Monday, January 14, 2008
“The Sarah Connor Chronicles” Debuts
Tonight the second part of the two-part premiere of THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES aired.
Sunday night’s “part one” started off pretty rocky— average at best— and then got a bit better toward the end of the episode. I didn’t expect much improvement following this first hour, but the “upcoming scenes” looked good, so I had hope— happily, the second hour was a vast improvement.
I like the fact that the first hour planted seeds for two character-driven aspects of the show: (1.) That Sarah worries about losing John in the present even though she knows she’s also “saving” him and humanity in the future and (2.) That the girl terminator (“Cameron”) has been built for reasons beyond just protecting John (especially intriguing is the fact that the bad terminator I.D.'s her as an "unknown cyborg").
The series smartly got itself out of 1999 and up to present day (or at least 2007). I especially liked the idea that John immediately wants to check out the new computers and electronics— and that’s how we segue into the cliché search on the internet, without it being quite so cliché.
The casting of Summer Glau as the girl terminator is smart: she’s a hottie but she does have an unusual look— a high forehead, round face, and a certain quality about her eyes. The choice of long hair is a little bit more Hollywood than would make sense: a fighting warrior would not have such a weakness (even if it might contribute to her other possible reasons for being, i.e. her attractiveness to John). One thing though— her performance did change between the first and second hour: from more “normal” to markedly “Terminatoresque”— I think she got a note from the director at some point: “More Terminator!” Love it when she mimicked the girl leaning back on the truck.
Lena Headly’s Sarah Connor is beginning to grow on me— the writing of her tossing Cameron out the window was genius! And the tete-a-tete between the two in the final scene was very nicely written and played.
Lastly, I’m glad there were some clues to narrative secrets (“not this John”) but that the series didn’t go the LOST/ HEREOS route of “what the hell is going on?” every second— just nice compact 24 (or FUGITIVE)-like hour-long installments. Looking forward to the whole season.