The Sarah Connor Chronicles is Rubbish

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 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.

4 thoughts on “The Sarah Connor Chronicles is Rubbish”

  1. I hear you, I wasn’t at all impressed with the first couple of episodes. All I can say is to give it a bit more time. I usually give a series about 4 episodes before passing judgement (there are only 9 in TSCC season 1!); it does get incrementally better. I thought episode 7 was amongst the best of the season.

    Having said that, it still pales in comparison with Battlestar Galactica, which will soon be entering into it’s fourth and final season. I’m expecting good things from Ronald D. Moore with all the time he’s had to think about it over the writer’s strike. I’m a big fan of his work and recommend to you Carnivale if you’ve not seen it. It’s a bit niche being set in the great American depression but still bloody marvellous.

    It doesn’t help that Virgin 1 (on satellite) are airing TSCC in the wrong aspect ratio (4:3) when it is in fact available in 16:9 wide-screen HD. What a bunch of clowns; will someone remind’em this is the 21st century?

    I’m with you on Dr Who, I was v. disappointed with the new Dr Who(s). It’s mainly due to the terrible pantomime acting and the fact that I can’t stand most British accent’s (especially cockney). I prefer neutral accents or ‘Queen’s English’, consequently I don’t like most contemporary British TV. There are exceptions e.g. Rome, Life On Mars and Ashes to Ashes (for nostalgic reasons) but I digress. I really liked the Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker era, beyond that I don’t really care for it.

  2. I haven’t even touched Carnivale, so I might have a look. I’ll add it to my Lovefilm queue and see if I like it.

    I’m definitely annoyed that they’ve been showing it 4:3 when even channels with no budget like Dave are starting to show things in widescreen. I understand that Virgin1 has limited bandwidth as it is, but if they want it to be a competitor to Sky One (which will be on Freeview, albeit not for free, before too long) as a premium channel they need to get the basics right. It’s a simple matter of flagging the broadcast as widescreen.

    I won’t even get started on the fact that we still don’t have the means to see it in HD. Not until 2012, at least…

    I loved the first two seasons of the new Doctor Who. Eccleston was fantastic (see what I did there?) and Tennant was and is great, but there have been too many crap stories and poor supporting characters, and the whole thing is getting a bit formulaic. Time for another break and a bit of a rethink?

  3. They only ever made two seasons of Carnivale, considering the niche audience it attracted and the fact it cost $4 million an episode to produce it’s easy to see why. Still if you like high production values, excellent character dramatization and intriguing story arcs I think you’ll enjoy it. I rented the first two discs on Lovefilm, after which I went out and bought both seasons to watch back to back.

    It is a shame that the UK digital switch-over is so protracted (and at the end of it most installed receivers won’t support a HD signal!). What this has meant is that I source most of my TV online, where I can enjoy full HD fidelity programming without adverts. If I really enjoy the series I pick up a DVD box set.

    I think the main problem with the new Doctor Who(s) is that the episodes are too self-contained with few long story arcs, such that there isn’t much scope to develop an interesting story. That coupled with childish “come out come out wherever you are” dialogue and the results are unsurprisingly disappointing. Contrast that with earlier Dr Who where each story was was filmed over a dozen short episodes and you can understand my disappointment.

    I understand that they are really aiming for a young audience, but somehow it seems that when we were younger we were treated with a bit more intelligence.

  4. Good point about the story arcs. With a couple of exceptions (mainly Blink, which I consider to be the best episode of the revived Who), the best parts have always been two or three episodes that run together. Everyone seems to think that The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances was the high point of the first series, and out of the most recent one I thought linking the last few episodes together really made the cheesy ending bearable.

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