Eyes on the Tube!

  • Laura and I watched the season finale of Carniv├ále Friday night (or perhaps it was Thursday). I have a sinking feeling that HBO won’t be bringing this show back for a third season, but I hope I’m wrong. Entertainment Weekly referred to Carniv├ále as “a snore” in a recent issue, a statement with which I wholly disagree. The confrontation between Brother Justin and Ben Hawkins was somewhat anticlimactic, but Sophie’s choice more than made up for it. There is more story to be told here, and I’m hoping that HBO lets Daniel Knauf and company tell it.
  • I was a bit behind in my Deadwood watching, so I caught up Saturday evening while Laura was out with her mother. This little mini-marathon was excellent. Al Swearengen is suffering from kidney stones and the absence of his guiding hand is felt not only by his employees at the Gem, but also by mayor Farnum. Seth Bullock is trying to reconcile his feelings for Alma Garrett after the arrival of his wife (his brother’s widow, whom he has married) and nephew. Meanwhile, rumors that the government may not honor the miners’ titles to their claims circulate through the camp, causing unrest. Deadwood is my soap opera, of sorts. It is gritty, dirty and coarse, full of fascinating characters and equally fascinating stories, and the second season is every bit as powerful as the first.
  • I was watching Alien Apocalypse when Laura returned late Saturday evening. I watched this movie for one reason and one reason only: Bruce Campbell. As I feared, however, Campbell can only do so much for an uninspired, low-budget, shoddily produced crapfest like Alien Apocalypse. The SciFi Channel seems to have two sets of standards when it comes to the programming they produce. The first set is reserved for series like Battlestar Galactica and Stargate: SG-1 and mini-series like Frank Herbert’s Dune. These are the few gems that receive the royal treatment in terms of attention to quality. Then there’s everything else. Garbage like Mansquito and Alien Apocalypse that continually pushes the bar lower and lower. How about this, SciFi? Take the proposed budgets for ten projects like King Snake and Earthsea and make one decent mini-series like Taken, or maybe a couple of movies that are actually science fiction as opposed to science schlock-horror. Thank you.
  • Speaking of the SciFi Channel, Battlestar Galactica is (as I mentioned) one of the things they’re actually doing right. The season finale was quite good, teasing us with the possibility of some revelation and hitting hard with a stunning cliffhanger as well. July can’t come soon enough.
  • Laura and I watched the most recent episode of LOST on Wednesday night, and we weren’t disappointed. One of the survivors dies, Claire gives birth, and we learn more about Jack’s history. This show is simply not slowing down. I watch very little network television, but Lost proves that it’s not entirely a desolate wasteland filled with second- and third-rate trash.