I am not a big fan of worldwide disaster flicks. The coming meteor shower, the volcano that will wipe out California, the amazing simultaneous cataclysms of The Day After Tomorrow, those things are not for me. The characters are generally paper-deep, the focus is on the carnage rather than on what comes afterward, and it all falls flat.

I am not a big fan of the bible, or rather the effect that that book of occasionally-interesting stories has had on the world (as part of the larger situation of “the effect of religion”.) In particular, I am no fan of the effects of the book of Revelations; as with any vague or reinterpertable prophecy, it is constantly viewed as being both right and current, and some very bad things are done based on the prophecies that are there.

And while I have no objections to work that is about the mystical, works in which science is wrong, I do have something against works where “science is wrong” is the theme, where the following of verifiable truth rather than fairy-tales is shown to be a danger. It is an immoral moral.

It should come as no shock, then, that Revelations, the miniseries where the coming destruction seems to be the mystical one foretold in the bible, does not inherently appeal. It would have to be very well done to win me over. And while they do a good job of capturing the dark look of a destruction-of-the-world movie, they don’t do a good job of creating an involving work. Because of what they choose to focus on, it leaves no room for doubt in the supernaturalness of occurence. This won’t be a Scooby-Doo mystery, where it turns out that the signs of the apocalypse are tricks caused by a real estate developer to lower prices so he can buy the world. The situations between the two leads (a scientist and a nun) won’t be a fair battle between the believer and the skeptic. The series starts with another scientist giving a lecture that seems to focus on notes cribbed from the Creationist pamphlets against evolution. Science has no place here. The whole thing is a waiting game for the skeptic to give up on the skepticism.

And I, for one, am not willing to wait.

(It also has a bad case of miserable headline disease. You know the ailment, the one where newspaper headlines and news summaries are phrased in a way that no newspaper headline or news summary would ever phrase anything. This is done specifically to inform the audience of one piece of information that is particularly relevant to the fiction being spun, but brings up information that is secondary or tertiary to the supposed piece of news. You know, like when our hero John’s old next door neighbor gets sent to the asylum, and the newspaper headline reads “Man, former neighbor of John, sings lullabies all day. Police baffled by focus on songs that mention cats”. That always pulls me out of the moment. Revelations has an online article headline about a killing that specifies where the victim’s sister went to college. I kid you not.)

Published in: on April 16, 2005 at 6:54 pm  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Oooh, another new page format. I like the wider text area.

    Didn’t see Revelations. Pretty much assumed it wasn’t my kind of thing.

    Watched last night’s Living With Fran tonight to see Charles Shaughnessy’s guest appearance. No inside Nanny-isms that I could tell. Pretty much like the first two episodes in quality—not top of the line great, but enjoyable enough, especially if you’re a Fran Drescher fan as I am. Good to see C.S. again too.

    Yeah, I know that had nothing to do with Revelations, but the post it goes with is not commentable and besides I wanted to leave an inaugural comment in the new format. 🙂

  2. Apparently, I missed (and I assume you did too) an episode of What I Like About You that aired just before the first showing of Living With Fran… it was a crossover, with Fran and her boyfriend appearing.

    You should be able to post now without waiting for my approval.

  3. Yes, I did miss that WILAY/LWF crossover, but not because I wasn’t aware of it. I heard something about Fran’s (was not aware it was both of them) appearance, but just assumed it would be a short promo bit to cross-pollinate the two shows so I didn’t bother. Figured I’d skip the appetizer and wait for the main course. If/when it pops up again I may check it out.

  4. Given the reaction on the What I Like About You an boards, it looks like that series may not be long for this world.

  5. In the “absolutely nothing to do with anything” observation dept. am I the only person to see the name Joseph Ratzinger as the latest Pope (Benedict XVI) and thinks “John Ratzenberger?” Pope Cliff? 🙂

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