Sci-Fi Fodder

The Buzz on "The Dresden Files"

I really want to like 'The Dresden Files', which will be premeiring on the SCI FI Channel as a lead-in to Battlestar Galactica on Sunday, January 21st. Thus, with less than a week to go, I thought I would check out the buzz around the web regarding the show. The impressions that I found were decidedly mixed.

The official SCI FI Channel report states that "...the Dresden Files will offer a much lighter kind of drama than other hit science fiction shows." The thought is that, since Battlestar Galactica leans toward the dark, Dresden should balance it out with some lighter fare and comedy.

So far, I am still excited about the show. Comedy and snark are good! I continued reading...

"We decided to do stand-alone episodes with a continuing mythos underlying each puts you in a different creative frame...It puts the writers in the mode of 'monster of the week..."

Ugh. Monster of the Week? How about on-going storyline and character development? Still, the article does mention Harry Dresden's backstory, so all could still be well.

I still had a great feeling about the show. That changed when I read John Joseph Adams review of the first two episodes. He gave it one out of four stars - and really killed both the writing and the acting. To wit:

" of the primary weaknesses of this show is its writing. I'd say the acting is equally bad, but considering the dialogue the actors had to work with, they did what they could; sadly, what they did was not nearly enough. Blackthorne is not up to the task of carrying this series, and an adept portrayal of Harry Dresden is really essential for the series; this is not an ensemble drama—it's the Harry Dresden show, and with a weak Harry Dresden, the overall result is weak."

And this nail in the coffin:

"'In one of the episodes, a voice-over from Blackthorne informs us: " comes from the root word 'viz' — to see.' Well, I'm no wizard, but I can see The Dresden Files' future, and what I see is...cancellation."

Ouch! To be fair, he did note that the show has a cool concept (Wizard for Hire). I have also heard that the Jim Butcher, who created the character of Harry Dresden, was pleased with the show. Still, we now have multiple warning signs that this may not be as good as expected. I hate to say it, but it is time to temper expectations accordingly.

An update!

Matt Roush at TV Guide calls 'The Dresden Files' an "agreeable escapist hour". All hope is not lost!

Matt's article can be found at []

-- Posted by: Fred at January 17, 2007 9:59 AM