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by Lynnette Porter

21 Jan 2011


Being Human sometimes involves suffering déjà vu. Fans of the cult-fave British series might focus on a few nitpicks or Britpicks, because they already know the plot of Syfy’s latest series. More important, though, the story didn’t get lost in translation, and the human dramas of the series’ protagonists—vampire, werewolf, and ghost—are well worth exploring, again or for the first time.

Fans of the British Being Human, now slated for a late-January premiere on BBC, already know the story, for the American series often matches the original scene for scene. A few details have been changed and the story somewhat compressed so that the pace of Syfy’s first episode is very fast indeed. It’s as if the writers assume that at least part of their audience already knows the plot and is busy making comparisons with the British version (which I found myself doing, despite my best intentions not to). Those with no prior expectations for characters or stories should be particularly intrigued—and those who know the plot will still find a lesbian kiss here, a Bon Jovi reference there that differs from the original script.

by Andrea Dulanto

19 Jan 2011


The Golden Globes are usually a good substitute for Ambien. But this year, Ricky Gervais gave us the televised equivalent of crystal meth—we may be up for days.

Call him “mean-spirited,” but Gervais hosted the Golden Globes with an incisive deadpan wit that penetrated the veneer of Hollywood and left hardly any celebrity unscathed.

by Elizabeth Wiggins

18 Jan 2011


Since the first season, I’ve been indecisive about Glee; the writing is inconsistent, the episodes are uneven, and enjoying Glee always raises questions about whether or not the show is good or simply a shiny object.  But now, in the show’s second season, the cracks in Glee’s construction are becoming more apparent.  While season one tried to juggle the desires to be both a snarky critique of high school and a musical, season two has become about the set list, with obvious, underdeveloped vignettes disguised as plot to pad the hour.  Character development, consistency, and pushing boundaries seem to have been sidelined in some unnamed quest to become a candy-coated crowd pleaser that throws a mildly risqué wisecrack in the mix to remind us that it’s clever.

The weak moments related to the show’s infrastructure could probably be ignored if they didn’t emphasize what’s arguably the most troubling aspect of Glee: the struggle to figure out what to do with Will Scheuster’s character.  As the episodes increasingly focus on big performances and simple stories, the problem of developing the show’s central adult character has created a troubling, strange relationship between the students of New Directions and their advisor.

by Lynnette Porter

4 Jan 2011


Torchwood: The New World

January is a time of promised fresh beginnings and new resolutions, for television executives and series creators as well as the rest of us. SF fans can only hope programmers’ and promoters’ resolutions go something like this:  “I resolve to support and promote highly anticipated TV series long enough for them to gather a fan base, to make sure my episodes and miniseries live up to all the hype generated by Comic-Con panels, and to value the existing fan base just as much as any new audiences I want to conquer.“ Whether you’re one of those greenlighting a series, thinking up new characters and apocalyptic experiences in which to embroil them, or taking a “snow day” to catch a series’ premiere or marathon, January ushers in a hopeful new year of original as well as re-imagined SF projects.

Before viewers resolve to watch or avoid new SF offerings, they might want to look carefully at the packaging. Among the shiny new series are also remakes and pilots being “re-gifted” to a new audience. Of course, some intriguing, unique characters deserve to keep coming back from the dead, but the industry also must initiate truly new ideas that, one day, will be worthy of being re-imagined for a future generation of SF fans.

Five series promised for a 2011 US debut on Syfy or Starz—Being Human, Alphas, Three Inches, Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome, and Torchwood: The New World—will be making SF headlines in January as they premiere, begin filming, or learn their scheduling fate. They also indicate the state of SF in a cable-friendly US market.

by Melissa Crawley

16 Dec 2010


In 2010, television brought us cops in Hawaii, bikers in California, British investigators and a different kind of situation at the Jersey shore. The shows on this year’s list however, gave us more than a few intriguing characters. They questioned our concept of family, tested our tolerance for violence and challenged our traditional notions of good and evil. One just gave us a weekly glimpse of paradise which is always a good thing.  Here are the Top 10 Television Shows of 2010:

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