Very Short Reviews of Recent Speculative Fiction Television Shows

In no particular order...

The Middle Man: The best sf show in recent memory. Canceled, of course. However, show creator Javier Grillo-Marxuach appears to be working on a new show, so I look forward to seeing that.

Virtuality: A very well written and well acted pilot. Not picked up as a series, of course. Always remember, in television mediocrity is the bar to be aspired to. (Though I have to say I am getting a little tired of EVERYONE on television having to look like a supermodel.)

Fringe: And what a God-awful crapfest this is.

Eureka: I saw one episode of this show, where they had someone gain magical powers by using "100% of their brain", thereby perpetuating a grimace-worthy line of bullshit that has been widely known to be false for... ever. It would really take me a lot to watch this show again.

Heroes: Stopped watching at the beginning of season 3 when it was clear it was gonna be no better than season 2.

Warehouse 13: Taking the premises of two shows (The Librarian and The X-Files) and putting them together does not make you original. Promises Smallville-level mediocrity of character, plot and storyline. Still, at least it's better than Fringe. Also, see point about Virtuality and looks. (Though at least some of the minor characters are normal-looking. Also, note they go out of the way to make some supporting characters token ethnics, but the leads are all white.)

Stargate Whatever: Are these shows still around? Are they still the same sort of story mill for plots we've seen before and two dimensional characters?

Doctor Who: Still the standard-barer of what sf TV can be, at worst stupid and at best insanely brilliant and fun. Very much looking forward to the new season, with new head-writer Moffat.

Torchwood: A show that could have been great but was actually crap. Haven't watched the new mini-series yet, but after watching what's come before I don't have high hopes.

Dollhouse: Ambivalent about this show. On one hand, I think it's the ballsiest thing on television, and loads more interesting than, well, most of the shows above (and other, non-sf shows). On the other hand, everything everyone has said about the show having problems w/r/t its treatment of women is well justified, and I have trouble sympathizing with any of the characters who either have literally no personality at all, or are horrible, awful people who exploit those with no personality at all. Even the detective, who's supposed to be the good guy, is not really that nice a fellow. Still this is the most audacious, most complex thing going right now and I look forward to season two.

Terminator Chronicles: Never cared about the Terminator franchise, never was interested. Haven't seen a single episode of this show, and don't really want to.

Lost: Interesting enough that I'll still watch it, even though it's become painfully clear that they're making everything up as they go along and lots and lots of things just don't really make sense.

Still haven't watched Sanctuary. Don't know what that'll be like.


Stargate Whatever

"Stargate Whatever: Are these shows still around? Are they still the same sort of story mill for plots we've seen before and two dimensional characters?"

Yes. But the thing is: They're _fun_. I appreciate an SF series that aims to be serious as much as anyone, (for every five unimaginative dark and gritty attempts there's one really interesting one), but sometimes you just want to lay back and watch vampires! in space! and super awesome action heroes! and everybody speaks english!

Compare Stargate Atlantis with Battlestar Galactica. Galactica was smart, but it was idiotic, and the idiotic decisions they made stuck around for a long time because it's a Serious Show with an Arc. Stargate Atlantis is stupid, but their worst ideas end when the episode ends, and their best episodes are quite fun.

Also, the new Stargate series has John Scalzi as a creative consultant. That's worth at least watching the pilot.