TV Talk

I've taken a minor break from the "catch up on Babylon 5" project, in order to institute the "catch up on Lost" project. Geez, you'd think I was an art director lost in the Land of the Rising Sun, wouldn't you? But this was necessary because B5 doesn't have new episodes this fall, and Lost does, so there you go. I finished season 4 of B5 and from what I understand it's all downhill from there anyway. I'll go back and catch season 5 and the movies later.

So you can imagine my slight confusion to catch the actress who played D'lenn in Lost. Plus a hobbit is in the mix as well. But I digress.

B5 was worth watching, but I didn't find it as great as usually advertised. I suspect that has to do with chronology. When it originally aired the only real contemporary SF would be Star Trek: The Next Generation, and I can see how in comparision it would seem very fresh and exciting. But I can compare it to Battlestar Galactica, and it doesn't come off well in that comparision. Of course I can also see the historical side and realize that BSG might well owe its existence to B5 proving that interesting SF with long story-arcs has a home on television.

Lost seems pretty cool so far, but I'm less than halfway through the first season, so I will discourage discussion of it until I'm caught up. :-) At my current rate of consumption (limited by Netflix queues and shipping times) I'll finish season one right around the time season two is released on DVD - thus saving me from any shaky BitTorrid affairs with that darn internet. I doubt I'll finish season 2 before season 3 starts, but I'll finish it before stacking up five episodes on the TiVo - which is when you start requiring drastic measures.

One thing that I will mention about Lost is that the commentaries are fantastic. They use seamless branching to great effect. During the pilot they discuss some of the FX shots early on, when the plane wreckage is still on fire and stuff is collapsing. Then they actually say in the commentary, "In fact, stop the film right here", the screen fades to black and then they show some of the daily footage - without the FX added. Later they show some footage where a take goes wrong and generally discuss the shot. When they are done they say "OK, roll the film again" and the show picks up where they stopped it. Very cool.

Is anybody else watching Eureka? The two hour pilot was pretty s . . l . . o . . w, I wouldn't blame somebody for giving up after that. But if you did, give it another chance. The pacing picks up, and it has a certain quirky charm. It also is a bit less predictable than the pilot implies. While there still is a MacGuffin of the week, they are doing some development from episode to episode and things carrying from one ep to the next. It's not epic TV, but it's fun and there is a little more depth to it than I expected at first glance. If you've been looking for some sci-fi filler on your TiVo (what to do in the three days it takes to get a new disc from Netflix?) check it out.

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