Friday, September 12, 2008

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - Season 1

I would have preferred to see the Terminator franchise end after the second movie, because it wrapped everything up perfectly, but if they insist on bringing me more entertainment featuring killer robots from the future, I don't have much of a problem watching it. The third movie's plot should be ignored, but it was still an entertaining action movie, and the new show, which just started its second season, is pretty much the same way. It takes place in an alternate reality from the third movie in the current day. For the most part, it sticks with and adds to the universe, but it doesn't obey all the rules as much as it should. The main reason the robots have human flesh, besides blending in, is that only organic matter can pass through the time travel thing, which is why everybody shows up naked (ha ha, naked). The show acknowledges this, but then allows the exploded exoskeleton of a Terminator that's been pursuing the protagonists pass through and then reform itself later. This simply shouldn't have happened, and it's not like there's a shortage of other machines trying to kill the good guys. I also don't like it when shows or movies that involve time travel both feature the characters trying to change the future and doing something to make sure the future goes the way they remember it. I'm sure the movies did it too, but it sticks out here. "Hey, there's no wall here in the future! Probably because we blow it up right now!" "But what about the fact that stopping Skynet from forming now would prevent us from going back to the past to do it?" "Shut up, I'm blowing the wall! Yeah!"

Logical conundrums aside, it's a pretty entertaining show. It stars the queen from 300 as Sarah, the healing girl's lame friend from Heroes as John, and that weird chick from Firefly as Cameron, the new friendly Terminator. Her characterization is a bit weird, because at first she seems very natural and friendly to John, but as soon as they reveal she's a robot, she starts acting like all the others. She has moments of more human-like mannerisms, but they haven't done a lot with that yet. I don't understand the logic behind making a Terminator that's small and flexible when all the others are big, burly men, but she can usually hold her own in a one on one fight. So far, it's pretty much what you'd expect from a Terminator show. Fairly interesting science fiction storylines, decent horror elements, good action. The series has to have a huge budget for blowing stuff up. It's not as big as the movies, but it's pretty destructive. The cast does a decent job too, although no one plays an emotionless killer robot like Arnold. Like most programs that attempt it, it frequently falls on its face when getting technical ("My chess robot has the guts of three X-Boxes and four Playstations daisy-chained together!"), but at least they're trying. The season definitely got better as it went on, and the new episode on Monday promised more cool things to come.

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