Thursday, May 4, 2017

I Saw This!! What I Watched (What Got Cancelled) Pt. iv

I Saw This (double exclamation point) is our feature wherein Graig or David attempt to write about a bunch of stuff they watched some time ago and meant to write about but just never got around to doing so. But we can't not write cuz that would be bad, very bad.  Miss a Next Big Thing bad.

Part iii and iii are here.

Conviction, 2016, ABC -- download

OK, let's get this out. Fuck TV.  Fuck you. You cancel Agent Carter, not only a great vehicle for Hayley Atwell but a great turn of quality for Marvel TV -- I like S.H.I.E.L.D. but it isn't top notch; Agent Carter was. And then TV follows it up with Conviction, a show that is supposed to be based on Chelsea Clinton's life, and that would just be a reason not to watch the show. It is a sub-standard procedural in the CSI, Criminal Minds construct mixed with a bit of court room drama.

Hayley Atwell's charisma almost pulls it off, almost. She is a spoiled daughter of an ex-POTUS who is brilliant but non-committal and a disaster to her family's reputation. She gets bribed into running a Conviction Integrity Unit, which review old cases to see whether the conviction should stand. Of course, every case they review is a Great Injustice That Needs to be Righted.  Toss in a bit of high falootin' sex-scapades, ala The Good Wife and you have a mixed up formula doomed to fail.

And it did.  Cancelled after completing its first season. But still, fuck TV for saddling Hayley with this. She deserves something cable channel brilliant. Or I should say, cable TV deserves to have her in something.

Incorporated, 2016, SyFy -- download

This show, which I rather looked forward, ends up looking like a mix between the Brazilian show  3% and the old Ethan Hawke movie, Gattaca. We have a dystopian near future American after global economic failure and the onset of massive climate change damage. America is broken into have's and have-not's. Ben has infiltrated the have's while looking for his childhood love, under the auspices of working for a revolutionary group. Like all dystopian futures, it's beautiful, luxurious and rife with paranoia and unwarranted persecution.

As much of the show as I got around to watching was quite good looking, with above grade production values from SyFy and a solid cast. But I guess my initial thoughts of the show just going with a  familiar and unimpressive plot held true. The audiences must have felt the same, as it got sucked under pretty quickly. One season on SyFy is a damning death knell.

Time After Time, 2017, ABC -- download

This remake of the 70s movie with Malcolm McDowell as HG Wells showing off his new time machine to his dinner guests, one of whom happens to be Jack the Ripper, was a sure-win from my point of view.  Part time travel, part Bad Guy Chase, part romance, it had all the parts for a winning series. The original movie was charming and one of my favourites in my memories, i.e. I haven't seen it in over 20 years. Unfortunately, ABC made a terrible terrible show.

This show wanted to be a CW show with sardonic wit and beautiful people. It came with no recognizable cast, a lead male who you wanted to pat on the head and a lead female who never convincingly left behind her Dumb Bimbo roles, even though I am pretty sure she never played one. Oh, and it had to have a patent conspiracy which it fumbled from the get-go.

But let's harp on one thing. Genesis Rodriguez played Jane Walker, a museum curator who is there when HG Wells climbs out of his time machine. So, she is a curator, something that requires education and intelligence. But everything about the way her character is played, and I want to blame direction, as Dumb Supporting Female. Not only that, but they have to mash in the romantic connections from almost moment one. This is I Just Met You But I Love You in the extreme, and really has no supporting reasons, but for the fact that Wells has the look of a beaten puppy all the time.

I stopped watching after two episodes, and ABC dumped it after five.