Assorted TV notes

A few thoughts and items re TV stuff:

  • Glad to hear the WGA strike seems likely to end tomorrow.
  • Have now watched a couple of episodes of The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and am really liking it so far. It certainly has flaws (and it's not going to replace BSG or Dr. Who at the top of my list anytime soon), but it keeps providing surprises and nice emotional moments. I'm not sure yet how I feel about it taking place in a different timeline from T3; unlike many other people, I liked T3. But I like the characters and the writing so far, and I like the actors (I like Thomas Dekker (Zach from Heroes) and Summer Glau (River from Firefly) in this much more than I've liked them in other things), and I like that it's continuing the tradition of the Terminator movies' examination of questions of destiny vs. free will.
  • I had decided, after season 1, to give up on Torchwood, but then Wendy told me about a particular irresistible guest star who's going to appear in it, so I've been recording it. And I watched the first episode the other day, and though it was full of huge plot and character holes, it was a lot of fun. And I kept looking at Capt. John and saying "He looks like Spike crossed with someone or other, I wonder who the actor is," only to have Kam tell me later that in fact it was James (Spike) Marsters. He's not quite as hot in this as he was in Buffy, but he still has great cheekbones, and watching him with Capt. Jack was delightful, even if it was some of the most blatant fanservice I've ever seen.
  • I've been taping some of the complete Jane Austen series on PBS. Watched their Persuasion the other night--I wasn't expecting to actually watch the whole thing (I'd heard bad things about it), so didn't want to watch it with someone else and have to negotiate whether it was okay to stop in the middle or not. It turned out to be just barely interesting enough to keep me from shutting it off, but it was a near thing. But I'm looking forward to their Northanger Abbey, which from the preview looks entertainingly (and appropriately) over-the-top.
  • Wondering when/whether your favorite shows will return to TV, assuming the strike is called off tomorrow as expected? See the broadcast TV list and the cable TV list. In particular, according to info collated from both of those pages, BSG will air the first half of season 4 (ten episodes) starting April 4. Comments on the first list indicate that the second half of season 4 may not air for another year (!); I'm hoping that's not true. . . . Oh, and here's another, more detailed, broadcast TV list. Note that there'll be no more Heroes 'til the fall.

6 Responses to “Assorted TV notes”

  1. Amy

    Oh, man, James Marsters fanservice? I hope clips show up online – I’ve only ever seen one scene from Torchwood (the one you’d probably think ::grin::) and a show with scenes like that *plus* James Marsters… oh my!

    Regarding Persuasion, two questions: one, why the heck did she keep staring directly at the camera, what was up with that, and two, why did they rewrite the climax to involve her jogging ridiculously all over Bath instead of the awesome original scene? These are not really questions for you so much as for the creative team involved; I think the story has as much potential as any of the successfully-filmed novels, but I was quite disappointed in what they did with it.

  2. Dan P

    Is this a produced-specifically-for-PBS Jane Austen series? Or a sort of anthology of previous productions?

    I very much enjoyed the movie of Persuasion that was out in theaters in, um, 1995? I’m not sure, IMDB seems to have tagged the adaptation I’m thinking of as a television version. I’m embarrassed to say, though, that I don’t know how true that adaptation was to the book.

  3. Ted

    It’s a combination of new productions and rebroadcasts of older ones: see here for more information. They did a new production of Persuasion; the one from 1995 originally aired on TV in Britain, but was a theatrical release in the US.

  4. Jed

    Amy: There are actually several scenes from Torchwood that I can imagine you might mean, given this context and your comment, but I’m guessing that it involved dancing, and a kiss?

    …Btw, when I went looking for clips just now, I found a lovely DVD extra of Captain Jack singing “Anything Goes”, though it probably isn’t nearly as much fun if you don’t know the character.

    …There are definitely clips online of various scenes from the Marsters episode–it’s episode 2×01, “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.” I was going to point you to one such clip, but it’s nearly 10 minutes of material from a 45-minute-long episode, which seems kind of excessive for a clip. But should be easy enough to find if you look for it.

    Re Persuasion: Didn’t notice the camera-staring particularly. I agree that the jogging-all-over-town climax was ridiculous; I assume that they felt Anne had been too passive throughout the movie, and that they needed to give her something active to do, but boy, what a mistake.

    Dan: Good question; when I tried to find that out a couple weeks ago, it took way too long to get the answers. As far as I can tell, it’s a mix.

    This was indeed a newly filmed 2007 Persuasion, starring Sally Hawkins, not the 1995 Persuasion (starring Amanda Root and Ciarán Hinds) that was heretofore the best-known version. The 1995 version was produced by the BBC and appeared on BBC TV, but it was released in theatres in the US and elsewhere. It didn’t do much for me, but Arthur E loved it; anyway, the novel of Persuasion is not one of my favorites of Austen’s, so I’m the wrong person to judge the film versions. I think my order of liking the Austen books goes roughly Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Persuasion, Mansfield Park.

    I believe that the PBS Complete Jane Austen versions of most of the others are also originals. They’re showing the definitive 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries (the excellent Colin Firth version), and possibly one of the others is also a re-showing of an existing version, but I’m having a hard time figuring out which, if any. They’ve also got a new Austen biopic, Miss Austen Regrets, which looks pretty uninteresting to me. I think rather than TiVoing the P&P, I’ll just rent the DVDs at some point; I loved it when I first saw it, but I’m not sure it’s time for me to see it again.

  5. Jed

    Oops–Ted posted while I was in the middle of writing that long comment. Sorry for my repeating info.

    And thanks for the link, Ted! That finally explains my confusion–they had said there were two non-originals, but I couldn’t figure out which the second one was. Turns out that in addition to the 1996 theatrical-release Gwyneth Paltrow Emma, which I saw in the theatre at the time, there was a 1996 British TV Emma starring Kate Beckinsale, which I haven’t seen, and it’s the latter that PBS is showing.

    Also, Ted’s link makes clear that these new versions were mostly made for British TV rather than for PBS per se.

  6. Amy

    Yes, dancing and a kiss.

    Ten minutes is definitely *not* excessive for a clip in this case. I’ve been shouting “kiss him!” at TV screens for years now and they *never* actually do. So pretty. So hot. Damn. Why the hell am I watching Lost and Heroes when I could be watching John Barrowman kiss boys? Plot? If that’s how they, uh, service their fans, who needs plot? I liked the “Anything Goes” clip too… I think I’ve picked up a few things about the character, and even if I’m wrong, he’s a beautiful man singing Cole Porter, that’s enough right there. ::grin::


Join the Conversation