Archive for November, 2009

STARGATE UNIVERSE & DEFYING GRAVITY – Who is responsible for this shit??

Posted in TV Tirades with tags , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2009 by helenparker1212

Ugh! I just had to suffer through yet another ridiculous episode of Stargate Universe in the vain hope that it might have suddenly become tolerably alright, as opposed to utterly shite. Needless to say I was disappointed. Again. This episode was called ‘Water’ (get it? cos the other episodes were called ‘Air’, ‘Darkness’ and ‘Light’, get it?) and basically what happened was they ran out of water this time, and then there were some alien mosquitos, and then they trapped them in a barrel and threw them through the stargate, and then people went to get some ice, and some douche fell down a cravasse but then got rescued and was alright, and then that annoying man in charge mumbled something to the camera. The end.

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I’ve given it a fair chance, I really have, and as an avid Stargate fan I am more inclined to leniency than most viewers, but there is simply no way to polish this turd other than to call it what it is. A steaming pile of horse excretia. The moment the action begins all I’m thinking is, who is this person? Why is she listening to an iPod? Is Robert Carlyle aware of how awful this is? Why is the mumbling man ruffing Carlyle’s hair? Why is that angry black guy so angry all the time? What exactly is the point of any of this?! ARGH! After four episodes why the hell do I still not know or care about who any of these people are?!

But Stargate Universe is not the only new and much hyped sci-fi drama which has failed dismally to engage me. Defying Gravity, the ‘Grey’s Anatomy but in space!’ botch offered to us by BBC2 has already been as good as cancelled in the US with rumours of its sets being dismantled and its time-slot moved into the graveyard. Defying Gravity’s problem is the total opposite of SGU in that we are inundated with the reasons why these characters are doing what they are doing, and they say each other’s names alot so there’s no confusion about who’s who. But the fundamental problem remains: we just don’t give a crapolla about them and what they’re up to. This person fancies this person, and that person cheated on his wife and misses her, and they all want to shag each other and might be turning into aliens by the way.

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The unforgivable flaw in these programmes is simple. THEY ARE FUCKING BORING. People stand around and talk a lot, and every now and then someone falls over or cries. In the first episode of Stargate SG-1 people got kidnapped and killed, people got together into teams, aliens blew shit up and mangled people, and everybody sets off to kick butt for the American way. In the first episode of Grey’s Anatomy people get shagged and killed, people get together into teams, surgeons sew shit up and mangle people, and every body sets off to kick butt for the hippocratic way.

SGU and DG have both failed to do any of this stuff in four episodes, let alone in their opening pilots. I just don’t get it. Sci-fi is an extremely popular genre with infinite material and potential to exploit. So with all this potential at their disposal, how on earth have the producers of these two programmes managed to fail so miserably? And, more importantly, how on earth were they allowed to produce this tripe in the first place!? Did someone go on holiday? Or take a nap while these programmes were in production?? Was no one keeping an eye on these projects? Did it never occur to anyone involved that “Oh, this is a bit shit and will probably flop and get cancelled”?

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People like to spout bollox about studio executives interfering with programmes to make them more populist, generally copying other successful programmes. If this is the case then what the hell were the studios doing while these programmes were being made? Why weren’t they interfering? Asking dumb questions like “so where are all the aliens? This is sci-fi right?” and “where’s the peril?” I fully understand the desire of a writer and a producer to create something fresh within a genre, however, shirking your genre entirely because you are apparently embarassed by it (Stargate Universe I’m talking to you!) is utter folly, and has apparently resulted in two dramas which had so much potential, but which have, ultimately, fallen flat on their arses. And faces.