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Category: Original Series

[Television Review] Mr Robot Pilot + video

The video below is the pilot for Mr Robot in it’s entirety, is completely legal and should be watched since it’s a good pilot.

Mr Robot stars Rami Malek as Elliot, a cyber-security expert by day and by night he’s trying to keep his demons at bay. Demons like men following him that may or may not be real according to his shrink, Krista Gordon played by Gloria Ruben. Krista’s problems are just one of many plot lines in the pilot. The majority of the pilot concerns Elliot’s company providing cyber security for a company with the same icon as Enron and for the rest of the pilot is known as Evil Corp.
Elliot knows a lot about people but can’t really interact with them as well as he should until one day during a emergency at work he finds a file that leads him to one of his demons, Mr Robot, played by Christian Slater. Mr Robot leads him down the rabbit hole about the secret war between his group and Evil Corp.
I found Mr Robot to be a very good show. The hacking isn’t Hollywood it looks real enough. It has good direction and the characters were well rounded and hopefully Christian Slater will get a show that can last more than a season. This is his second espionage show after Breaking In and Mind Games. With the exception of guest staring on Archer he’s starting to become the male version of Summer Glau: television series kryptonite.
My minor quibble I had with it was trying to figure out why this isn’t The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo TV show. The English adaptation of the movie was perfect even if it didn’t do bang at the box office. Translating the concept of a bi-sexual, woman white hat hacker sticking it to the man doesn’t take much. Replacing Sweden with New York or San Fransisco isn’t that far of a stretch, either.
Mr Robot will be debuting on USA on 6/24 and so long as it can keep it’s production quality high it shouldn’t have any problems lasting a few seasons.

[Television] The television landscape

With TNT Falling Skies ending on a high note, not to mention getting picked up for a second season, I was going to post something about how it looked like science fiction shows were doing pretty good this season until SyFy announced last night that instead of picking up Eureka for 6 episodes for a 6th season, the upcoming 13 episode run would be it’s final season.
The Twitter Warehouse/Eureka/Stargate List served itself well even if I heard 8 hours later what happened.

[Television] SGU 2009-2011

It’s your Stargate.”
With less than two hours to go before Stargate Universe comes to an end so does a franchise that started as a Movie, spun onto Showtime, went to Syndication and then ended up on Sci-Fi.
The seventeen year old franchise (if you include the movie) on a whole was a great science ficition franchise. The overall idea was simple one: A gate to other universes used by aliens to transport their slaves from world to world. The slaves rebelled and buried the gates or fought back. A great premise for science fiction and while some episodes weren’t as good as others, the actors and the audience had a fun time watching.
And, unlike Star Trek series, each of the Stargate Franchise Series agreed with me.
I think Atlantis and Universe more than SG-1.
SG-1’s cast was great, the story lines sometimes got a little too long in the tooth and by time half the cast from Farscape joined SG-1 it was high time to end the series.
The faces and the sets on Atlantis were fresher and with each passing year the story lines moved away from SG-1 weekly alien planet of the week/alien invasion/egpytian gods are aliens and started to build the characters up while the overarching plots took a backseat. There were some bumps along the way, several cast members either died/came back due to fan support or died because the writers/producers did not know what to do with them. And, while other cast members from SG Universe subbed for them sometimes even they were put in the background.
When Universe came along the general mood lighting had changed, gone was the happy go lucky in SG-1 and half happy go lucky/serious in Atlantis to OMGWTFBBQ we’re lost in Universe. Overall, it should have worked, it worked for BSG when it was rebooted, right?
But, unfortunately, BSG is BSG and Stargate is Stargate.
I’ve mentioned in the past posts Universe took a season to find itself but with the final episodes now counting down, it’s a shame since the last few episodes have been grand slams out of the park.  On a side note it will be the last “space ship” show on the air with BSG ending in 2009, Star Trek in 2005 and Farscape in 2004.
Other shows on the newly redubbed SyFy were cheaper to produce, happy go lucky and funny to watch and getting better ratings. Thankfully, Eureka and Warehouse 13 are enjoyable while I’ve given up on Haven and Being Human while a great concept is still producing episodes in the UK.
In the end if Eurkea and Warehouse can benefit from the actors availability so much the better.

Review of The Cape…

“Justice takes time.”
So far, NBC’s The Cape is slowing growing on me. If I was more fickle person and judged it by it’s pilot then it’d be doomed. The rapid storytelling and the blantant rip off of several scenes from Batman Begins and the fact the rapid story telling to get a flimsy two hour plot into a flimsier one hour show kneecaps it even further.
So far, this is no Heroes. Granted, it’s not supposed to be. Vigilante’s and Superheroes are two different breeds.
The general rundown: Vince Faraday played by David Lyons is a cop in Palm City and witnesses the Police Chief’s assassination first hand by the villain known as Chess played by James Frain.
Palm City has several other problems on it’s hands beyond corrupt cops. Arc Industries CEO Peter Fleming also played by James Frain wishes to take the police force private meanwhile a cyberhacker known as Orwell played by Summer Glau is publishing the truth on her website.
Vince is offered a job at Arc and after a few investigations he finds out Arc is bringing in the same explosive that killed the chief.
Unfortunately, Chess has other plans for him and decides to frame Vince and manages to make everyone thing he’s the real Chess and after a quick run through the train yards by Arc Police it looks like he dies after a fuel tanker he crawled under for cover blows up.
Vince survives and is taken in by the Circus of Crime led by Max Malini played by Keith David and after several productive bank heists Vince decides he needs to clear his name and protect the city. And, with Max’s help you have a fairly honest training montage minus the 80’s music.
The Circus of Crime has three characters that are memorable and as one reviewer already pointed out: Did NBC create the circus just to reuse sets from Heroes last season?

Overall, The Cape is your a-typical vigilante set up minus the whining Bruce Wayne about losing his parents and no mega millions to throw into R&D to build the toys.  The only thing Vince has is a cape and the circus tricks.  During the first three episodes, Vince manages to find a location for his Bat Cave and begins to build the place up which is one of the better plot lines.
The good things: All the actors work with what they’ve got and it turns out okay for most.  James Frain and Summer Glau get the short end of the stick for the first few episodes while Lyons and David get the brunt of the good scripting. Lyons isn’t a pretty boy so the vigilante idea works and David’s supposed death scene speech in episode 2 was great.
Personally, I’m loving Keith David’s mentor character and it’s great to hear him (without the Disney animation) on a weekly basis. BSG’s Bear Mccreary‘s music missing from Human Target can now be found here and I’m liking the theme music.
The problems unfortunately are many: The story does not break any new ground.  While Heroes turned into a unmitigated mess during the final seasons, the lightning in a bottle from Heroes Season 1 is nowhere to be found.  The editing of the first five minutes manages to have a body count of two people. The whole privatization of the Police Force didn’t work for OCP and the villains like Chess and Scales are okay, nowhere near as interesting as villains from Heroes.

Summer Glau, last seen as psychological damaged River Tam and a badly, boring written Terminator can now play a real person and has been saddled with a mysterious backstory (I’m going with Chess’s daughter) and is relegated to playing an Oracle rip-off at first but as of Episode 2 she’s put into the line of fire.
In the end, it’s no Heroes but thankfully most of the trappings from the 60’s Batman TV Show have been pushed to the background as of episode 3. If it gets better I’d watch after Chuck instead of on the NBC website.

Primeval's new season…

When Primeval ended in 2009 it looked like it was going to be forever. Three of the main characters of Abby, Connor and Danny were trapped in the past and the show was canceled.
But, it was resurrected and now is currently on BBC America Supernatural Saturday Nights.
Someone on Facebook asked how it compares to other BBC imports like Doctor Who or Torchwood.
Primeval is what would happen if there was a British version of Jurassic Park. The CGI is well done, the actors sight lines match up, the acting is pretty good and thankfully there’s no screaming children.

Stargate: Universe: Canceled.

Well, shit.
I can tell you where I was when Farscape was canceled. When Firefly and Dollhouse was canceled and now SG:U.
The Twitter SGU List I had set up was full of well wishes to the cast members and reports of them not even being told until they heard about it on Twitter.
You’d think with three Twitter-created shows in development you’d think H’Wood would figured out to tell the cast first then release the bad news.
Personally, SG:U was a fun show. It could do the comedy, human and space action without dumbing it down for the audience.
After running down the healthy Atlantis, SG:U embraced the BSG model of: Oh snap! We’re lost in space! OMGWTFBBQ! It started off to a rocky start even before it began with character descriptions looking like 90210.
In the end, it became a great show that had found itself by the end of the first season.
The second season was throughly enjoyable even if the Eli’s geek in love plot was snuffed out too soon.
There will be no third season unless it’s on DVD ala SG:1.
It’s unfortunate in this day and age that smart Sci-Fi Shows are tossed while rehashes are brought up in the same press tweet, no less.
The good news is least we have 10 episodes left of Season 2 to enjoy next year.