Moments of greatness but mostly mediocre Fox highschool melodrama
Apr 24, 2009
This was a really frustrating TV series that I'm sure won't get renewed, in that it would pull you into some fantastically elaborate plotlines and devices only to disappoint you endlessly. A couple of my friends are TV agents and we've frequently talked about how surprising it is that Fox could wreck the Terminator franchise, given the enormous royalties they're surely paying, and the obvious fan following that guarantees an audience. Yet they successfully ran this into the ground, from a solid 8-9mm (?) viewers at the beginning to a few school kids and a dog at the end.
As a writer, I think the Terminator concept is a perfect storytelling device. It's not really about computers or machines, it's about good and evil and the concept of a character that can do anything it wants (the Nietsche Supermen idea, etc.) The isolationist battle of the Connors, the legendary battle sequences - this is all high drama of classic proportions, and given the limitations of how far the characters can move emotionally from the setup, it's primed for weekly serialization on TV. But Fox managed to totally mess the whole thing up! How?!
There were some really excellent award-worthy episodes, but these were eclipsed by the dross that padded most of the journey. Critics joked that it was Terminator 90210, a high school drama with the not-unattractive Summer Glau staring blankly in every scene trying to be machine-like, and floppy-hair John Connor being emo 92% of the time, and yelling at mom the other 8%. In years to come, writers and producers will wonder how this show - that had the makings of being one of the biggest TV shows ever - was so badly fumbled that it became a forgettable mess to most people.
Still, I'm a Terminator die-hard. I'm hanging in for the next movie with wife/sister-beater and general lunatic Christian Bale. James Cameron must be pissed.
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