Sci-Fi Fodder


Expectations are a funny thing.

Take President-Elect Obama, for example. For people on the left (and center), Obama has an enormous set of expectations placed upon him. He's going to 'fix' America and make us part of the world. Even non-citizens are excited to have him in office.

Being a cynic (and a FairTax supporting, fiscally conservative, Sovereignty maintaining, somewhat socially liberal dude), I can't see how he will meet those expectations. They are just so high.

That's the problem with high expectations - if you don't meet them, you are a disappointment, even if you do 'alright'.

The Sci-FI TV season seems to have the same issue with expectations. However, the problem is that the expectations that they are not meeting were pretty low to begin with!

Let's take "Heroes", for example. I have been down on the show, but they always do something to make me watch the next episode. So, I set aside my desire for things like continuity and internal consistency and just tried to hang on for a ride. It was working for the first few episodes - I even considered writing a post stating "Heroes is not so bad"...but then came "Eris Quod Sum". That episode, with the fake Peter death...and the fake Matt and Daphne deaths...and the fake Ando death from the episode, get another plot device, could ya?

It should be easy to exceed low expectations - but not for "Heroes".

The same can be said for "Knight Rider" (already not watching), "Pushing Daisies" (bored, not watching), and even, to some extent "Sanctuary", although I haven't completely given up on that one yet.

Even one of the ostensible hits of the new season, "Fringe", has me worried. I initially had some misgivings, but wrote them off as 'nitpicks'. However, it seems that the issues were real. I find no surprises in the plot structure. I have been thinking about creating a drinking game on the show - "Drink everytime Walter says something scientific, and then Peter restates the same thing so that poor agent Olivia can understand the scientific mumbo-jumbo". It's really kind of insulting.

I think "Fringe" is falling prey to the network's desire to have people able to jump into the series without feeling totally lost. However, in their effort to satisfy that desire, they really have not developed the mythology or characters enough to maintain my interest. Right now, "Fringe" is one of the last shows that I watch each week.

To be honest, there are a few shows that meet my expectations each week - "Supernatural", "Chuck" and "True Blood" (with an honorable mention to "Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles"). These shows all have running plots, well-developed characters and, more importantly, continue to deepen the relationships between these characters each week.

I wish more shows would follow their lead - but, I bet that expectation is too high.

What do ya know! The fairtax is something social libs and neocons can agree on. The next candidate supporting this will get all kinds of bipartisan votes! Who will grab this golden goose?

-- Posted by: mark m at November 11, 2008 2:26 PM