Terminator spin-off did everything wrong

by Paul William Tenny

terminator.jpgI'm looking forward to the season finale of Stargate Atlantis this evening, and don't forget there is supposed to be a one-minute long preview for the SG-1 straight-to-DVD movie sometime during the broadcast. The episode looks great and puts a strong finish on this season, so congrats to all of them for getting it done and earning a fifth season.

Sometime this weekend I imagine I'll end up watching the "season" finale of the Terminator spin-off. Can you even call nine episodes a season? How can nine episodes here, and 22 episodes over there both be considered a season? One is clearly less than half of the other, so if you ask me, and I know you didn't, it's really stretching reality beyond the breaking point.
I read that the ratings ticked up slightly for the half-season finale, which is good for them, but it's not going to be good enough. I mean sure, Fox will keep it alive for another six or nine "just to see", but they'll wrap it after that. Too much money to be spending for a 7 or an 8 in the ratings. It was doomed right from the outset, I think. They had a chance to do something entirely new, or take the next logical and progressive step, or just rehash, and Josh Friedman chose to rehash.

Other than the finale which I haven't seen, everything produced so far as been a low quality, boring rehash of the second Terminator film. Let's try something real quick.

* One terminator is sent back in time to kill John Connor and, if possible, his mother. Another is reprogrammed and sent back to protect him.

What is this synopsis for, the second film, or the TV show?

Yeah, now you get what I'm saying. It was an impossible task to turn the second film into a TV show without doing anything else, if not just because you will never, ever be able to what James Cameron did with it. He's that much better than everyone else is. The only option with any chance of success was to reboot, or extend, and they did neither.

If in the second chance Fox will probably give them, they realize this and take one of the other two paths, then I'll come back and give it a second chance. Barring that, there's not much else to grab and hold on to. Weak stories, fairly weak acting, no sense of direction at all. In the second film, they had a direction, and it was as brilliant as it was obvious: kill Skynet before it can destroy the world. It's as simplistic a reversal as you could ever have from the first film, where Skynet tried to kill Sarah, before she could have John, who would then go on and win the war.

Turn about is fair play; in the first film you tried to kill me, so in the second, I'm going to try killing you.

So what comes after that? What's the next logical thing to do? I don't know, I may be a writer of sorts but that's not a sandbox I'd feel comfortable playing in, but I can say with some bit of confidence that remaking T2 wasn't the right way to go.

Good luck to them and I hope they get things turned around, otherwise, I'll wait for the fourth film with Christian Bale (wait, there was a third film? Really?).
in Television


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