Thursday, April 12, 2007

Torchwood Thoughts

A few thoughts, now that I've just finished watching the final episode of Torchwood:
  • Everything from "Countrycide" to "Out of Time" was very, very good.
  • The other episodes ranged from flawed ("Small Worlds") to embarassingly bad ("Cyberwoman").
  • The final two episodes of the season were bungled. So bungled, in fact, that I can't even figure out where the screw-up began. What's with the horrible shadow-killing monster that we first hear about during the last twenty minutes of the program? Considering the effort they've put into programming us for future episodes ("BAD WOLF! TORCHWOOD! MR. SAXON!") couldn't they have given us SOME foreshadowing?
  • Eve Myles is an exceptionally good actress. I mean really, she's fantastic. The sad thing is, watching her go bonkers over the death of her hubby, I knew that the writer would cop out in the end. WHICH HE DID, THAT JERK! I can't take a second year of "Ack, Gwen, y'bloody well nevah home!"
  • John Barrowman is an exceptionally bad actor. This does not bode well for the series, as he's the main character. But he simply CANNOT convey sincerity. Every time he cries, I laugh. Every time he says "I'm sorry" I have the urge to bite styrofoam.
  • Why does it still feel like a children's program?
I will buy this series when it comes out on DVD, simply because the middle portion was so successful. And I'll even look forward to watching Borrowman flap his trenchcoat around in season two. But c'mon people, get it together, will you?


VanillaJ said...

I've felt the same way watching "Entourage", an HBO series about a 4 some of guys, all working in the LA movie industry. I guess the idea is "Sex and the City" for men, except it appears to be written by closeted gay 17 year old guys still playing with GI Joe dolls to enact their deepest wish fantasies. In other words, written for children. You must be a stronger person that me, Muffy, 'cause I only made it through 7 episodes before ditching this rather personal insult to my intelligence.

PS. Yes I know "Sex and the City" was largely written by a gay man. And it shows.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, almost entirely, though I didn't get as much out of those middle episodes as you. "Countrycide" just seemed like shock for shock's sake... well, so did a lot of the series, for that matter. And "Suzie" didn't make a lick of sense to me.

I wanted to like John Barrowman, but he's just so damn wooden. Maybe they should have had him sing. Didn't mind Rhys so much, but they never gave him anything to do.

So very frustrating, on so many counts. On the plus side, I've been enjoying the new series of Doctor Who so far.

Anonymous said...

I only saw one episode of "Sex and the City," almost exactly one year ago in a Las Vegas hotel room (y'know). And it sort of drifted in one eye and then out the other; I can't remember what it was about, except that maybe somebody was worried about being fat.

"Entourage" sounds painful, painful, painful...but there must have been SOME appeal, to keep you going for seven weeks?

Anonymous said...

"Countrycide" actually managed to make me tense and nervous, though it was a bit of a cop-out. I did like "Suzie" even though it was mostly nonsense...I think she was a good character and I hope we see her again. No doubt she'll get a spin-off show.

I've heard that Barrowman can sing; maybe they're saving that as a backup plan for season two? The thing is, he was SO good in Doctor Who that it would have seemed natural to give him a starring role...but maybe he was so good because he never had to convey "sad loss" and because he didn't get nearly as much screen time. Sigh. I'm kind of hoping he'll permanently whizz off in the TARDIS and let Gwen be the new lead.

People seem to be enjoying the second season of Doctor Who...which is why I finally got off my butt to finish Torchwood. Now I can see what the fuss is all about!

Anonymous said...

I watched the first few episodes of Torchwood on the first DVD. I found them interesting enough that I didn't want to wait for the video store to get the next DVD, watching the remaining episodes in poor quality online.

I agree that the overall quality of the episodes is uneven, even though the overall concept of the show is good and it is somewhat less kitschy than Doctor Who (although the new Dr. Who series isn't that kitschy anymore).

I'm interested to see what the next series will look like. I agree that the main character (Barrowman) is a bit wooden.

You said it still feels like a children's program, but I'm not so sure that all of the bed-hopping is typical of children's shows. In fact, I think a little less bed-hopping might give more time for the sci fi aspects of the show and make it a bit more interesting.

Maybe we will be lucky and Barrowman's character will be regenerated in a different body like Dr. Who and we will get a better actor in the role.

Adam Thornton said...

The funny thing about Torchwood is that the bed-hopping seems to be their way of screaming "WE ARE NOT DOCTOR WHO! WE ARE NOT A CHILDREN'S SHOW!" But since the rest of the show DOES seem quite Who-ey, and it has a sort of kid's show shabbiness, the fact that Owen and Gwen are having a hot affair (and don't you forget that it happened, viewers!) makes it all seem very weird. Torrid sex on a kid's show. Rhys' bum on Blue Peter.

I think that John Barrowman was nominated for a best actor award (was it at BAFTA?) The pickings must be small.

Anonymous said...

Call me an optimist. I choose to believe that Barrowman is just portraying the character as simply not being in touch with proper feelings, having been deprived of an essential part of his humanity, his mortality.
Trying to keep attachment to these fragile things that keep dying every hundred years or so has to be tiresome after a while.
Yeah, that's it.