Friday, April 11, 2008

Sarah Connor Chronicles

Another rainy, cold day. My fellow drunk writers are attending the New England conference, hopefully having a great time.

Me, I’ve been catching up on some of the stuff I’ve had saved on my PVR(TIVO in the States) forever. One of which was the last three episodes of The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
It’s taken me forever to watch them, because I wasn’t completely enthralled with the first part of the season. And I just figured out why,

It was very straightforward. Pretty much every one’s seen the movie, so you know the basic premise. Women on the run, trying to keep her son alive when machines from the future keep trying to kill him.

And the TV series started with that premise and didn’t really expand on it tremendously. The same number of main characters, Sarah, her son, and the good terminator sent back through time to help them stay alive. Too few characters, and only one major plotline to fill 13 episodes. It felt too sparse and I sort of lost interest. Plus, there was no mystery to the storyline. No major unsolved questions, that really fired my imagination.

Then in the last three episodes, new characters, new plotlines, and a ‘what’s in the basement’ mystery that will keep me watching for several more episodes.

I have the season ending episode left to watch and based on the strength of the previous two episodes, I’m anxious to see it.

And I’m starting to formulate a theory on the best storytelling in the suspense genre. It either has a monster at the window, or a mystery that drives the narrative, but I’ll save that for another day.


K J Gillenwater said...

Hmmm, that's funny, I found a LOT of mysteries were introduced...and that's what made it such an entertaining show. Maybe it was too subtle? But these are things I wanted to know:

1) Why is this Terminator girl so different from all the others? She can eat...and does some other things that a lot of terminators don't do.

2) Is she secretly a 'bad' terminator? What is her agenda for hiding things from Sarah & John?

3) How will jumping ahead to the future change the 'end of the world'? Even now is the future timeline changed?

4) Is Derrick Reese really trustworthy?

5) The mysterious girl at John's high school...who is she? What is her past? Is she human? Or another terminator? What is her story?

I really could come up with many more.

What I liked so much about the show was its format. It doesn't follow any tradtional tv storytelling pattern. There aren't really mysteries solved at the end of each episode or plots wrapped up. It has a lot of layers that are constantly in flux, so you never know where things might lead.

Oh, and if you didn't find it cool when the bad terminator took several episodes to go from shiny metal head to human, then I don't know what you want from this show.

I loved it!

Maureen McGowan said...

Oh, I cannot wait to hear your theory, Sinead!

I haven't seen the Sarah Connor Chronicles... Too many shows, too little time.

Sounds like Kristin is a big fan...

But I can see how it would need more than just "let's run away from the terminators" to keep it going.

Food for thought for me right now as I try to come up with an suspense plot for the next book in my series...

Anonymous said...

Kristin, I did love the bad terminator finding a body storyline, but I found the other storylines a little slower paced.
But I seriously changed my mind during the last three episodes. Amazing!!
The scene where the FBI go to the terminator's pad, perfect.
The scene were Jon Connor's uncle shows him his Dad... holy crap!
and when did Brian Austin Green become cool... because in this show, he is awesome.
I loved the introduction of the stories from the future.

Seriously, now I'm a fan and anxiously awaiting the new season.

And you're right, I should have been a fan earlier.

Maureen, you'd really enjoy it.

K J Gillenwater said...

Oh, yay, sinead! I'm glad to hear it. I just hope that FOX gives it another season!

And, yes, when did Brian Austin Green get to be so hot??????

Anonymous said...

I seriously can't understand it, but he's sort of believable as this hard-edged, kill or be killed guy.
And his backstory, when he was captured and kept in the creepy house.. Wow! To find out what happened there I'll watch many, many episodes.
I loved a lot about those episodes, it really felt like the writers were letting loose and really finding their way.

And it seems likely that it will be picked up for season 2.

K J Gillenwater said...

Just had to share...there is a note on that all signs are the Sarah Connor Chronicles has been renewed. I hope they are right!


Anonymous said...


Yep, heard the same thing. Apparently the ratings weren't terrific, but Fox is really behind the show and believes it can do well.

And if enough people are told... then it might..
I'm really looking forward to the next season.

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