Jeremy Dennis is Jeremy Day (cleanskies) wrote,
Jeremy Dennis is Jeremy Day

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7DW Saturday : Strange

It was Tivo's view that Jabberwocky trumped Strange (and I agreed) so I watched it live (perhaps giving it an advantage?) in cheery support of occult fiction in prime-time spots. Oh dear, oh dear. The premise is nice enough -- the vicar who got too close to the truth, defrocked and holed up with his weird psychic chums in a crumbling vicarage, but kept on a retainer for the things the church can't quite bring itself to deal with -- like Lone Gunmen for the Church of England. The plotting's OK, too, in a Jonathon Creek-ish way, and it's easier to forgive its implausabilities as the supernatural exists -- if you've got demons, why not tattooing without bruises? And I really can't fault the supporting cast, a tasty english tangle of stroppy vicars, sadistic choirboys, formidable ladies and stanic tattooists. But Richard Coyle and Samantha Janus blankly stumbling through post-Buffy witticisms kind of curls the toes, and not in a good way. They can't quip; in fact, they're barely able to emote, and yet the script has passed them a wit-first dialogue so far beyond them they just don't bother. I kept on expecting one or other of them to say, "I'm sorry, what were you saying? Tuned out for a moment there." Actually, it might have made it better if they had. Do you really want to be wading in a sea of quip and fighting off demons? OK, Buffy does, but they really didn't. Oh, and from what they were saying (there was no way you could tell from how they were acting) there was supposed to be some sexual tension, which raises the less-than-appetising prospect of these two people getting it on at a latter point in the series (insert smutty remark about vicars and nurses here). Just maybe their mutual blankness was supposed to communicate how damaged they were, and how dark and terrible the world was, but all it made me do was wonder aloud about the effect of Botox on the modern acting community and yell react! at the television when Samantha Janus had yet another reaction shot where she her face didn't change at all. Not that implying that Samantha Janus uses Botox, oh good heavens no. Just that the widespread use of Botox is beginning to make it unfashionable to move your face. Which is (almost) fine if you're stunningly gorgeous and ooze charisma ... oh, no, it's my fault, isn't it? This whole series is just not going to work for me because I don't fancy Samantha Janus. I'd better go buy a copy of Loaded and re-educate myself pronto. Or not. BBC1 has never really relied upon acting for its great successes, and it is debatable whether the bastard child of Buffy, The X-Files and Jonathon Creek actually needs much in the way of acting, but ouch. It was like watching an inclusivity piece for actors without charisma.

Jabberwocky was great, though. Green monster!
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