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Squaredown

Tonight. Tonight, I start on these redlines. I've got the conceptual distance I need to do the job. Tear down everything that doesn't work and make it all faster, weirder, better. The fear's only natural, but I can live with that.

On an unrelated note: I dislike shopping for large goods. I generally do my research first, then go in to a shop and utter the wonderful words "I'd like to buy a $MODEL, please." This throws the salesweasels, who usually deal with people who do no reasearch and don't know what they're after. Yet this technique can fail me — while I got a Dyson[0] first time, my quest for a decent telly has been scuppered until next weekend.

I've been meaning to talk about something. Oh yes, Torchwood. Like a train-wreck, I've seen just about all of them (missed the Texas Chainsaw rip-off, caught the others). I can't look away, but one thing strikes deep every time I watch it: Torchwood is not good television. It's not even average television. It's pure, unmitigated shite. The BBC, responsible for such creative genius as Waking the Dead[1], has shat all over that genius and then broadcast the results. The cast are at best unconvincing, and more often engaged in pathetic hysterics to show the "terrible anguish" they're going through. The show gets through sex references (and scenes) like they're going out of fashion, ignoring the story in favour of droning on about two characters' fucking. The actors obviously can't give a toss, given that their lines are so horrible that they just want to get paid and go home. The whole thing insults any vaguely intelligent viewer, trotting out nothing more than cliche after cliche without any framework — let alone a sensible one — to hang them together.

Stargate SG-1 is good episodic SF. It has a basic premise, and executes that premise well. Torchwood isn't. It has a premise (secret NGO hunts aliens), then goes on to violate the underpinnings of said premise in every episode (how the fuck do they remain secret?). Throwing in some Who references does not save this crap, not at all. Worse are the stories — and that's because they're not fundamentally bad stories. The bikini-cyberwoman could have been good. So could the fairy-child, and the latest one. The problem is, they weren't. All of the stories are SF tropes but the creative team mangle them, removing any chance for the characters to act in any way other than brain-damaged morons. What few innovative ideas are buried in favour of the characters discussing their sex lives or giving each other a chance to prove that yes, onions really do work for fake crying. Worse, there's no ambiguity. If it's alien, the commander kills it and the rest of the team cry/accuse him of brutality/give him a blow job while he says "there was no other way!". There's always another way, usually one that a six-year-old could have come up with, but the characters (and general situations) are too brain-damaged to allow anything such as logic or believability.

How anyone can praise this shit is beyond me. It's SF soap opera of the worst kind, riding off the success of a revamped Doctor Who but without any of Who's innovation or intelligence.

I have more right than most to be angry: I actually paid for a TV license. My money was wasted on this broadcast wankfest, yet if I want good BBC TV I have to buy it on DVD.

[0]: That's currently clogged with sticky mud-like crap and needs a damn good cleaning.
[1]: If you haven't seen it, do so. There are DVDs, and I'm sure some form of downloadable gubbins.

Comments

( 6 informants — We want information! )
mythdude
Nov. 27th, 2006 03:58 pm (UTC)
Poor Torchwood. It sounded like it had such a fun premise, but from all that i've heard about it I guess they just didn't put their backs into making it.
figg
Nov. 27th, 2006 04:38 pm (UTC)
Torchwood

Heroes
digitalraven
Nov. 27th, 2006 07:31 pm (UTC)
1. Download Heroes.
2. Buy new TV.
3. Buy and construct media toaster for TV.
4. Watch downloaded telly.
purplerabbits
Nov. 27th, 2006 04:47 pm (UTC)
I don't find Torchwood *quite* that bad. Yeah, the cyberbabe sucked rocks, but I like the faeries, and last night's was OK (except that I had thought of twenty ethical uses for the device before they'd even kissed...)
digitalraven
Nov. 27th, 2006 07:34 pm (UTC)
I've thought of...
20 ethical uses for the device.
20 ways in which the faeries thing should have been resolved.
20 ways in which none of these stories would suck if the characters weren't such utter painful cretins.
blinovitch
Nov. 28th, 2006 01:08 am (UTC)
I was unaware people were praising Torchwood much at all.
( 6 informants — We want information! )

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