Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Eat This, Not That

It turns out that the new show I'm most excited about is not at all science fiction or horror related. At first glance I thought it would be 'Revolution' or '666 Park Avenue.' After all 'Revolution' has a scifi flare and a pedigree that includes Eric Kripke (Supernatural) and J.J. Abrams (Star Trek and Allias). '666 Park Avenue' was supposed to be the next 'American Horror Story.' But nope. 'Revolution' is "all fur coat, no knickers," as the phrase goes. And '666 Park Avenue' was poorly written and worst of all...boring.
'Last Resort'
Surprisingly, the show I have most enjoyed is 'Last Resort,' starring Andre Braugher and Scott Speedman. 'Last Resort' is the geo-political drama about a rogue submarine captain and his crew who disobey direct orders to fire nuclear weapons at Pakinstan due to inconsistencies in the chain of command. When they are fired upon by their own people, they take over a NATO early warning station on a tropical island and set themselves up as the world's smallest nuclear power. Great concept, great acting, albeit in a rushed first episode. However, the episode was tight and smartly written. I am excited to tune in for more. Check out IGN's review of the first episode.

Billy Burke, Elizabeth Mitchell, Giancarlo Esposito, and Tracy Spiridakos in 'Revolution.'
For those who haven't waded into the tainted waters of 'Revolution,' the series is set 15 years after a devastating blackout, which has been caused by an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP). All electricity on earth has been wiped out (for reasons unknown). America is now a 'Hunger Games' type world with rogue militias, peaceful farming communities, and feudal lords--minus the electricity. But as my husband so eloquently described...'Revolution' makes no sense. I'm not the only one who feels this way. Check out the Ghost Little's article.

An EMP would never be able to wipe out all of the world's electricity. And even if it did, it would not be permanent, as there are still people who know the mechanics of making electricity. Ok, "so what" you say. Perhaps America needs to become the next Middle Earth, but what about steam engines? What about coal? What about combustion engines, which do not depend on electrical components? As I said, 'Revolution' makes no sense. But that's fine. I can suspend my disbelief for a good show, but 'Revolution' just doesn't deliver.

The worst part of 'Revolution' is the lead character Charlie Matheson, played by Tracy Spiridakos. Spiridakos is the worst kind of damsel in distress. She's a gorgeous tough-as-nails tom-boy who walks and talks tough (ok fine), but she can't deliver. She sure can climb up old RV campers, but she can't seem to fight her way out of a paper bag, nor use the weapon she carries, which in this case is a bow and arrow. Katniss Everdeen she is NOT. Charlie has to be saved by her budding love interest, who happens to be a gorgeous marauder played by JD Pardo. Ok fine, but what about the rest of the story? Although in the 2nd episode Charlie did finally end someone with a homemade gun-- so I guess kudos for that.

Spiridakos is best known for a bit role as a doublemint twin/werewolf on the U.S. version of 'Being Human.' Spiridakos was pretty good in 'Being Human,' so her lackluster performance in 'Revolution' is likely due to poor scripts and direction. I expected more from Eric Kripke, the creator of my beloved 'Supernatural' and J.J. Abrams. I could be wrong about 'Revolution.' Perhaps it's too early to call it. If you want a different take on it read the Los Angeles Time's article.

Note: 'Revolution' has just been picked up for a full season by NBC. We will see if it gets better.

Terry O'Quinn and Vanessa Williams in '666 Park Avenue.'
'666 Park Avenue'
I really wanted to like this show starring scifi darling Terry O'Quinn and queen bee Vanessa Williams, but alas I don't. '666 Park Avenue' is about a New York coop to die for...literally.  I know that New York real estate is expensive, but seriously? Why not just move or live in Brooklyn? The premise itself is incredibly simplistic. A young, impossibly good looking, well-educated couple decide to take a job managing a historic apartment building, called 'The Drake.' Needless to say, The Drake is full of secret Faustian deals, ghosts, and desperate people. Think 'Needful Things' meets 'The Devil's Advocate,' without the punch.

The strange happenings seem to originate with the building's mysterious owners, O'Quinn and Williams. As much as I dislike Ryan Murphy for 'Glee,' Murphy was smart enough to realize that 'American Horror Story' had to change the venue after 12 episodes. A haunted house can only be "so" haunted after a while. I do not see such foresight in '666 Park Avenue.' However, as I adore both O'Quinn and Williams, I will give it a few more episodes. 


  1. I watched the pilot of Last Resort. I agree it felt rushed. Unfortunately, I didn't find it to be that well written. They won't fire on Pakistan, but they will fire on their own country? And how would no one but the Captain know where the missile was targeted? He didn't program it and launch it. And just because it didn't physically hit a city doesn't mean there won't be long term negative effects for people who used to fish the east coast for a living, and that's assuming prevailing winds will push the radiation to Europe rather than back to the coast.

    I haven't watched Revolution yet. Having read your description it sounds like it makes even less sense than Last Resort and that would bug me.

  2. I agree. There's a certain amount of suspended disbelief. But overall I enjoyed it. I felt like it improved in the 2nd and 3rd episodes.

    'Revolution' however makes no sense.


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