She Who Must Be Occasionally Forced To Watch Some Dreadful Shite On Television and I sat down and watched the first two episodes of DOCTOR WHO spin-off TORCHWOOD last night. And I think, 'Meh' pretty much sums it up.
I'm in a picky mood when it comes to openings at the moment, as I'm considering the start of BOOK 4 right now. And Torchwood didn't exactly do it for me. It tried very hard to be edgy and adult and clever, and didn't really manage either. The set-up was exactly the same as the start of the first new season of Dr Who: outsider sees something they're not supposed to, then is inexplicably drawn into the story through a series of BLOODY HUGE COINCIDENCES, and in the end are asked to 'join the team'. How often has the same device been used? I'm guessing more than once or twice.
Why the hell is it that these kinds of shows always have some completely inexperienced and clueless outsider being invited to join super top secret team out to save the world? OK, they did the same with Stargate and Dr Jackson, but at least he had an appreciable skill to bring to the thing: he spoke the language (something that the TV series conveniently forgot ASAP). Rose, the Doctor's assistant, could be said to be someone fun for the time-travelling dwarf to muck about with. Gwen in Torchwood is a PC. Who doesn't seem to have any clue about anything. No, she's there to remind the team of their 'humanity'. Oh, dear, sweet, hairy Jesus.
Yes it's got sex, and yes it's got 'adult themes', but ultimately it's tired and listless before it's even started. Hopefully it'll get better, because there's very little on the telly at the moment that's worth watching more than once. Not to mention all that reality TV shite that's not even worth watching the adverts for. Ruby Bloody Wax my hairy bum.
So I've been thinking about the start of series, to see if any actually work (to my overly-critical beard-addled brain) and I'm struggling. I did watch the pilot of PIE IN THE SKY a couple of months ago and remember thinking that it was a perfect example of how to set stuff up properly, without explaining every-bloody-thing. Even if it did deteriorate a bit towards the end.
And the worst example I can think of? SIN CITY. Bruce Willis's first scene in that film contains some of the crapest bits of exposition I've ever seen:
"You're draggin me down with you. I'm your partner. They can kill me too. I ain't putting up with that. I'm getting on the horn and calling for backup"
You call for backup. You call for backup and see if they can perform triage on the bastarding script.
I know that's not helping me get started on the book, but it'll probably get up a few people's noses, and I suppose that's something.