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February 11, 2009

Crap TV

I just watched the premiere of "XIII," which kinda sucks. It sucks all the more because it doesn't REALLY suck, it just kinda sucks, which means I could get drawn into watching it again if there's nothing else on.

It's three parts Bourne trilogy, two parts "24," and one part "oh, we have a liberal administration and legislature now, we can't be on the side of the torturers anymore." A dude wakes up with some bullet wounds and doesn't remember who he is. But he can kill people with his little finger. Blah blah. Then he finds out that he's the prime suspect in the assassination of the country's first female president. The two-hour pilot basically told us everything except who was behind the assassination. I'm pretty sure I don't want to get involved in all the twists and turns and machinations that'll get us to that answer.

But: what else to watch? I can't watch "Lost" or "Ugly Betty" because the ABC player sucks and they're not on Hulu. I can't watch "Heroes" 'cause I didn't bother to watch the beginning of the season and I'm not going to pick it up now. And there are at least two episodes of BSG sitting around waiting for me, but I can't bring myself to watch them, the show has been so bad.

I just saw season two of "Dexter" and it was awesome ... except that the second season didn't pass the Bechdel test. Why? The first season passed it, not easily, but naturally. Deb's career was an issue that she debated with LaGuerda. This season it's all about the men that done them wrong and women's fragility or evil bitchiness. Deb and Rita the Captain are fragile, Rita's mom and Lila are evil witches, and LaGuerda -- easily the kickassinest woman character on the show, is alternately fragile and bitchy. I will definitely watch season three, but on sufferance, ya know?

I think it's notable, by the way, that the top rated and most highly praised one-hour dramas in the past decade ALL pass the Bechdel test: Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, Lost, etc. Don't you?

ETA: okay I just went and watched the two episodes of BSG I hadn't seen. ARGH! (spoilers follow)

I got all excited because we finally had some action, after all that wallowing and suicide and shit. But the action was stupid! It was just these people going here and those people going there, and then everybody going elsewhere, and Adama sacrificing himself for NO REASON, and Roslyn getting all hysterical over HER MAN, and we don't even know what happened to Anders.

It could have been so good. Two seasons ago, it WOULD have been so good. We wouldn't have gone from taking over a ship to SHOOTING THE ENTIRE QUORUM OF TWELVE IN COLD BLOOD with no escalation in between and then shrugging of the shoulders and saying "that's what happens in a coup." If this had been drawn out over three episodes, or at least done well, we could have followed Gaeta's POV the whole time and gotten on board with him and been pulled slowly over to the dark side as he was.

But as it is, I still have NO IDEA what sent Gaeta over the edge, NO IDEA why he has it in for Adama. And the fleetwide agonizing over How Much We Hate The Toasters TM has NOT BEEN WORKED OVER. We just haven't seen it. So to have all these people suddenly rise up all haterish doesn't make emotional sense. And the beauty of Tom Zarek was that he was a nemesis who was POLITICALLY KORREKT. That is, we knew he was in it for personal power, but his politics were always right, he always had a good point, and he had a conscience in his Machiavellian soul. It was impossible to like him or trust him, but impossible to condemn him as well. So to have him just jump over to the evil side all of a sudden was ... cheap. And lazy.

But this whole show has gotten lazy. Lazy lazy lazy. Sigh.

But I'm excited about the premiere of "Dollhouse." It better be good.

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