Space, Witches & The Unknown: New Fall 2009 Television Shows – Review

Genre always take a perspective in the personification of series. Sometimes it is based within the vision of space or within the confines of the mind. Others can permeate inside sheer fantasy. However the base has to be humor belied with realism. The problem with some of the new shows is lack of balance from either side.

The Forgotten Following the short lived element of “My Own Worst Enemy”, Christian Slater jumps right back into the fray under the perceptive leadership of Jerry Bruckheimer. This angle is what sold him. His character here however, although specific, melds into the background. Slater is playing him effectively but not overwrought which he can do if he really wants to. This allows the series to breathe and highlight the other people in the cast, especially the two women on his volunteer team. Now granted this is a procedural but the aspects of the volunteers’ aspect, although noble, has the intensity of being a little thin. The reveals of the victim despite this show a very distinct and efficient use of story which is ultimately what Bruckheimer’s company is very good at. The stories from the aspect of a John Doe who is the head of a internet company that sold to a Jane Doe who is part of a “Parachute Kid” conspiracy have real world relevance today. More importantly, it doesn’t depend on the aspects of the paranormal to motivate the plot…yet. If this show can keep this real world stability then the essence of the show might continue.

Stargate Universe The influx of this franchise has retreated in the aspect of being re-initialized. The forward momentum in thinking places this new birthing as a parallel to “Enterprise” which was a good show with a well balanced cast that couldn’t find its audience due to over saturation. “Universe” begins out with an interesting theme in terms of the essence of distance but despite quite good character arcs, there is a lack of true suspense. Like “2010” it gives us something interesting in terms of reveals but nothing is truly groundbreaking. Giving the audience a identity through the young video game wiz brought from Earth is a step in the right direction but ultimately seems too forced. Having hung out with the creators before they began starting the show at the TCA Summer Press Tour, the enthusiasm is there. The stakes have to be higher beyond simple theatrics and soap perceptions. The key is danger from beyond and inside which is what the show seems angled to attack but without a concurrent perception of pace, its ability might falter.

Eastwick The aspect of witchcraft and a modern intermingling of the devil’s presence which was so richly captured in the 1987 film begins here with a verve of perspective but loses its way in the motivation of its lead character. The one angle that was always intrinsic of Darrell Van Horn was his ability was to truly capture the intentions of his muses: the witches, before they begin to turn on him. The first couple episodes begin to build this but the writing staff is trying to balance the normal lives and loves of these women with who they inherently are. The three actresses here have the possibility and capture the spark every once in a while and Paul Gross as the new Darrell has the unfettered ability to make it work. However, at a certain point, the writing for him loses its way because of a lack of planning. He becomes less of the devil than he truly needs to be and that is problematic. Moments like when one of the witches is sliding and singing on the piano really capture the feeling of inhibition whereas the most underused character in the form of the bookish newspaper reporter falters by the wayside. What could have been utterly exceptional in a wonderfully guilty way instead comes off as a stale with a stalled state of potential.

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