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“You are Number Five, James”

April 2, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve been watching this British TV show. It’s set on an island, which is mostly referred to as “The Island,” and it’s pretty clearly an analogue for England (but an England of the past). It’s very surreal in look and tone, and honestly kind of creeps me out.

The island is populated by strange characters. There’s a hierarchy at work; the evident authorities on the island direct the actions of the sympathetic characters. While the authority figures have names (although they seem more like titles or codenames), the rank and file characters each have a number. Furthermore, these characters don’t seem to be able to leave the island, but instead, must carry out tasks assigned to them by the mysterious rulers of the island, according to some unclear agenda. Occasionally, one of the numbered characters will misbehave and the authority figure will attempt to bring him back into the island’s social order: “Sir Topham Hatt is quite cross with you, Thomas.”

Value: Retro| Intensity: Moderate


Value: Kids| Intensity: Mild

Most. Pointless. Fine Print. EVER

Value: Geek| Intensity: Mild

So I’m watching Caprica on TV…  No, to be accurate:  I’m watching Caprica on DVR.  So I can skip the commercials, duh.  Anyone out there watching Caprica?  (Come to think of it: Anyone even reading this? <-> idle curiosity)  The pilot episode is definitely the best thing I’ve seen on TV since Firefly.  Now, the best thing EVER on TV was Twin Peaks.  From start to the big Bob reveal, it was the flat out best.  Lost its way after that, but let’s be grateful for what we got.  It will be interesting to see how this new series evolves.

Hopefully, it won’t go the way of Battlestar Gallactica, its parent.  The good parts of that series were very, very good.  But when they were attempting to give it an indefinite lifespan, it went all grampa on us and pointlessly rambled.  There were too many throw-away episodes.  Hopefully there will be a more focused vision for this show, because it has promise.

Observation:  Promise is ruined by compromise.  Blanks?  If you want to be the best, don’t be afraid to take it to the limit.

So, anyway, as you can tell, I am enjoying the show, and as I’m fast-forwarding through the commercials for episode 6, I notice Mr. Sulu flashing by.  I like George Takei, so I stopped, and rewound to the beginning of his commercial.  It was so cheesy, that I seriously questioned that it was a real commercial.  But there was no indication that it was an “in-show” commercial.  Though it should be, ala Alan Moore’s Crying Gorilla adverts in Promethea.  I did admire Sharp’s choice in going cheesy, and hiring a true sci-fi Big Cheese like Mr. Sulu to shill their Quattron model.  (Quattron?  Seriously?  This *has* to be an in-show commercial, doesn’t it?)  And then I noticed the fine print at the bottom of the screen:  “Actor portrayal.”  Now, who hires Mr. Sulu to do their commercial, and then feels the need to put “Actor portrayal” at the bottom of the screen?  I mean, isn’t that the *point* of hiring Mr. Sulu?  Anyone that just might buy your product based on his endorsement, already knows who George Takei is…  Frakking lawyers!