Dec. 31st, 2006

bookzombie: (sdwolfpup)

Alas, we did not get to the cinema as often as we would like to this year. I don't really know why - just apathy I guess. Of the films we did see:

Pirates of the Caribbean 2 was fun, but could have been greatly improved by having half an hour trimmed off the running time.
Superman Returns was beautiful to look and oddly affecting, but could have been more exciting - I'd like to have seen the director give more of his own stamp to it, rather than slavishly trying to mimic the first Christopher Reeve film.
But by far and away the best film was The Prestige. A marvelous piece of filmmaking which manages to make a good adaptation of a difficult novel and still be a classy piece of film-making in its own right.

A mixed year for TV viewing. Battlestar Galactica continued to push the envelope of TV sf drama, but still remains a show to admire more than to like. Smallville had an okay year - still remaining 'The show most dangerous to recommend to other people' on the grounds that amoung some really good episodes, there is an awful lot of formulaic crap.

I enjoyed season 2 (and what has been shown so far of season 3) of Lost. I'm still not convinced that the show-runners have an overall plan but its an entertaining journey nevertheless. But, please God, no more flashbacks for Jack, the most annoying leading character in a tv show ever!

Eureka was silly and quite formulaic but again very entertaining in its own way. In these days of moral ambiguity, it is nice just once in a while to have a show with some genuinely likeable characters.

I'm still not quite sold on Torchwood. I wanted to love it so very badly and the most I can stretch to is liking it. One of the reasons that Doctor Who has been such a success is the genuine warmth the makers seem to have for the characters. Torchwood suffers from a bunch that are either not terribly likeable or are ciphers. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for complex characters, but I'm struggling to find something to latch on to. Still, there have been some good episodes: the P. J. Hammond 'fairy' story, the one with the plane that travelled back in time from the 1950s (so sad) and the one where Suzie gets resurrected. But I could write an essay about everything that they got wrong in the one where they try to do a Love and Monsters (outsiders viewpoint) and fail.

The best stuff:
Spooks had an excellent year; nicely complex and no easy answers.

Veronica Mars season 2 was also very good indeed. Among other admirable things it still is the tv series that has the most realistic view of the US class system (from what others have told me, anyway, not being from there myself!).

After the first time through I was a little disappointed with season 2 of the new Doctor Who. It had some stuff I loved (School Reunion for my inner fanboy and The Girl in the Fireplace for my inner romantic, a great end-of-season story) and I really like David Tennant. But something didn't quite hang together as well as the first season. But having recently watched the whole thing again I have to say it has grown on me considerably. And I have really taken to Love and Monsters, Russell T. Davies' love-letter to fandom. Okay, I still feel that the ending was a little silly, but it also has some great performances (particularly from Marc Warren & Camille Coduri) and some of RTD's best writing. What is so nice is that the people looking for the Doctor are not geeks or idiots; they are all real human beings who bind together through a common interest but grow beyond that initial link. Sounds like my fandom, for sure! (And that, by the way, is what Torchwood got so wrong: in the equivalent episode the viewpoint character is just a geek, with no real reason given why we should like him).
Next year is going to be a tough one for the show-runners, though, in having to replace Billie Piper. I wonder how many of the viewers watched it for Rose as much as for the Doctor? Quite a few, I imagine.

bookzombie: (Graystoke 2)
Ganked from [livejournal.com profile] ddothill.

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