Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bionic Woman, Life and Kid Nation: open thread

(Erik -- still on vacation -- will take over Bionic Woman and Kid Nation duties next week. Look for posts on Top Model, Private Practice and Dirty Sexy Money through the day. -- ed.)

Bionic Woman was one of the pilots I was most looking forward to. What resulted was sadly disappointing but just full of enough promise that I'll keep tuning in for a while longer. The show's biggest problem is just how much it tries to find something dark, resonant and mythic in a pretty silly premise. That dark, resonant myth is in there (what's it take to be a woman with a job AND a family? -- time-honored and a bit cliched, but something that could be played with), but the show just aims for sort of a BSG-lite look. And the pilot tries to cram too much stuff in there to really work -- we get to learn about the earlier Bionic Woman (Katee Sackhoff, stealing scenes) AND the ongoing project AND what happened to Jamie AND her family situation AND her love life. But we never get a whiff of what this show might be from week to week. Plus, the government scientist dude is compelling but just isn't badass enough for me to think that he's going to be a worthwhile antagonist. Unless the antagonist is the bionics themselves, which might be kind of cool. In that case, it would have been nice to get a hint of that. It'll be nice to have women that kick ass on TV again, but I wish they weren't so bland and stuck in such a schizophrenic show.

Life, on the other hand, just feels like someone took a bunch of hit shows and blended them into one. It's House/Prison Break/CSI/any show with rich people as the protagonists. Damien Lewis is a terrific actor, and he's created a character here that almost works in spite of all of the writerly quirks and affectations the creator piles on our hero. But the show itself, while admirable in how sturdy it is, just feels like every other cop show with a lone wolf hero out there. House worked because it reclaimed the lone wolf hero from the cop genre and tossed it, disconcertingly, into the world of medicine. If NBC wanted a House clone, why didn't they set it in a law firm or a high school or something? Bah.

Anyway, I didn't watch Kid Nation tonight. Anyone have thoughts on it or the second episode of Back to You, which was marginally better than the pilot, but not enough better to make me think that this is the second coming of the sitcom?


Marilyn said...

I was disappointed, too. I thought BW was boring, and I really didn't care about any of the characters or even understand much about who they are. Didn't see any reason to like the snotty teenager. And yes, Katee Sackhoff was the best part.

Carrie said...

I think they did everything wrong with the Bionic Woman pilot. The tone was so dour and dull, the dialogue was laughable and the acting was mostly subpar (aside from the awesome Katee Sackhoff). The biggest mistake, besides casting bland Michelle Ryan, was putting the best action sequence at the end and then cutting the hell out of it so you couldn't even understand what was going on. I'm going to give it a few episodes but I was sorely disappointed.

I've got nothing profound to say about it, but I'm still loving Kid Nation.

Joey Sims said...

I surprised myself by quite liking Life. It's not very original, but it's beautiful shot, the tone is nicely sombre and it boasts a fantastic lead performance from Damian Lewis. I don't know if my affection for it will last, but as long as it does I'll keep watching.