The Blue Box Blog

Emma Lou's adventures in Doctor Who fandom

Blue Box Blog Sidesteps: Rambling About Genre TV

Posted by emmahyam on November 12, 2011

It feels like theres been quite a lot going on in the sci fi/fantasy/genre TV world lately and I’ve been watching plenty of bits and bobs that I’ve been keen to write about, but nothing that felt long enough to justify a full blog post so I decided to throw it all down here and see what you all think about this stuff. A note of caution, there are SPOILERS for all the shows below up to their episode of current UK transmission, so please read at with care. First up…

The Fades:  I liked this interesting little show, its got its flaws for sure, at time it could be too juvenile, the pop culture references could sometimes feel forced and the drama seemed to move at too slow a pace, however these minor gripes aside its got bags of potential for another series. It was visually stunning, the mythology of the show was brilliantly set up and the characters were well thought out and sympathetic. Handled right this could easily be a success in the mold of “Being Human”, a move up to BBC 2 and few more pennies spent on the effects could move this show from ‘good’ to ‘great’. TV in the UK lacks a show that aims for out and out horror in the way that The Walking Dead does in the US and its important than even if The Fades doesn’t make a return that these sort of shows are made.

The Walking Dead: The second series has just started here in the UK, running about a week behind the US, I had plenty of problems with the first season of the show (see my epic post ranting about it on this here humble blog) and they were almost enough to put me off watching the second season all together. Despite my reservations I’ve enjoyed the first three episodes far more than anything since that stunning pilot, things still grate on me a little though, the continual stupid decisions made by the group and the marginalization of characters like T-Dog and Glenn in favour of Rick and his family. The cut in budget the show took from the network is beginning to become evident, with some of the zombies looking a bit cheap. I also wonder how they’re going to sustain the drama over 13 episodes with Carl’s predicament and Sophia’s disappearance already starting to feel dragged out, even though we’re only 4 episodes in. This being said they’re are still plenty of reasons to watch, primarily for me, what on Earth Shane will do next, his motivations are mysterious and he appears to be getting more and more unhinged as signified by him shaving his head in episode 3. I’m also pretty intrigued by Daryl, the softening of his character seems pretty deliberate and hes easily the most competent of the group. This mean hes probably doomed to die horribly. The show has already been renewed for a third season and I think the production team is going to be faced with some increasingly hard choices regarding  just how much of the comics plot line they can put on TV.

Supernatural: Just finished watching the sixth season (yes I know I’m terribly behind) and despite some of the negative buzz I actually enjoyed this season quite a lot, I think it suffered from having to continue an arc beyond its prescribed life span, the early episodes felt unfocused and inconsequential as if the show couldn’t quite decide whether to return to a more “monster of the week” format or start a new arc story. Once it found its feet those Winchester boys were as good as ever and the supporting cast were also excellent, Castiel being the stand out, I loved him in his showcase episode “The Man Who Would Be King”, I’m intrigued as to where season 7 is going to go with the arc, I’m starting to worry that they’re going to run out of Big Bads, having laid waste to daemonic entities of all nearly every type, the progenitor of all said monsters, Satan and most of the heavenly host!

Terra Nova: just a quick note on this one, I’d love to know what they’re doing with that 4 million dollar an episode budget because they’re certainly not spending it on dinosaur effects, if they’re managing more than one dino and episode I’d be amazed and frankly the one they did have in the most recent installment looked flipping awful. I don’t understand why a show that sells itself on the basis of being about people trying to survive on a prehistoric parallel Earth chooses to concentrate on said people having arguments either in living rooms or a clearing in the jungle. As a very famous singer once said – a little less conversation, a little more action please.

Fringe: Fringe seemed to be in an odd sort of holding pattern for its first 4 episodes of its fourth season, it almost seemed afraid to kick on with its story without Peter, returning once again to a season one “monster of the week” format. As such it was beginning to get frustrating, it seemed like they’re were a million questions left to be answered at the end of season 3 and the producers were actively cocking a snook at viewers by ignoring them all together. Thankfully with the reappearance of Peter the story has really got going, with more going down in episode 5 than in the previous four installments, however I really hope they’re going to make more of the fact that they’re in contact with the “Over There” team, this story line feels totally neglected and I want to know what the Walternate is up to!

Buffy and Angel: Myself and my other half have embarked on a rewatch of the seminal Joss Whedon shows, watching them in broadcast order, I’m finding it a quite rewarding way to watch, especially as living in the UK means we often got shows months after their US transmission and sometimes edited bizarrely, or shown in the wrong order, thus rendering the intertwined story nonsensical. We’re in the fourth season of Buffy/first season of Angel and I must confess I’m enjoying Angel a great deal more, I hated Buffy season four on the first time around and now I know whats going to happen it seems interminable. Its thirteen episodes before we finally meet our Big Bad of the season, I found the whole concept of The Initiative fairly silly and the weakening of Buffy as a character (all that rubbish with Parker) was massively irritating, whereas with Angel I’m loving the beginning of their Myth Arc and the relationship between Angel, Cordy and Wesley. As a Doctor Who fan I’m finding the parallels between Buffy/Angel and Doctor Who/Torchwood really interesting, RTD cited Buffy and Angel as a major influence and doing this rewatch very much brings that home, especially comparing the tone of Angel to Buffy, it feels exactly like the Who/Torchwood relationship.

Are you watching any of these shows? I’d love to hear what you think, leave your comments below!


One Response to “Blue Box Blog Sidesteps: Rambling About Genre TV”

  1. I really like Warehouse 13, which just finished their 3rd season on SyFy. It seems to be a show that people either love or hate, I fall on the “love” side of that! Thing is, there is a lot of whimsy in the show, which I think American audiences some times don’t know how to handle. I think there is another show from the BBC that is full of whimsy that you and I both like quite a bit…

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