The summer season seems to be full swing. HB0 and Syfy seem to have some winners or at least some non-losers on their schedules.
Hit: Syfy’s Alphas
. I wasn’t planning to watch this show until my partner – who doesn’t watch nearly as much television as I do – told me he saw the pilot and loved it. I watched the pilot episode and was pleased. In some ways it was what I desperately wanted Heroes
to be. But what I liked the most about it was that the “super powers” portrayed weren’t necessarily super at all. Each member of the alphas team seems to have more of an enhanced ability. Their powers come from real sources in their brains. It is exploring the full spectrum of human potential. I think this would be interesting to those of us magically or spiritually minded.
The second episode aired last night. I enjoyed it as much as the first. Looks like, as of right now, the concept will be an “Alpha of the Week” storyline. I cant wait to see what kinds of enhanced human abilities they continue to come up with week to week. Check it out – it is available on your cable’s On Demand, streaming at the Syfy page, and airs Mondays at 10pm.
Miss: Torchwood Miracle Day on Starz
. I really wanted to like this. I was a huge fan of the show when it was on BBC (America). I liked that it was a somewhat grown up version of Doctor Who. However, the move to Starz might have been the wrong choice for producers. The premier episode played out like a parody of “American Television” ™ and I don’t think that was what they were going for. It was as though they said “oh yeah, American’s really like stuff like this” without taking in to account the actual story they were trying to tell. The theme of the show deals with immortality and I am curious so I’ll probably keep watching, but not as “must see” TV.
I just watched the second episode last night as well and was equally as disappointed. It occurred to me that it just doesn’t feel like Torchwood. Sure, something supernatural is going on but it is missing some sort of oomph. The last Torchwood project was also a “mini series” (Children of Earth
) but it felt like the same show. So far, the only thing I like about it is Bill Pullman
‘s portrayal of a murderer who gets out of jail free on a “beautiful technicality”.
: Syfy’s Haven
. I admit, I really enjoyed this how last year. It isn’t a blockbuster. It probably isn’t even something that most people would like, but it makes for a nice summer series if you’re trying to stay cool indoors. It does deal with magic in some form or another. The show is very loosely based on a Stephen King book – but the operative word is loosely. If you watch it expecting anything to do with the book The Colorado Kid
, you will be sorely disappointed. I think it might have been better served just being considered its own story. It centers on a sleepy town in Maine called Haven where weird stuff happens. They call it The Troubles and our intrepid law enforcement team with the requisite sexual tension spend each episode tracking down the troubled person and helping them overcome it.
And now, some True Blood
. The fourth episode aired on Sunday, July 17th and like the first three it had high and low parts. I keep forgetting to mention the Evil Baby storyline. It is completely original to the series and I find it appropriately creepy. I’m curious to see how that will play out and if it will intermingle with the witchy plot of the season. I’m not yet disappointed by the Witches in the story. In this episode, we learned that there was a situation in Spain centuries ago where one rogue “Witch” caused, apparently, much trouble for the then-hidden vampires. And we quickly learn that it is that witch who is taking up residence in the mind of simple Wiccan, Marnie. I think Marnie is stellar. Frankly, I think she is authentic. I know a lot of folks like her – relatively normal but a little quirky and completely devoted to the Goddess and their spirit guides. Unlike the books, she doesn’t seem to be in control of her actions against the vampires but also her actions seem a little more realistic (well, considering the supernatural basis for them). As opposed to just a “bad witch” who just wants to control the vamps, she is actually a regular witch possessed by someone with a several hundred year grudge against the vamps. Much more reasonable.
I understand that some people are concerned about Jason’s story. I had mentioned it in passing last week and kind of blew it off as a story line that I like, but didn’t really address the violence. This was an aspect of Jason’s story that I really loved from the books and I guess maybe I’m not surprised that this was the way the producers chose to portray it. Because Charlaine Harris’s books are told from Sookie’s point of view, it is difficult to dive into the real background of the side stories. Instead, it comes down to things that Sookie observes or what Jason tells her directly. Reading the books, we didn’t get a real taste for what Jason really went through. In the series, I am intrigued by this inbred were-panther community and I am not at all surprised that this is how they would deal with Jason. I am appropriately horrified, but I know in general how it ends and would like to see if the producers take it there.