Dinotopia, various notes

I can finally wrap up the new season reviews, as I’ve finally seen an episode
of Dinotopia, the last of the fall shows to actually see air (the
mid-season replacements such as Dragnet are already being advertised). The first
episode actually aired on November 28, but I hadn’t even remembered it
was on. When I first realized I missed it, I thought “gee, ABC must really
be hiding it, if I never saw an ad.”
Then I realized that the problem wasn’t ABC’s. It was mine. Because I’m not
watching ABC.
It hadn’t struck me before, but except for an occasional episode of Life
With Bonnie
, I’m not watching any of the ABC primetime lineup. I’m
watching more WB and more UPN than I am ABC.
On to the show. HAving not seen the earlier episodes or the miniseries,
I didn’t know what to be prepared for, stylistically. The first time I
saw the dinosaurs, I wasn’t struck with awe and wonder. I was struck
with the thought that “hey, those dinosaurs are no more convincing than
the ones on The Land Of The Lost!” It’s not that there wasn’t
a lot of careful computer modeling and an impressive walking motion,
it’s just that they never looked like they were part of the scene. They
looked like a special effects overlay. The brain was not fooled.
Looking at the sets and costumes, I was reminded not of a high-class
film, but of the cheap syndicated action fare that shows up at odd
hours on weekends for no discernable reason.
Watching the acting and the focus on these stiff young folk, I was
again reminded of what little I saw of Land Of The Lost. And the
simplistic plot reminded me of Land Of The Lost as well.
I never liked Land of the Lost, but then I never saw it
at the right age, whatever that may have been. But there certainly are
people who fondly recall watching that show, even if they cringe when
they see it now. And I suspec tthat there is a group of young people
for whom Dinotopia will have the exact same effect.
But I ain’t in that group.
Other TV notes: Malcolm in the Middle has been worth watching this year,
having recovered from last year’s doldrums. Would that I could say the same
for Frasier. I keep meaning to watch Firefly, but I only catch
about half of them. The female mechanic is the only character I find
myself caring about (although it’s always cool to watch Ron Glass in
action.) Any assumption that this year’s Buffy would be lighter
in tone than last year has proven ill-founded; they’ve found ways to
be darker still. But it’s still well-made. And the show I’m currently
focusing on in reruns is The Larry Sanders Show which airs on
Bravo with a rather curious profanity editing; the few dirty words they
leave in makes you wonder why the bother bleeping so many words, including
some of the same ones that survive. But the show started well and got
better. I’m now up to episodes that I believe are near the end of the run,
and they are fascinating, dynamite, and hilarious. One recently-rerun
episode not only had Winona Ryder (looking cute and claiming to be boring),
Jon Stewart (whose Daily Show is our sole weekday latenight
viewing around here), and George Wyner, it also was directed by
Tom Schlamme (West Wing, SportsNight) and even had
SportsNight‘s Josh Molina, all in the midst of finely-crafted
work. Talk about an episode that was meant for me!
RECENT WEST WING SPOILERS: And hey, speaking of Josh Molina — I should have seen it coming
that he would become a regular on The West Wing. It makes sense on
many levels. But I was suckered into thinking that maybe they were setting
up a possible spin-off for Rob Lowe as a way to settle his pay issues
and possibly grow the franchise. Whatever the reason, it will be nice to see
Josh be a regular on something good!

Published in: on December 8, 2002 at 11:32 am  Comments Off on Dinotopia, various notes  
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