Tag Archives: SyFy

Continuum Continues

Given the current climate in Washington, the plot of the Canadian Sci-fi series Continuum could not be more topical. In the not too distance future, theContinuum2 government has failed. Private business bailed the government out. The corporations imposed draconian laws essentially removing privacy and limiting personal rights. Seven terrorists are about to be put to death for a bombing that killed 30,000 people. The condemned have hatched an escape plot and, at the last second, travel back in time. They did not count on two things: instead of going back six years as they had planned, a miscalculation sends them back 65 years to 2012, and Protector Keira Cameron is sent back as well. Stuck in the past and unable to get back to her husband and son, Kiera concentrates on bringing down the terrorists before they can wreak havoc in our present.

Protectors are the cops of the future. Keira as a protector is equipped with an electronic body suit. This suit, which is worn under the clothes, enhances her physical strength, speed and endurance. The computer within the suit allows it to become a wearable weapon. When it malfunctions Keira seeks out its inventor, Alex Smith, who is a teenager in this time and asks him to repair it. This would be akin to asking Henry Ford to tune up your 1966 Mustang 20 years before the first Model A. Part of the technology Alex has invented allows him to communicate with Keira and even see through her eyes or replay events she witnessed. Impersonating a detective of the Portland Oregon police department, Keira also forms an uneasy alliance with Vancouver detective Carlos Fonnegra.

The show, produced for the SyFy channel is a Canadian production. It includes a current trend unique to Canadian television. Though in recent years continuum3American television has been willing to blur the lines between hero and villain, our friends up north take this one step further. Though the focus of the program is placed on the protector, it is unfair to call her the protagonist. Though she is on the side of the law, the law of the corporations is unjust. The terrorists have a noble agenda, but their means are less than so.

The effects are fantastic. You won’t find the current expectation of movie level effects in a small screen production being met here. What is achieved is just enough CGI to make you want more. Still, you get enough in eye candy to show that the program has a respectable budget. The character development is somewhat slow and tends to lean more plot driven. My favorite thing about  Continuum  is that is does not bother itself with the traditional rules of time travel. It is evident that what goes on in  the past will effect the future, but it is not overbearing.

All-in-all, Continuum is a great time. It introduces some topical concepts for the current America while maintaining its Canadian sensibilities. Is it enough to make up for Justin Bieber? not really…but it’s a start. justin-bieber-canada

 

 

 

 

 

The first 2 seasons of Continuum are streaming on Netflix. Season 3 is currently airing on SYFY.

 

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The Problem with Power Rangers (or, How About a Mighty Morphin’ Retcon?)

Let me preface by saying that I am almost 31 years old and I am still a fan of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and have been since the day they premiered in America. I’m not ashamed to admit it.

Notice I said the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, not just Power Rangers. I prefer the originals (US originals, I haven’t seen much of the Japanese originals to properly judge). I haven’t been a fan of most of the other variations starting with Lost Galaxy. Although I wasn’t a big fan of Turbo because they replaced Rocky with a little kid (that little twerp pissed me off to no avail), but In Space wasn’t too awful. Tommy was always my favorite character, so after he left it pretty much stopped caring.

With every new series, the luster of the show faded more and more. It became quite uninteresting. Maybe it was because I was growing older and the show was geared more towards the younger generations, or maybe it had something to do with the fact that I felt like each new series was just a regurgitated version of the original. Just a copy of a copy of copy (and so on), each one weaker than the last. It could have something to do with the acting getting worse each time. I’m not saying that the original series was worthy of an Emmy or anything, but the acting in it was 10 times better than any in the later incarnations.

I’ve seen part of an episode of the new Power Rangers Samurai and it wasn’t half bad. I can’t say that it’s anything fantastic, having only watched like 5 minutes of it, but just in that brief viewing time it seemed to be an improvement from all the post-Turbo Rangers. Still, not enough to make me a regular viewer. They’re still marketed towards a younger crowd (preteen/teen), even though most teens nowadays are more interested in other things (Twilight, Hunger Games, etc.). Their target audience should actually be the people that were tweens/teens when the show first premiered. They were there at the start and some are still there but there yearning for something more. I know I am. A grown-up revamping is in order to breathe some new life into the series.

Hey, Haim Saban….hit the restart button and let’s get this show on the road!

Here are some suggestions for an upgrade:

1. Make it prime time. That’s right…Prime time. Turn it into an hourly action/sci-fi/drama and air it at night. I’m thinking the Syfy Channel might be a good place for it. They haven’t had the greatest history of quality shows in the past but they’ve gotten a lot better in the past decade. Battlestar Gallactica, Haven, Being Human, Alphas, Eureka, and Warehouse 13 are proof of that. And airing it during evening hours gives the show the opportunity to go beyond being a kid’s show and offer something more for the older crowd.

2. Blood. But not just blood. Bruises, cuts, scars, broken limbs…ya know, realistic battle damage. Make them look like they’ve actually been in a fight, not like they’ve been roughed a bit and got a little dirty. And cut out the sparks and flipping backwards. Take a hit like you’ve actually taken a hit.

Armored, movie Rangers [image source: moviepicturedb.com]

Armored, movie Rangers [image source: moviepicturedb.com]

3. Armor up. Remember how badass they looked in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie. They looked like they were wearing armor. That’s what they need, armor. No more spandex and motorcycle helmets. Sleek and redesigned with optimal mobility, kinda like Batman’s new suit in The Dark Knight.

4. CGI the big guys. Take away the stuntmen in rubber monster suits and Megazord costumes, throw away the cardboard cities, hire a highly talented CGI team, and make the colossal battles look awesome. I’m not saying they need to be Transformers or Pacific Rim quality graphics but something at least 3 or 4 times better than the CGI in MMPR: The Movie would be nice.

5. Fire the old writers. Hire a quality writing team and explain to them that they’re not writing for kids. They’re writing for the grown-up kids. Tell them to make it “realistic,” or as “realistic as you can get for the Power Rangers. No more cheesy dialogue, no more lame plots. Just solid character development and enthralling stories. Think Joss Whedon meets Zack Snyder meets Steven Moffat.

This is a no-no. Nix the floating head.

This is a no-no. Nix the floating head.

6. No floating heads and annoying little robots. Make Zordon more of a Dumbledore/Yoda/Master Splinter/Professor X character. A mentor and a teacher with a body, not just a floating head in a giant test tube. Show him training the Rangers to use their powers, even fighting along side them at times. Give Alpha 5 the “J.A.R.V.I.S.” treatment like they did in Iron Man. If not AI, than maybe something like an android like Data, not like C3PO.

I think all of these ideas would be a great start to rebooting the series. There are certainly other things that would need some tweaking (Putties, main villains, weapons, finding a  place in the series for Jason David Frank and Johnny Yong Bosch, etc.) but these would be the main areas to start with.

A retcon is long overdue and much needed. I’d like to enjoy watching MMPR again and making some new memories with them, not just reliving the old ones. Let’s make this happen, Haim Saban.

And for your viewing pleasure:

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When Are My Shows Back?

I think I probably watch too much television. It’s kinda hard not to, though. With so many good and promising new shows on TV these days (even on the networks, shockingly enough), it’s difficult not to pay attention…or, at least not to pack up the old DVR like a fat kid at a cake buffet.

(What? They don’t have cake buffets? Cake buffets totally need to be a thing.)

Some of my favorite shows are already back for the fall season. Doctor Who is back on BBC America at 9 p.m. on Saturdays. I love me some Doctor, and we have a great recapper/reviewer here on The Cool Ship, so make sure you check him out (both the Doctor and the writer!). His articles are here, here, and here.

Alphas and Warehouse 13 on SyFy premiered weeks ago, and I’m already dreading when they go on hiatus. They’re on Mondays at 8 and 9 p.m., respectively. SyFy has branded the block “Powerful Mondays,” a moniker I’m not convinced is the best. I’m a fan of alliteration, though. Meh.

ABC’s Revenge is definitely on my list. Because Emily will get them all. SHE WILL GET THEM ALL! Image courtesy of ABC.

NBC is really pumped about Revolution. It premiered last Monday, and you can’t hope to miss the advertising for it if you happen on the Peacock for 60 seconds or less. But, other than the annoyance of over-saturation, I must say that I’m still interested. I caught the premiere and saw enough that made me want to come around for another view. It’s on after The Voice, which is usually 10 p.m.

Then, there’s a whole slew of returning comedies I pay attention to (Whether I watch them or not is a different story.):

NBC

Up All Night – Already premiered. Thursdays at 8:30 p.m.

The Office – Already premiered. Thursdays at 9 p.m.

Parks and Recreation – Already premiered. Thursdays at 9:30 p.m.

30 Rock – Oct. 4 (Thursday) at 8 p.m.

Community – Oct. 19 (Friday) at 8:30 p.m.

CBS (Step up your game, CBS. You don’t interest me much.)

How I Met Your Mother – Monday (Sept. 24) at 8 p.m.

FOX

Glee – Already premiered. Thursdays at 9 p.m.

New Girl – Tuesday (Sept. 25) at 8 p.m. Looks like there’s another new show at 9 p.m. that night, too, which is when I’m guessing it’ll live since…

Raising Hope – Oct. 2 (Tuesday) at 8 p.m.

ABC

The Middle – Wednesday (Sept. 26) at 8 p.m.

Modern Family – Wednesday (Sept. 26) at 9 p.m.

Happy Endings – Oct. 23 (Tuesday) at 9 p.m.

Last Man Standing – Nov. 2 (Friday) at 8 p.m.

Okay, let’s talk dramas. I have to say that I’m eternally grateful for my DVR. Not so much because there are so many, but more because a lot of them start at 10 p.m. or are on days that just aren’t convenient for me. I’m old; I like to go to bed at a reasonable time. Jon Stewart be darned!

NBC

Parenthood –  Already premiered. Tuesdays at 10 p.m.

Grimm – Already premiered, but already on hiatus. Returns Sept. 28 (Friday) at 9 p.m.

Smash – There’s no posted return date. This worries me.

ABC

Castle – Monday (Sept. 24) at 10 p.m.

Once Upon a Time – Sept. 30 (Sunday) at 8 p.m.

Revenge – Sept. 30 (Sunday) at 9 p.m.

I’m not even going to talk about new shows on the networks, because there are lots. Lots seem to be bad ideas (I’m looking at you, The Neighbors), and lots look too melodramatic.

Not that I can talk about melodrama…I mean, look at my choices! REEEEEEVENGE!

I know, I’m a walking contradiction, and I’m proud of it!

And cable? Gosh. Too much. My DVR would explode.

What shows are you looking forward to this fall season?

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