Wednesday, January 16, 2008

TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNER CHRONICLES

I think I would cheerfully let Terminators try to kill me if I could have Summer Glau as my protector. Is it too weird to have a crush on a robot? Now I’m starting to finally understand LARS AND THE REAL GIRL.

Summer Glau (pictured above) plays a “good” Terminator, assigned to protect teenager John Connor from the “bad” Terminators who are trying to whack him before he can grow up and save the world. Scientologists believe the same is true of the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes baby. The Terminator legend is more grounded.

TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES (which premiered to big numbers against no competition on Fox) is essentially THE BIONIC WOMAN meets THE FUGITIVE. But unlike THE BIONIC WOMAN, which is a dreary saga only Harlan Ellison would love, THE TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES is kind of fun. Don’t confuse it with a mini series about Supreme Court Justice Sandra O’Conner, this is an action show in the spirit of HEROES, 24, and the last two minutes of MONK.

And Summer Glau steals the show. She’s everything Bionic Woman, Michelle Ryan is and a bag of (computer) chips.

Sure THE TERMINATOR defies the laws of physics, nature, gravity, and time but they follow PRISON BREAK so logic is obviously a complete non-issue.

A few things I worry about:

Leah Headley, who plays Sarah, needs some of Roger Clemens’ steroids. She’s trying her best to act tough but it’s like Calista Flockhart: Bad Ass.

I miss Arnold Schwarzenegger, the original Terminator. Who can ever forget his great line, “Fuck yooo, asshorrr!” In this TV version will John Conner be hunted down each week by a different Oakland Raider lineman?

When they time travel they must do so naked. Is Summer Glau anatomically correct?

And here’s the only thing I think would make the show better:

If they’re going to use different Terminators, why not have celebrity Terminators? Wouldn’t you just love to see Ann Coulter shot with bazookas, hit by a truck, electrocuted with a million volts, and crushed in a vice? Throw in slow-motion and you have multiple Emmys.

THE TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES has promise. But I’m now a cyborg chaser so you can’t completely go by me.

45 comments:

Arjewtino said...

What I don't understand is why the future John didn't send a whole bunch of good terminators to protect himself? I mean, Cameron's a bad ass (and hot, I agree) but I'm pretty sure I'd feel better with 10 Arnold-sized T2s protecting me.

Big K said...

I've been in love/lust with Summer Glau since Firefly.

Michael said...

One of the central concepts of time travel in the Terminator universe is that only living material can be sent back in time, so when you go, you lose anything that you're wearing. The Terminators have metal skeletons covered by living tissue, so they can travel.

So how did the 1998 Terminator's head go through the time warp where it was found by the road cleaner guy?

David J. Loehr said...

I don't know, I'd like to think Harlan would hate the new Bionic Woman, too.

But I understand why he wouldn't like this, since it took a judge to make sure he was properly credited on the original Terminator movie.

Me, I'd much rather see Summer in more Firefly, thank you very much. Better show, better writing.

RAC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

As others have mentioned Summer Glau was brilliant in Joss Whedon's Firefly. As was the writing and the entire cast. I recommend everyone who hasn't seen it rent the DVD series of that wonderful show and follow it up with, "Serenity," the feature film that wraps up the series. It's funny, witty and exciting. You won't be disappointed.

RAC said...

Get that outlaw bionic woman actress to replace the Sarah Connor actress, and then hire the writer who *actually* pens the last two minutes of Monk, and you've got a really good show here.

Michael Zand said...

Screwed my final step. I'm the anonymous who left the above recommendation for Firefly.

Tim W. said...

However much I like Lena Headley, I just can't buy her as Sarah Conner-post T2. The scene where we first see Linda Hamilton in the second Terminator made me realize that a woman who could kick my ass is sexy. I really don't think Lena Headley could kick my ass (no offense to her).

paul in Kirkland said...

I have a question which is only peripherally related to this post :)

You say the show is "THE BIONIC WOMAN meets THE FUGITIVE".

As an aspiring writer, is it even possible to come up with something that won't be referred to as "X meets X"?

This isn't a knock on you at all. I'm seeing this all the time, not to mention the way they deal with it in Short Cuts.

Has every idea already been used?

Carlo C. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carlo C. said...

Curse typos that change the meaning of sentences...
Let me give it another go:

No, not every idea has been used. If your movie is about robots being stranded on an island, it will be described as 'i-robot meets survivor', but that doesn't meant it's anything like the two.
However, the problem is producers who will probably see that and react by saying "Hey, that sounds alright, but what about if the robots have to compete and whoever loses DIES! Just like the show, which has huge market value!"

As long as it's original, people will be able to say "But Kirkland's movie is original because ___."

Then again, if you DO write a movie about robots on an island, you may want to make sure that 'idea' didn't spawn from i-robot and survivor - if it did, your movie will be doomed to be a lackluster derivative waste of time, which we've been seeing too much of.

:)

Private Partsman said...

It's not that weird that you have a crush on a robot. I find it weird that you have a crush on a woman 60 years your junior.

Ken Levine said...

Actually 90 years my junior because as everyone knows from reading my credits I first started out on the FIBBER MCGEE AND MOLLY radio show in 1936. Or was it 26? When you get to be as old and feeble as I am the memory starts to go. You young whippersnappers will have it happen to you too.

emily litella said...

What memories...I haven't been called a whippersnapper since that fateful day when I broke my grandpa's whip...

bevo said...

Wait. Ann Coulture is not a robot in real life? I thought she was sent here to protect the offspring of Jenna Bush? Hmm...

Mary Stella said...

I surprised myself and watched both nights of the Terminator tv show.

As a woman viewer, I now demand equal eye candy. No, the dumped fiance doesn't count. You guys have Summer Glau. We deserve a hot male good Terminator. *g*

Bitter Animator said...

Time travel stories - a writer's nightmare or a writer's wet dream? I mean, they never make sense. Usually they can't. They contradict themselves left, right and, hmmm, somewhere sort of middlish.

But then that means that, if the audience accepts the premise, you can throw just about anything at them.

I love the original Terminator. I loved the sequel as a kid but, as an adult, the thumbs-up makes me want to die. But neither film can beat how Bill and Ted tackled time travel.

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Anonymous said...

Completely OffTopic, but do you know this blog?
http://mikelehqpics.livejournal.com/
A funny webcomic about a not so striking writer

Vermonter 17032 said...

Just want to add my recommendation of "Firefly" to all the others. That was one of the great TV shows of all time. Smart, funny, exciting, and always keeps you guessing what will happen. It's Star Trek turned inside out. Women kicking ass and fixing engines. Instead of the good "Federation," there is the bad "Alliance." Serenity is a rogue spaceship piloted by an outcast. There are no aliens at all... just flawed human beings.

No wonder it didn't stand a chance on network television.

Tom said...

I like good dumb fun as much as the next guy, but "T:TSCC" doesn't just insult my intelligence, it insults my intelligence, rips up its homework, steals its lunch money, gives it a wedgie, then dares me to do something about it. Per Michael's post above, just to cite one instance. It's one thing to disregard the "rules" created to govern the premise of your fantasy. It's another to go out of your way to explicitly state the rules in Very Important Dialogue...and then IMMEDIATELY break them.

Ah, well. There's always "Deal or No Deal."

Sob.

Bob said...

I've bored all of my friends to death talking about how great Firefly was, so why not bore all of you, too? Hilarious writing, interesting characters, good acting, and, more often than not, a good story. It's one of the best TV shows I've ever seen, and the bozo at Fox who axed this thing should never be allowed to work in the entertainment business again. Or be promoted, which is what probably happened.

Carlo C. said...

Of course he got promoted - he made room for a new timeslot for *insert reality show here*.

Carlo C. said...

@ Paul in kirkland
I wrote a blog post pertaining to the whole "X meets Y" thingamabob at www.carloconda.blogspot.com
I was going to post a comment, but when it gets too long, this kind of thing usually happens. Haha

Anonymous said...

*hums* lets see, new Fox Show, big push, a two night preimer and a fairly positive response.

They will cancel it in three more weeks.

Carlo C. said...

Haha.

...


*sob*

R.I.P. Arrested Development

Charles Jurries said...

I am cautious about Terminator, because it DID have a 2-night premiere and I liked the set up and half the characters.

This happens every single year in 24 and I make myself watch every episode, even when the show goes south and I laugh more watching an episode of it than The Office.

Summer Glau is awesome. The scenes where she was mimicking the other girl, leaning up against the car? Totally funny.

Anonymous said...

Firefly/Serenity is an awesome series.
The antagonists were unpredictable and nasty. The violence was sometimes abrupt and harsh. The humor, sadness - it had it all!
I bought everyone on my Christmas list the series and movie DVDs hoping the sales would help bring it back.
Hmm... maybe I need to borrow Vera...

Hallie

Anonymous said...

of course she's anatomically correct. the real question is: does she have extra muscles, you know, down there? that could hurt (in a good way at first)

Also, they should get JOSH WHELDON to write an episode where JOHN CONNER is chased by evil terminator OLSON twins. If you catch my drift.

Anonymous said...

I'm no fan of Ann Coulter, but I always find it odd how some members of the far-left wish death on those who have differing political opinions.

Anonymous said...

He doesn't wish her death, just deletion of her posts.

gezgin said...

"Chronicles" in no way comes close to the movie versions - particularly to T3. I do not get why the writers keep making Sarah and John connor whimpier everytime they appear on the screen after T2. And why not use the music which has already become a worldwide trademark? One understands what James Cameron knows and what others don't better the more we watch his franchise worn out to death.

gezgin said...

T3 had to be T2 in the previous post. Sorry :)

Dwacon® said...

You know, before the Governator got the role, O.J. Simpson was the original terminator.

Now THAT would be a guest role I would like to see!

But alas the EastEnder... erm, Bionic Woman has gotten the bionic axe. So Summer will be the only naked ass you will see on network TV.

And why don't they put shows like this and Galactica (with the naked Boomers) on a channel where shadows and editing are not necessary?

Ya.

jbryant said...

dwacon: I agree that O.J. would be a casting coup as a guest Terminator. Might as well get Robert Blake and Phil Spector, too. If the show were on NBC, I'm sure each of the American Gladiators would get a turn at bat. Since it's Fox, they should use former American Idol winners and runners-up. Ones I'd most like to see: Constantine, Mandesa and that Chicken Little kid. They should save Sanjaya for a very special episode of Prison Break.

TCinLA said...

Ken:

As someone who has known Harlan Ellison personally for 30+ years (and is the guy whose interview with a certain director is why you see "The Producers Wish to Recognize the Work of Harlan Ellison" at the end of all three Terminator movies and each episode of the series - let's just say one should be definitely certain the tape has run out before giving a detailed answer to the question "what are your influences in this?"), allow me to assure you that Harlan hates the Bionic Woman even more than I do, which I found hard to believe at first, given how much I hate that bucket of dog vomit masquerading as a TV series, but Harlan can be his very colorful self indeed when it comes to describing that particular bit of dreck.

And Harland appreciates your watching the show, along with everyone else, since the producers are also required to pony up money as well as that credit.

TCinLA said...

Harlan, not "Harland." Old Fumble Fingers once again demonstrates the value of hitting "preview" prior to "publish."

Dwacon® said...

I acknowledge the work of Harland Sanders for making finger-licking good chicken.

tb said...

My gripe, and I'm surprised no one else pointed it out, is that bullets do nothing to the terminator. So what do they keep on doing? Shooting it. Fucking ridiculous.

Adam said...

I haven't seen the Chronicles episode as it appeared on TV, but I've heard they seriously wimpified Sarah Connor compared to the version of the pilot that leaked last year.

IO9 has a great review/analysis here.

Those changes are terribly disappointing, because when I saw the leaked pilot I was actually quite impressed at how strong Lena Heady's portrayal of Sarah Connor managed to be.

lamfb said...

I am getting tired of all this I am bad woman s@#$. Tired of hollywood trying to make people believe that a woman can kick a mans ass that is 3x her size. I mean come on I am a man and I know I can't kick a mans ass 3x my size. I think if I was to send a terminator back it would be Arnold size or bigger. And why does John have to go to school anyway if he is hidding? And why stay in the states I would be in the Amazon somewhere.

gezgin said...

For a detailed analysis of the series, check this link out: SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES - No Future for Ms. Connor

James said...

lol - Celebrity Terminators.

Them future robots are gettin' trickier than ever.

kryten said...

Summer Glau really does justice to the part ( and she's hot )
If the Terminators win can they please send one to the writers of "The Bionic Woman". What a wasted opportunity that show was. With all the special effects available they copped out with the nanobot cliche and made a soap opera.