Tuesday, February 05, 2008

"If you're gonna be a hero, you need to learn how to drive stick.": The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Right now, Sarah Connor Chronicles is really reminding me of Prison Break’s second season. Episodes full of characters travelling from one place to another, a lot of running away from somewhere or towards somewhere else, and scripts which spend far too much attention on exposition and not nearly enough on actual drama. Excluding the pilot, I’ve felt this of every Chronicles episode so far – while the plot has been (very) slowly building towards something potentially interesting, too much action has been devoted to this journey, which is a boring one at that. I’m getting a sense of the show’s wider mythology, but no sense that it can pull off compelling contained storylines.

For instance, this week’s episode chiefly concerned John getting separated from Sarah and Cameron. (That takes fifteen minutes to even happen – first we’re treated to a lot of repetitive bickering between the three principals.) We cut between John in the back of a truck and Sarah and Cameron searching for him, neither strand feeling like any more than a means to an end. I never believed John was in any danger, mostly because he was up against the most short-sighted Terminator ever. The climax, if you could call it that, put a wall and an now-inatimate Terminator between our separated heroes, resulting in maybe one minute of action and a whole lot of standing around. The situation was obviously supposed to be tense, but I felt nothing except frustration.

Meanwhile, Ellison continues to have the most boring job ever. I was barely even listening during his scenes, but I gathered that everyone thinks he’s crazy for pursuing a hopeless case. No surprise there. He had some scenes with Garret Dillahunt, an excellent actor whose presence I had hoped would liven up the proceedings. Not yet – but then he’s only just taken on the Terminator role, so I’ll give him another episode.

However, unless Dillahunt is an arresting enough villain to merit continued coverage, I’m done recapping this show. It’s not nearly as boring to watch as it is to write about.

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