Tag Archive: Lost


Get your sci-fi fix with “Supernatural”

Tuesday: Sci Fi Exploration

After years of attempting to debut a successful science fiction pilot, the Big 5 networks seem to have accepted defeat at the hands of cable television. Viewers proved they are not interested in the sci fi fare offered by broadcast networks – “Reaper,” “Journeyman,” “Bionic Woman,” “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” and “Day Break” are among the sci fi shows that failed to make more than two seasons in the past three years. Instead, sci fi diehards turn to SyFy and BBC America to get their fix.

What does this mean for Doc Sonya’s recommendations to you? Since we’re exploring strictly broadcast shows, this means there are only a handful of sci fi shows even on the air, and of those, only one gets my recommendation.

Time to break up with…

  • “Heroes”
    “Heroes” is a classic example of a show that debuted a phenomenal first season, became too hyped, and suddenly failed to live up to its expectations. While it is somewhat expected for shows to experience a sophomore slump, “Heroes” never climbed out of the pitiful ditch it dug itself into. Now in season four, “Heroes” is exploring Claire’s sexuality (yawn), killing off/bringing back to life Nathan and Hiro (like they’re really going to kill off series regulars), and failing to capitalize on its breakout star, Zachary Quinto.

Bottom Line: Grab season one on DVD; skip the rest.

Flings: Don’t require a whole lot of commitment from you. If it’s on, watch it. If you get distracted by something shiny, you probably won’t miss too much.

  • “Flash Forward”

Flash Forward is ABC’s follow-up to megahit “Lost.” While it lacks the flair, intrigue, and mythology of Lost, “Flash Forward” has a fascinating premise – the issue is whether the execution is good so far.
The concept is that for two minutes and 17 seconds, everyone in the entire world blacked out and caught a glimpse of their lives six months in the future. Some premonitions were good, others bad, some intriguing, and some nonexistent. This show reminds me of CBS fan-favorite “Jericho” (2006-2008), which chronicled an isolated town dealing with a nuclear terrorist attack in America.

Bottom line: “FlashForward” would make for a fun disaster/action movie, but as a TV serial, it needs to pick up the pace and make the characters into people we actually care about, or it’ll meet “Jericho”’s demise.

Casual dating: These shows are not the crème de la crème of the genre, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have the potential. These are campy and/or guilty pleasures, just short of appointment TV but good enough that you’ll stick around to see the end of the episode. Feel free to indulge if you like what you see.

  • “The Vampire Diaries”
    This show is the CW’s response to the vampire trend, and for once, it seems like the CW actually made a decent creative decision. Based on the ’90s novels of the same name,”The Vampire Diaries” follows Elena, a teenager whose parents recently died in a car crash, as she navigates high school – with a vampire (no one knows, of course). Oh, and the vamp’s devious older brother spooks the town too.I like Ian Somerhalder (Boone from “Lost”) as older brother Damon. The rest of the characters, however, are written poorly and stereotypically; I wouldn’t be surprised if the character’s name on the script reads Best Friend or Main Character or Good Vampire. We don’t get a sense of a three-dimensional person on the show. We just see how an undeveloped personality reacts to events.Bottom Line: I won’t deny it’s a good choice for those into the vampire thing. However, for a similar premise but better characters/plots/actors, check out the WB’s “Roswell” on DVD. You won’t regret it

  • “Fringe”
    “Fringe” was a huge critical accolade when it debuted last fall, but the furor seems to have died down a bit since then. The show is about a team that investigates (you guessed it) the paranormal. “Fringe” does well with the mythology, meaning the overarching storyline is strong, sensational, and sometimes surprising. However, given that “Fringe” comes from “Alias” and “Lost” creator J.J. Abrams, I don’t think it is living up to its potential.Bottom Line: It’s a slightly more difficult show to get into than, say, “The Vampire Diaries. It’s also got a more serious overtone. Not bad for a show in its sophomore season, but it certainly has yet to find what it is creatively capable of.

Long-term dating: Arguably the best show currently on television…

  • “Supernatural”
    “Supernatural” debuted on The WB in 2005, the WB’s final year as a network. It stars my future husband Jensen Ackles Dean and Jared Padalecki as Sam, brothers who hunt things that go bump in the night. In a nutshell, Dean and Sam lost their mother to an evil demon when they were kids, causing their father to delve into the world of the paranormal and raise his sons as hunters.What started out as a procedural premise quickly turned into the most campy, addictive show on TV. While the standalone episodes are fun, witty and often scary, “Supernatural” creator Eric Kripke’s true mastery is the show’s mythology. There is more to Dean and Sam than the show ever let on during the first season, and now that “Supernatural” is in its fifth (and potentially final) season, viewers can see the threads that were sewn nearly four years ago. The show is unafraid to throw certain stereotypes on their heads. For instance, this season the mythology is stopping God’s angels (they’re the antagonists) from unleashing the Apocalypse – oh, and while Sam and Dean are at it, they need to locate God and stop Lucifer from rising.Whatever the season’s mythology, “Supernatural”’s strength is undoubtedly the bond between Sam and Dean, which is unlike any portrayal I’ve ever seen on TV. One second, the brothers are pulling a prank on each another, and the next, they’re making deals with demons to save each other’s lives.

Bottom line: Still not convinced? TV Guide magazine critic Matt Roush recently wrote, “My decision to get busy and catch up on (the previous seasons of) Supernatural was the best call I made all year.”

-Sonya Chudgar

Bad blood

tru blood

Vampires. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the beasts have sunken their fangs deep into pop culture and don’t intend to let go anytime soon. Vamps have been the “it” factor for more than a year now, but for me, vampire fatigue set in long ago. I’m tired of hearing about the overhyped “True Blood.” I deride The CW for launching yet another book-to-television revival in the form of “The Vampire Dairies.” And any mention of Robert Pattinson or Edward Cullen makes me want to chew my face off.

So how do we cope with pop culture failing us when we most need a new trend to talk about? Through mockery, of course. Here’s a rundown of eight ways to use the vamp trend to reinvigorate television.

Show Most in Need of a Vampire:

“Grey’s Anatomy”
This snoozer proved last season that it doesn’t mind scripting undead characters (hello, Denny). Ellen Pompeo’s whiny Meredith checks out early this season due to maternity leave, and Katherine Heigl recently announced she’ll skip five episodes to film the movie “Life As We Know It.” So what better time to throw a fanged villain into the mix? McBloody, anyone?

Runner up: “American Idol”

What you didn’t know was that Fox passed up this guy when they offered Ellen DeGeneres the chair of Paula Abdul:

count_von_count

Tough loss.

Show Most in Need of a Vampire Slayer:

“The Vampire Diaries”
For obvious reasons.

Runner up: “Bones”
It’s the perfect solution. Buffy slays Dr. Temperance Brennan, and then she and David Boreanaz’s Agent Booth Angel end up together at last.

Show with a Vampire that just needs to come out of the closet already:

“Gossip Girl”
I’m talking to you, Chuck Bass.

Runner up: “Lost”
Sawyer’s really an escapee from the “True Blood” clan. Just listen to his accent.

Network Most Likely to create a Vampire Crime Drama:

CBS
They already did it once: “Moonlight” (cancelled after just one season in 2008)

Runner Up: CBS
I hear “CSI: Forks” is already in the works.

Character Most Likely to Date a Vampire:

Sam Winchester, “Supernatural”
Sammy’s past hook-ups include Ruby, a demon who ultimately convinces him to open the doors to hell and thus jumpstart Armageddon; Madison, a girl who unknowingly morphs into a werewolf at night; and Jessica, Sam’s fiancée who was murdered by the same demon that killed his mother. Dating a vampire would be a tame choice for a change.

Runner up: Dwight Schrute, “The Office”
A) Dwight already believes in vampires (see season three “Business School” episode)
B) He is only 99 percent sure Ben Franklin is dead. 99 percent fact, 1 percent imagination.
C) He could defend himself against any possible attacks: He has the strength of a grown man and a little baby.

Character Most in Need of a Vampire Boyfriend/Girlfriend:

Vince Chase, “Entourage”
Anything to raise his faltering actor status, right?

Runner up: Annie Wilson, “90210”
Annie’s dumb. And this show is boring. It could use some “life.”

Character Most Likely to Kill a Vampire:

Jack Bauer, “24”
Terrorist or not, that bitch is going down.

Runner up: Echo, “Dollhouse”
Eliza Dushku’s Echo can be programmed to take on any persona and thus perform any action. So, obviously, the Dollhouse need only program Echo to become a vampire slayer, and Faith is back in action.

Show Most Likely to Introduce a Singing/Dancing Vampire:

“Dancing with the Stars”
Hey, if they’ll cast Tom DeLay, they’ll cast anybody.

Runner up: “Glee”
As long as it meets the criteria: It sings! It dances! It’s a misfit in high school!

-Sonya Chudgar