Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saturday Entertainment: Terra Nova

Caption: Shannon (Jason O'Mara) is starting to feel nostalgic for life in prison, and Taylor (Stephen Lang) wishes he had a bigger gun on an episode of Terra Nova

Image credit: Screenshot by Cujo359

At the moment, I'm about to watch another episode of Fox's new series Terra Nova. It's a science fiction show, sort of, about people who go back in time to live with the dinosaurs. Why would they do that, you might ask? Well, because apparently just not polluting the Earth so much that it became uninhabitable was so complicated that they had to invent a time machine. Or something like that.

Which, I have to say, may not be as far fetched as it sounds. I suspect it might actually be easier to defy the laws of physics than to make Congress and the world's other legislative bodies do something that isn't abjectly stupid.

Still, one expects a bit more logic out of a fictional program.

Which, I'm afraid, is an expectation that's going to bring nothing but pain while watching this show.

The series is centered around the Shannons, a family who made the mistake of having an extra child in the 22nd Century, which apparently someone finally decided was something that they should try to avoid. So, they break Pa Shannon out of prison and escape to the past. I mean, what else are you gonna do?

As a family, the Shannons are about as compelling a subject as a typical Disney family, which is to say that the most interesting things they do are stay out late when they're not supposed to. Sometimes the kids do that, too, which is a bit more exciting. Ma Shannon has a paramour of sorts in one of her colleagues, who has about as much chance of scoring with her as I do. By that I mean, I have as much chance of scoring through the TV screen as he does in person. Not much drama there, either.

The settlers came back to the time of the dinosaurs, yet the weapons they brought with them seem barely adequate for hunting gophers. Emptying entire magazines from these oversized but underpowered firearms doesn't seem to get these creatures' attention. Yet somehow, we're told that their leader, Taylor, survived on his own there for four months.

It must be true, though, because otherwise the nearby predators would have consumed the whole camp by now. Maybe we'll discover later that they're all really vegetarians.

Taylor is about the only interesting character, since he seems to have some secret or another up his sleeve. I'm guessing it will probably turn out to be about as interesting as the Shannons, but you never know. Plus, he's kinda grouchy, because he was trapped by himself in the jungle with a bunch of vegetarian dinosaurs.

Sometimes you have to accept your pathos wherever you can find it.

Still, there's a more interesting question that I'm quite sure we will never see the answer to, no matter how long the show is on. That question is this:

They replaced The Chicago Code with this? What were they thinking?

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