Terminator is stuck in the mud

by Paul William Tenny

I got so bored with Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, that I let five or six episodes build up on my DVR before I was forced to watch them for fear of running out of free space on the thing. A friend of mine told me that it had been getting better over the last few weeks and while I was dubious, I will concede the point. SCC has improved over the past month+, but not enough to make me want to watch it the same way that I want to watch Heroes, or House.

Being able to watch four or five in a row without commercials makes practically any show better, such that it's tempting to just skip watching them first-run and then pick them up on DVD a year later.

I won't be buying SCC on DVD.
You know what this show reminds me of though? Law & Order.

Not talking about quality here, just that this show seems like it wants to be a serial drama, and I think that Fox may have thought it was getting a serial drama, but it's nothing but a run-of-the-mill episodic drama. With maybe one or two exceptions I think you could easily afford to miss an entire month of this show and still understand everything that's going on, and that's the worst problem it has -- beyond constantly violating canon from the movies and the uninspired stories, that is.

Stuck in the mud is a good way to describe SCC, it's literally not moving forward at all. It's the same formula every week. Cameron gets a little more crazy every week, John gets a little more angsty and retarded -- this guy is supposed to be the savior of our race and the little shit ran off to Mexico to hang out with his girlfriend for the weekend nearly getting himself and everyone around him killed -- his mother yells at him some more, and Brian Austin Greene...well, he's kind of a story all unto himself. To be honest, the way things have played out, I think I would have opted for a series revolving around him than this version of Sarah and John Connor, because I just don't give a damn about either of them.

With such a rich foundation laid by James Cameron, it's almost automatic that you'd want to structure the series to move, piece by piece, closer to Judgment Day. But I don't get that sense at all, if anything it feels like the story hasn't progressed since the pilot.

I know how easy it is to get addicted to, and over use the "raise the ante" formula of story telling (just ask the producers of 24) but you can't avoid it altogether.

I don't know that SCC was ever meant to be a reboot of the Terminator universe but at this rate it's more like a retread, and a very poor one at that.

At this point even I'd support a reboot, just so long as the people doing it had an interesting vision for it.

You want something bold? Me too, so why not challenge the audience a little bit? Just because the movies only dealt with terminators doesn't mean that's all there ever has to be in that universe. There were other killing machines in the future and we don't know anything about future AI beyond Skynet, so why not explore that? Why not take us there instead of crying about it all the time?

Just seems like such an incredible waste.
in Television


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