After 20 years at the University of Oregon, I have retired. So, I will begin posting about my new experiences here and hope you find them interesting.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"Surface" and "Jericho" series ended far too prematurely!

Just finished watching the 2005-2006 series Surface" on Netflix instant streaming (I've got to admit, I LOVE Netflix because I can see series that I missed on their first time around and watch foreign films that I would have never seen otherwise)  I really enjoyed this series about a sinister group of researchers who genetically engineer reptilian aquatic creatures that will eventually destroy the world.  I especially enjoyed the young character of Miles (played by Carter Jenkins) who is bitten by the creatures and begins to acquire some of their traits, and his cooly pragmatic but loyal sidekick played by Eddie Hassel.

Like IMDB  reviewer "noralee", I, too, was gratified that women played key roles, although I got a little irritated with some of the sappier scenes where the marine biologist, Dr. Laura Daughtery, snivels over not being able to spend more time with her son (her son was nicely portrayed by Bobby Coleman though!) and, like some academics I met in my 20 years at the University of Oregon, seems to be short-changed in the common sense department.  It's too bad that Martha Plimpton, who played a rather obsessed researcher with the evil "corporation" wasn't cast in the main role as Dr. Daugherty as she would have brought a lot more intensity to the part.  But, as usual, the producers wanted to appeal to the young male demographic by selecting someone with the typical "California girl" svelt appearance as the lead instead.

 Apparently Surface was canceled after only 15 episodes which was a real tragedy as I was on the edge of my seat by the season (and sadly series) finale.  If you don't have a Netflix subscription you can watch full episodes on IMDB for the next 13 days.

Image courtesy of IMDB
Another great series that was prematurely canceled was Jericho.  The action in Jericho centered around the nuclear bombings of 23 US cities by right-wing homegrown terrorists who then set about trying to rebuild the decapitated government in their own image.  They even had their own contract mercenaries, a firm called "Ravenwood", going around figuratively raping the countryside in overt attempts to eliminate any competing efforts to rebuild society.  I noticed that the series was produced in 2006 during the Bush administration and then wondered if the series was cancelled for marketing reasons or because the administration had leaned on the network.  It was definitely a ballsy move on the part of the producers to have the audacity to publicly declaim the administration's policies even if it was in a fictional context.

Now I've got to find another thoughtful series to fill our evenings.

It seems like most series requiring a little thought always seem to go wanting while trashy reality programs keep raking in the lion's share of production budgets.  That must be why my husband and I, despite paying for America's top 250 and three premium channels besides find ourselves on Netflix night after night!

Being able to watch a series on demand instead of spaced in weekly segments also gives you more of a chance to really connect with the characters and begin to really care what happens to them.  I've tried to follow segmented series and always end up thwarted.  The networks begin with a regular schedule then pretty soon they preempt a series for some event the networks perceive to be more lucrative for advertisers.  Then, those of us trying to follow a series lose track of what's going on and soon lose our connection to the characters.  That is what happened to me and Flash Forward.  Of course, unless the networks start including DVR time shifted recordings in their ratings, intelligent shows like Flash Forward, Jericho and Surface just get canceled anyway and the viewers as well as the cast end up the losers.

At present I'm trying to follow three miniseries in weekly installments, Showtime's Camelot, HBO's Game of Thrones and Showtime's The Borgias. I do have my DVR set this time in case I miss an episode but  I must admit having a full week (or longer) in between episodes is still frustrating as far as maintaining continuity with the characters goes.  I would prefer to have all series presented on demand but I suppose the premium networks must drag them out to try to wring every possible cent out of the viewers.

As soon as Game of Thrones and The Borgias end for this season, I'm turning off HBO and Showtime again though.  I should have just waited for the series to come out on Netflix but I'm so starved for historical entertainment I couldn't wait.

Surface: The Complete Series   Jericho - The Complete Series   FlashForward: The Complete Series

Enhanced by Zemanta

Share your knowledge with Information Age Education!

Information Age Education (IAE) is a non-profit organization with a goal of helping to improve the education of people of all ages around the world through technology. IAE assumes that every person is both a lifelong learner and a lifelong teacher. As a teacher, each person helps themselves and others to learn. The Information Age Education (IAE) project will grow and prosper through the volunteer work of people who:

1. Contribute content and/or edit the content provided by others. The IAE-pedia is a Wiki available at http://IAE-pedia.org.

2. Contribute open source books and articles for students of all ages, for publication at http://i-a-e.org.

3. Contribute ideas and/or discuss the ideas presented by others. The key contact people are Dave Moursund (project director) and Ken Loge (technical consult, multimedia wizard, and Web Master). Contact them by email with your ideas for content and for Website design.

4. Share the Information Age Education ideas with others, and encourage others to contribute their volunteer content and ideas.