Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Jericho, Battlestar, Eureka, 24

Oh, let's see. When I returned from vacation I had some decent television to watch. First up was episodes two and three of Jericho. The impression that I'm getting here is that Jericho is a solid show, but ultimately unsatisfying. There is good character and human moments and storylines and it is clear that the story is about the reaction of the town of Jericho to multiple nuclear explosions in America, but my deepest interest is still focused on the behind the scenes. How many nuclear explosions? Is it limited to just America? Are the cities on the map the only cities or the only cities that we know of yet?

I will say that it was chilling watching the "St Louis Cop" putting push pins on the map of the United States to mark the cities that were attacked.

This past friday marked the season premiere of Battlestar Galactica. Some people have serious issues with how Battlestar is progressing and how the producers are not delivering on the promise of the show and being heavy handed. I see her point, but Battlestar remains one of the best things on television today (excluding, perhaps, 24). There is great entertainment, mostly solid storylines (even though some get dropped), compelling characters I deeply care about (Starbuck, Roslin, General Adama), and a setting that feels real despite being distant science fiction. It's not perfect, but nothing is.

Eureka was a pleasant surprise on Sci-Fi this summer. A talented, yet personable U.S. Marshal ends up in the hidden, classified, scientific town of Eureka where the residents are nearly all scientists working for the government and there are quirks, oddities, something deeper behind the scenes, and a lot of fun. The Marshal ends up staying on in Eureka due to an odd assortment of circumstances and our show follows the Marshal each week as he figures out the town and deals with situations that arise while not fully understanding. It was a short season of perhaps 12 episodes, but the show maintained a high level of quality throughout. Season 1 was more "one off" episodes than building a story arc, but I think the next season will work more overall story arcs. Sci-Fi is doing something right with their developed programs. Movies, less so, but their original programming is excellent.

24 is unreal. I have four episodes left in Season 4 and the show just gets better and better. The producers and writers are unrelenting and completely honest with their characters and have strong integrity with their show. While we expect Jack Bauer to live, no other character who ends up in the line of fire is assured survival and some that a weaker producer would let live do not live. Moreover, horrible acts do sometimes occur against America because CTU is not perfect and not everything can be prevented. While it may be a bit much that one man can be at the center of all of these events over multiple seasons, that's the premise of the show and with that premise I am coming to feel that 24 may be the best damn show on tv. I expect to be caught up with the show by the time Season 6 airs in January, so I'll finally be watching the episodes as they air.


Nick said...

Been watching the new season of Battlestar as well, and agree with you. A great show despite its flaws. Opening was killer. Read this Abigail woman, didn't quite understand why she was so angry (and why some of her reasoning was a bit... off). Then I realized; she's Israeli. So now I understand. Like the show even more now, because of that. Great drama should create conflict.

Joe said...

She's been ranting on Battlestar for a while now. Very articulate, but I think she's trying to put deeper motivations into Battlestar than may truly be there...that Battlestar is all allegory and that every little thing should have this grand deeper meaning...

Sometimes a show is just a show.