Anyone that knows me will be aware that I am a glass-half-full kind of guy and I have no time for people who lambast creative work for no real reason other than they can. Its a bit of a bugbear of mine. Well today I was thrown over the edge.
The stars have come together and I am currently in genre TV nirvana. Battlestar Galactica, Dr Who and Heroes are all on at the same time. Throw in a handy re-run of The Dresden Files after BSG on Sky and I am a very happy puppy. However, it appears not everyone is in the same boat as all three shows (I've already resigned TDF as 'an acquired taste') have been greeted with a resounding 'meh' from the newspaper critics in the UK. The crunch point for me was the Metro's innane write-up for Heroes, which debuted Season 2 last night.
Apparently it was slow, dull, already out of steam and not as exciting as the climax of last season. Well no fucking shit Sherlock! What masterclass of critique did that one come from? So, lets just recap what we had last night - a slack handful of new heroes, a plague, an infiltation of The Company, a mad kid, Hiro in Japan, Claire in cheerleader outfit again, a dead Sulu, Nathan is mad, Peter has no memory, mysterious assassins and more. And thats before Psycho-Mirror Woman, I Talk to Computers Lad and the others come back into it. Isn't that enough for 45 minutes? What do you want exactly? I'd happily watch The Mr Bennett in Photocopier World show for half an hour as it was hilarious - like James Bond meets Clerks.
Dr Who has met with the same wave of 'meh'. I can understand this because well, it is a British show and it has succeeded. Therefore we are all, apparently, just DYING to see it fail. No really, we're desperate. Add to this the bonus detrimental feature of Catherine Tate (who naturally isn't playing a young, slim, attractive intelligent character and therefore just isn't right) and it is car crash TV surely? Well, no actually. Whilst I thought the first episode was rather average, the next two have been quite entertaining. Moreover, the subtext of the series is vastly different from those that have come before. In each episode Donna questions one of the fundamental 'truths' of the Who-niverse. So in the Pompei episode, she questions whether the Doctor can actually intervene in a personal timeline to save someone' life from an event that he caused. In the Ood episode she questions his detached view of things such as slavery and exploitation when he can do something about it. I can see this leading to a sea-change in the Doctors attitudes and him doing something drastic like, oh I don't know, changing the outcome of the Time War? Add into that the numerous foreshadowings of Rose's return, a smattering of Martha and a relatively short season and its very watchable. Unless you want to see buckets of FAIL!
And finally, la piece de resistance. Battlestar Galactica. Apparently its impenetrable and complicated and slow and confusing and ... oh, this is your first season of BSG is it? Some of us have been watching from the start. Some of us watched the handy recap special that aired the week before. Some of us like our drama served in a way that makes us watch and pay attention rather than being delivered on a plate. I haven't watched Eastenders for about a year but I wouldn't lambast the show because I didn't get a blow-by-blow account of the characters and their histories in every episode! There reaches a point when the old adage 'every show is someone's first' has to be replaced by 'just buy the feckin' boxed set and catch up!'. This is the last season of BSG and it will build to a final crescendo unlike any other series I can remember, except maybe Buffy. It's not to be dismissed after the first episode. Oh and if the ending of the second episode ('MILF in spaaaaaaace!') didn't throw the metaphoric cat amongst the pigeons, I don't know what will.
So there we have it - I've vented steam. Like adults who are sent to review kids movies, a TV critic without the context of a series in mind is simply going to rip it apart because it is different. In the UK it would seem, TV shows have to deal with another factor - it was always better in the past. What a load of toss.
Saturday. Sontarans. Shudder.