I caught the premiere of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Unfortunately, I bought into the positive buzz I’ve heard around the InterTubes and set my expectations high. As a result, I was less than impressed.

Here’s why:

****** SPOILER WARNING ******

THE GOOD

  • Cool premise. The idea of sending robots back in time to either prevent or maintain some future history is cool. (Of course, we all know that once there exists the power to do so, you wouldn’t necessarily play out your strategies in such a liner fashion. Think Back to the Future II where there are multiple Marty MacFlys running around. But that’s beside the point.)
  • Consistency with the films (besides T3 – which I still haven’t seen – because this series serves as a franchise reboot that picks up after T2). They kept true to the rule that you can’t bring anything back with you.
  • It looks like they are setting up some story arcs. What is the Terminatrix’s secret model number and capabilities? How will they discover the creator of the new Skynet? It’s nice to see that every week will be more than just one chase scene after another. It would kind of be lame if every week they ended the show with Sarah, John and Terminatrix hitchhiking down the highway to a sad piano soundtrack. Oh wait – that was The Incredible Hulk
  • Decent special effects – plenty of explosions, torn Terminator flesh, bullets flying, and furniture-busting action.
  • I will never get tired of watching Summer Glau kick @$$.

THE BAD

  • Character differences: Different actors notwithstanding, Sarah and John just seemed…different. Sure, Sarah is tough, but she was much more understanding of John’s predicament in the films, wasn’t she? And John seems more like a stereotypical whiny teen than the John Connor of the film.
  • What happened to the T-2000 model? Why send back a Commodore 64 when you have liquid supercomputer?
  • One lone FBI guy chasing the key to killer robots from the future – even after many people see the guy with the robot leg? I guess he’s TSCC’s Mr. McGee.
  • In the films, the Terminator was a killing machine who would never have taken the time to pose as a teacher. That was just lame.
  • Corny dialogue: “Class dismissed?” Aw, c’mon! This may have worked in the early 90’s for Arnie, but this is neither then nor him.

THE QUESTIONABLE

  • Was there a reason that forward time travel was never used in the films?
  • When they jumped forward to 2007, wasn’t all that cool equipment in the bank vault left behind for someone to find, examine and emulate?
  • With all the shooting and explosions, how is the Bad Terminator going to patch himself up every week?
  • Where does Sarah & CO. getting money for food, shelter, weapons, etc. From her waitress job?
  • Was it ever explained in the films how many Terminator models there were and whether the same model can have multiple appearances?

THE BOTTOM LINE

My main disappointments stem from the fact that my expectations were high. TSCC is not great (nor is it Flash Gordon bad) but there are possibilities, especially (I hope) with the story arcs. I’m giving TSCC a chance…but I will be extra vigilant to make sure that I don’t fall into the trap of settling because there’s nothing better. I did that with Heroes and I’m happy to say I’m off that train.

Filed under: TV

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