due to rose-tinted nostalgia, largely), I warmed to the "reimagining" after finally watching the mini-series a couple of years ago. Whereas the original was always scuppered by the (oxymoronic) fact that it was a light'n'breezy adventure show about the extinction of the bleedin' whole human race, the new versh takes this predicament at face value, and has came up with a diamond hard, bible black show. It reminds me, in its darkness, of all the bleak sci-fi I loved as a kid: PLANET OF THE APES, OMEGA MAN, SOYLENT GREEN, LOGAN'S RUN, even BLADE RUNNER (like Ridley Scott's masterpiece, it's often the supposedly "evil" androids who seem more vital, more alive, more human in fact, than the actual humans. A fact not lost on whoever was responsible for the casting of Edward James Olmos as Adama, I'd bet).

THE O.C., however, seems content in its slide towards losing the invention, hipness and wit that made the first series so likeable, and has now devolved into mere glossy soap. It's hard to hold out hope for a series that ties up all the loose ends of series two in the opener of series three so damn handily: murder? Never happened. The victim got better. Alcoholism? Cured with one handy trip to rehab: it's that slack, lazy, and unimaginitive. Even the pop culture references of the once-great character of Seth Cohen seem forced, out of place, like they've been airdropped in by the U.N. scriptdoctors.

I haven't expected much of the new series of SHAMELESS: I never do when so many key members of cast and crew defect upwards and onwards. But it's been damn entertaining so far. Something of a self-parody, but consistently funny none the less. So there you go: that's my Tuesday nights mapped out the for next few months at least.


Ali said...

I watched Shameless last night. It was OK, it is missing a few characters, and I did get the feeling some of the newer characters have been bolted on, but what can you do if your cast goes and clears off for a pay rise?
"My name is Earl" I had on my HD recorder, and I watched tonight, and thought it looked OK. Not huge on gut busting laughs but well enough played to be interesting.

Mark said...

I thought of it as being a bit RAISING ARIZONA, a bit THE BIG LIEBOWSKI, y'know: character driven comedy rather than gag driven.