Stargate, DS9 and other Heroes

I once compared Prison Break with Shawshank Redemption and I wanted to talk about other typical TV shows from the last 20 years or so, where it all goes and what I miss so much about the recent shows. Just to go quickly through what I liked and what not. I liked Star Trek Deep Space 9 – this is one of those long term relationships – and very similar it is with Star Trek: SG1 and Atlantis. I liked 24 (wrote about it here…). I liked Dexter though I stopped after second season and I simply don’t want to go on to the fourth season to see her dead (ok, I saw that scene, obviously :-)) – but Dexter was really refreshing. I liked first season of Tudors (but I’m not much interested in the next parts) and I really liked fantastic Game Of Thrones – though they really should not let “Boromir” die. So, sci-fi, fantasy, semi-historic, action – I like it all, though sci-fi is probably my favourite.

What I liked less was Battlestar Galactica – how I like it in overall, I just can’t stand those shifts in characters. You just don’t know what to believe. When T’ealc becomes enemy of the rest of guys from SG1, you just know that he is sick or something. You know your heroes. But BSG? You just never know what to believe. And I don’t think that Stargate show doesn’t have interesting twists here and there. But not so crazy like BSG. Or, when I wrote word heroes – I remembered my probably biggest let-down. I watched two season of Heroes. Concept, visuals, idea – all great. But so much of stupidity, so many cliches with the bad guy always running away. And then time-shifting with good heroes becoming bed. All those wannabe surprises and forced shocks – after that an episode from Stargate or DS9 just caresses me so nicely!

I don’t know what is wrong with some of these new shows. Are we running out of ideas? Do we need to push the limits further no matter what? Probably yes. A have to admit that I was able to watch BSG all the way through and I was generally satisfied in the end. I also watched Razor and The Plan – and it was nice to go the whole way. I never forget Galactica going down the atmosphere on New Caprica or Pegasus down taking few cylon star bases with it. Those were magnificent scenes and for those I can forgive the big of mystery that somehow wasn’t believable for me (especially around the final five).

Once I tried Buffy the Vampire Slayer – and while it was fun it somehow didn’t grow on me (though I definitely liked Buffy :-)). Lately I read regularly (from the old ones to the newer) and there are many hints on Firefly show. Because it wasn’t the first time I’ve heard about it, I decided to check it – and with 14 episodes total + one movie (Serenity) it was quite a brief encounter. And I was more than satisfied! Not only there was that lovely doctor from Atlantis and beautiful cold Adria from SG1 (both of it shot after the Firefly actually) the whole stuff was well thought out, mix of sci-fi and western was very catchy, but without cliches, scripts are indeed great and final movie was just overwhelming. If you don’t know what Buffy and Firefly have in common – Joss Whedon is the man – and that’s why they are in this single paragraph. (Watching the Firefly was also good thing for some further xkcd reading. :-))

After Firefly (not that my life is divided to B.F. and A.F.) I somehow got more and more suspicious that “classic” series are the matter of past. Now it’s important to compete with BSG, Heroes and Prison Break. Well… whatever people want. New music is still good (among tons of cheap stuff) and so will be TV shows I guess. I can still see the chance there – Game Of Thrones for instance, although it’s not something that would “caress” me like Stargate. Or The Firefly. Or the fond humour in DS9.

Of course your mileage may vary – but I bet there are other people out there that must have very similar feeling. And don’t simplify it just to “you’re getting old!”


Prison Break Redemption

It’s now some time ago when I started to watch Prison Break. You know – words, recommendations… hype. And it was great actually. From the start. I was kinda surprised that semi-genius Michael can’t remember all those plans but whatever… tattoo was cool. At the start. When I realized that he wants to plan his escape throughout the whole first season I was even able to pardon him some (for me) unnecessary story complications. Hm – when I read last sentence after myself it seems that I personify the whole show into Michael himself – which is partially true. I was often tired of his new ideas although he always was rather the brighter side of the whole story. I considered Prison Break to be great – from the start – and I still thought that it’s a good show towards the end of the season. What bothered me was their escape itself. With all those cars behind at the very end of the season 1 it was really unbelievable they didn’t get caught right at the very beginning of the second season.

Second season was major problem for me really. Mahone was nice addition, politics background was nice touch too. But what to say about absurdly stupid final deeds of Veronica? What to say about just another episode with Michael using his tattoos? Why so many people did so many things on their own without telling anyone? But what I disliked the most on the whole show – or who – it was T-Bag. His tongue drove me crazy after some time. Strange thing was that while the other escapees wanted to kill him while he was bound to Michael they somehow forgot to do so after his hand was cut off. Strange. Short memory perhaps. Or his strong aura of some kind… I don’t know. He single-handedly killed probably more people than Mahone during his hunt. T-Bag simply was my allergen. Also other things concerned me – Bellick’s IQ seemed to be much higher in the second season. Too many people did too many unexpected things. Don’t get me wrong, I like surprises – but I’d like to believe them first.

Finally in the third season (that I watched rather habitually) came that moment – Sara’s death. I stopped. Yeah, I know (now) that she’s not dead (probably). I believe they will revive her better way than Bobby was revived in Dallas. ­čśë Anyway – Prison Break was by far the biggest disappointment from all series I started to watch. And in those desperate times sudden redemption came to save me – The Shawshank Redemption – to be precise.

Movie is older than Prison Break although not that much – it’s from 1995. Knowing this I have to admit that it felt a bit old-schoolish – can’t say exactly why. I can’t recall any special effects, I can’t recall anything that couldn’t be filmed in 80ties or even sooner. Also the plot time frame helped it a lot. Instead of effects I saw touching story that probably is not so catchy like in many present movies. I like the way how Andy works his way in the prison, how he gains respect throughout the film. I like how smart he is but I ultimately like that he’s the good guy. ­čÖé Not perfect, not altruistic over the top – but nice. How he’s strong to stay that way and not to bend after a while like probably the most inmates do. I don’t want to spoil it too much so I leave further details out. I like this movie – it’s slower in pace but after all it tells the whole Prison Break in around 140 minutes. It’s build upon great acting, simple yet strong story and it gives you hope in the end. You might not like it of course, there is no film for everyone – but I like it and I can clearly recommend it. And when it comes to Prison Break and you rather watch Redemption instead – you’ll save a lot of your life time really. ­čśë (Even with Sara revived.)