I’ve given it a chance, I really have, but I can’t keep living this lie.
The first two Terminator films are among my favourites ever and I don’t even find the third completely objectionable, but this new TV show is a blight on the series. A 9.1 user rating on TV.com? Nothing but proof that people do, in fact, have no taste. They’ll come to their senses eventually, once the novelty has worn off; it’s like when the Star Wars prequels went straight into the IMDb chart, before everyone came to their senses.
It’s not for any frivolous reason, like that Lena Headey looks distractingly not at all like Linda Hamilton (although couldn’t they have dyed her hair?). Or that Summer Glau is just playing River again. Or that the T-888 hides a pistol inside its leg, creating another plot hole to try to fill – why didn’t Arnie bring back a phased-plasma rifle in the forty watt range for any of his appearances? I can just about live with the fact that there are suddenly tons of Terminators sent back and a similar number of resistance fighters. Anything beyond Terminator 2 isn’t canon in my book, anyway. Just make it entertaining.
But this isn’t, which is the problem. Think of those little internal monologues from Sarah Connor in Terminator 2, when she was sitting and watching the terminator and John talking as she waxed philosophical about the nature of human existence – it happened maybe three times in two-and-a-half hours of film. It happens to a similar extent in every single episode of The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and those are only about an hour. All she needs is black makeup and a MySpace account on which to write shitty poetry.
Now anyone who knows me knows how much I like Firefly – I own three copies of Serenity across two formats, and fully intend to buy the Blu-ray as well – but I just don’t like Summer Glau in this. Like I said before, she’s playing the same emotionally distant killing machine, struggling to relearn about human emotions. Expect her to either (metaphorically) descend into the smelter by the end of the series, since I don’t expect the writers to be creative enough to anything else with it. They couldn’t better the thumbs up from T2 as an emotional coda, anyway.
To be fair, I have enjoyed some moments. Despite making little real sense (a bath full of blood that attaches to him in a humanoid shape? Really?), Cromartie’s quest for some artificial flesh was reasonably effective, and given the television budget I liked his paintball mask and trench coat combo as a means to avoid showing CGI endoskeletons in every scene, in that it didn’t make me roll my eyes. Although I’ve come to love it as a plot device now, the same can’t be said for the humanoid Cylons in the new Battlestar Galactica.
But despite these flaws, I can say with absolute certainty that this will be better than the new series of Doctor Who, simply for not having any Catherine Tate. It’s undeniable.