Thursday, October 04, 2007

The new Bionic Woman is not a hit

From TV Week:

". . . this morning the industry is buzzing that the pivotal second “Bionic” episode, the result of extensive behind-the-scenes retooling, was a creative disaster—cliché-packed dialogue, a nonsensical villain, one-note characters. The much-heralded arrival of Isaiah Washington (who in a New York Post story Wednesday proved yet again you don’t need bionics to be a tool) was a non-event; just another performer trying to inject humanity into a clunky show whose most arresting visual is Miguel Ferrer’s neck jowls."

Too bad because TV can always use some good Science Fiction. Unfortunately there is just so little of it.

The late Rod Sterling understood the secret of good Sci-Fi. One day he wrote a script for a television show that dealt with the subject of racism (this was in the late 50's or early 60's) which was rejected by the network censor for being "too controversial". Sterling said "if I had made it about robots and set it 100 years in the future there wouldn't have been a problem". The light bulb went on over his head and The Twilight Zone was born. The rest, as they say, is history.

You see the best science fiction stories are human stories even if they happen to be about aliens. This is why shows like Babylon 5, Stargate: SG-1, Farscape and the new Battlestar Galactica are so damn good. They tell human stories while using aliens, space ships and advanced technology only as props. They serve to distract us just enough to allow us to look at ourselves in new ways.