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SF Fanatic: The New SF/F TV Shows Are Crap

Just a few short weeks ago we took a look at the new SF/F TV shows appearing on Fall schedules near you. In that earlier post I stated that none of the new shows really appealed to me, but that was said without watching any of them. Well, a few short weeks later I’ve watched at least one episode of many of them, the ones I’ll talk about, and sometimes two.

The result?

The new shows aren’t worth the time, but the old shows are still pretty good.

Chuck – The first episode of season 4 had me worried. It felt like I was watching a warmed over remake of Get Smart rather than the old Chuck I liked. The second episode was better, but I still don’t like the way they brought the Buy More back and I feel that Chuck really loses something without the secondary characters: Jeff, Lester and Big Mike. Luckily Jeffster is back and I’m hopeful Chuck will still be as good as before. It’s ratings are down which would probably place it on the cancel block if it weren’t on NBC and if Undercovers wasn’t doing worse.

The Event – This should be termed The Non-Event. After hyping this show to hell and back we finally get to see NBC’s attempt at recreating the LOST lightning. They’ve failed. What we’ve been given is a show with boring, stereotypical characters, a cliched story and terrible writing. The only thing remotely interesting about the show is the overall idea which puts The Event into the same category as Flashforwad, doomed to fail before it started. When the leader lady tells the President in the first episode “I haven’t told you everything”, fans rejoiced that answers would be forthcoming. When in the second episode, given the chance to explain things she says, “I can’t tall you”, that’s when we realized the writers think we’re stupid, or they are, or something. So, so terrible. I don’t see this one getting a second season. It may not get it’s second half pick up.

No Ordinary Family – Even though I like Michael Chiklis, even he can’t save this show. The operative word here is boring. I just really didn’t care about any of the characters and they way the reacted to being home after being in a plane crash, all “life’s normal again! Yay!” just didn’t seem real. There was nothing there to keep me coming back.

Stargate Universe – My second favorite SF show on TV returns for season 2. I can’t say the new episodes are appreciably better then what we’ve seen before, but the hints at where the show is going are intriguing and, newsflash, Rush is a complete ass. I picture myself being on a millions of years old spaceship and think “That’s really cool. So much to work with.” The trailer for season 2 make it look like the writers will go in interesting directions. Definitely on my ‘must watch’ list.

Undercovers – The best word I can use here is ‘inoffensive’. The other word would be ‘boring’ (sense a theme?). This feels like Chuck without the humor or the geek cred. Although seeing Gugu Mbatha-Raw in her skivvies was interesting, if gratuitous. Did I mention the cliche storyline? Pass, even if it is J.J. Abrams.

Fringe – Hands down, bar none the best SF show on TV and probably one of the best shows period. I had my misgivings about the show early on when it was all about the monster of the week, but now that the dueling dimensions story is in full swing, Fringe is terrific. John Noble is masterful as bother Walter Bishop and Walternate. How that man hasn’t won an Emmy is beyond me. And while I’m still not all that fond of original Olivia, Fringe is a ‘must see’ for me and the one show I watch as soon as I can after it airs.

Sym-bionic Titan – Just for grins I took a shot at watching the first three episodes of this. I can say that it’s just not my cup of tea. It feels like a cross between Power Rangers, Transformers and Teen Titans. I like the look of the show, Tartakovsy’s influence is evident, but it tries to straddle the line between being a more mature show (the bad guy snaps the neck of a rebel fighter a la Darth Vader) and something aimed at the younger set with its ‘fish out of water’ setting.

So none of the new shows are doing anything for me. I may skim The Event just to see where the mythology side goes (I think they are actually humans from the far future, at least that would explain leader lady not saying anything when given the opportunity). As it is, it looks like I’m down to three shows I’ll watch regularly, Chuck, Stargate Universe and Fringe. At least I won’t have to waste my time, or DVR space, on that other dreck.

About JP Frantz (2322 Articles)
Has nothing interesting to say so in the interest of time, will get on with not saying it.

11 Comments on SF Fanatic: The New SF/F TV Shows Are Crap

  1. There’s a bunch of shows that were coming out, and I’ll agree with you, there isn’t a whole lot of good new things. The Event was laughably bad, I’m not even bothering with No Ordinary Family or Undercovers. 


    However, a lot of the shows that are returning have been really good: Stargate Universe and Fringe are the two I’ve seen thus far (I still need to watch Caprica)

  2. The Non-Event! That’s the best description ever. I’m getting hate for not liking the show. I gave this show a chance last year when it was called FlashForward.

  3. The only show I tried to watch was “No Ordinary Family,” and it was a snooze-fest. The rest didn’t even interest me enough to tune in. 

  4. The Event seemed like garbage in the previews but I did watch Undercovers. It was horrible. Full of every cliche imaginable right from the start. If this is what passes for action/drama these days, I’ll pass.

  5. Keith Teklits // October 7, 2010 at 2:45 pm //

    I was intrigued by the commericals for The Event and was somewhat ready to watch it. Then I saw the last episode of Missing Persons. #@$^ you NBC. You promised me answers and I didn’t get one. I just got more questions. After that I figured they would do the same with The Event and gave up on it before it even started. I stay with my BBC America and Netflix streaming.

  6. The non event is just drivel, sorry but having the characters talk about not talking about what they aren’t talking about whilst consantly jumping about in ‘time’ with nothing making any sense isn’t a recipe for great telly… Well unless you happen to have some really intelligent writing and scripting and even then its going to be a tough sell. Lost got it right more often than not, but even then they would have struggled without the quality of most of the cast and the fact that some of the actors had screen charisma…. The event is just pure crap.

    I have only seen the 1st episode of No Ordinary Family, and found it quite enjoyable… No it didn’t set the world alight but I doubt it was ever intended to… I am interested enough to watch more.

    SG:U only seen the 1st ep of season 2, and it tied up the last season well enough and gave enough clues about what is coming so good enough, and yeah Rush is a bastard! Great ain’t it!

    Nikita flopped for me, I disliked the fact they gave away far to much in the pilot/1st episode, and the 2nd just seemed to give away more of the long term plot and I lost interest.

    Lost Girl – Meh passable urban fantasy hocum, hope they get over the monster of the week phase quickly and develope what might be an interesting on going plot.

    and then there is Fringe, I agree its great to have this back and I love the fact they seem to be giving the finger to the idea of playing to the casual veiwer and instead concentrating on making the show for the audience it actually has.

  7. +1

    Except Futurama.


  8. I pretty much completely agree with this post in every way. I’m slightly curious about The Event, but am not that confident that it will go anywhere. And SG:U is so damned dark. It might go somewhere. Maybe, maybe. As for now, Project Runway is more interesting than the SF shows out there. Sad…

  9. The Event was okay and interesting enough that I’ll give it a few more episodes. Yeah, The Event sucked like you guys said.


  10. So are the cast & crew of Caprica glad they didn’t get trashed or disappointed they didn’t even get mentioned?  I’m in as long as it lasts.

  11. SGU must be the worst waste of pixels ever, its not SF its a bloody soap-opera I rather watch falcon crest than SGU since there is more suspense and sometimes something actually happens.

    Star Trek DS9, Caprica, and  Battlestar Galactica are also in this side genre of SF and should be labled with ‘Warning tideous dialogs with non intresting characters taking place in a cheap studio setup will take up over 90% of each episode’.

    SG1 and SG Atlantis was more a winning concept, they should have continued with that.

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