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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!

Comments

( 12 worms — Feed the birds )
andypop
9th Jun, 2003 14:34 (UTC)
There is a media conspiracy that we should all fancy Samantha Janus, but we don't.
cleanskies
9th Jun, 2003 15:24 (UTC)
running alongside the one
that is trying to convince us Craig David is talented.
badasstronaut
10th Jun, 2003 00:25 (UTC)
What I can't comprehend at all
is why so many people fancy Robson Green. I keep meeting these people who do. I don't get it.
crazycrone
10th Jun, 2003 01:18 (UTC)
Re: Robson Green,etc.
Yeah, he's disgusting yet it seems to be legally required to fancy him. It's certainly difficult to *escape* his sleazy lil' smug ratface and excessive body hair.
Re: STRANGE. What a waste. I found myself watching it for Ian Richardson and hoping for some good SFX...They're OK, but everything else is just SO lame, and that bit about the killer being able to duplicate all those huge tattoos in a jiffy, so everyone would think the victim's torso was his, bah!
cleanskies
10th Jun, 2003 02:49 (UTC)
Re: Robson Green,etc.
re. Robson Green, blegh! re. tattoos -- a scene where the tattoos were mystically created would have so sorted that out -- and yet, no. BBC1 really does have that low an opinion of the intelligence of its audience.

Ian Richardson, however ...
crazycrone
10th Jun, 2003 07:32 (UTC)
Re: Robson Green,etc.
Well, I guess, in fairness,being a demony sort, he *could* have done it all magically, but when something's really crap like that, you tend to notice ALL the little mistakes...In RL or Death,too, I suppose, it would have been obvious that the tattoos were also brand new-just needled, but I guess BBC folk don't go in much for body art, either.
dr_beep
9th Jun, 2003 15:46 (UTC)
This is obviously not the Jabberwocky I was thinking of which is by Terry Gilliam and is fairly brilliant in its squalor.
cleanskies
9th Jun, 2003 16:28 (UTC)
first para was about a rather duff new BBC series called Strange
but the second was about the old Gilliam film, which is delightfully squalid and *also* has a fantastic green monster at the end of it.
dr_beep
10th Jun, 2003 08:21 (UTC)
Re: first para was about a rather duff new BBC series called Strange
Aha, the juxtuposition of the two confused me, I don't actually get TV (not for years, can't decide if this delights or depresses me) and on the whole America thinks the BBC consists of Monty Python, reruns of Poirot, and for the truly hip Father Ted, Fawlty Towers, and Red Dwarf, so I don't hear much about what's new.

I'm sure it will bob up as a hot new show in about 5 years.

If you get a chance to see Jabberwocky on DVD the commentary is brilliant, one of those disks that justifies the format.
cleanskies
11th Jun, 2003 03:19 (UTC)
ugh, I hope not, it's pretty poor
... hmm, I'd like to know more about Jabberwocky, bloody Sci-Fi channel even destriyed the credits, meaning that we couldn't even check if the actors we thought were in it actually are (hate that)>

Are those your frogs over in the Picky Picky game? http://caption.org/picky/
dr_beep
11th Jun, 2003 11:11 (UTC)
Re: ugh, I hope not, it's pretty poor
Hell they still show "are you being served" here so taste probably doesn't enter into it :)

Jabberwocky was actually one of my early DVD purchases and is one of my favorite commentaries. I really like directors who explain why they made casting and shooting decisions as well as talking about how the movie was made. Makes me appreciate a movie more to know how much thought goes into the details.

Nope, not my frogs. I'm out this round, work has been murder. Hopefully I'll put up a few new ones this weekend when I have access to my little tablet, drawing with the mouse bites.
cleanskies
11th Jun, 2003 16:38 (UTC)
jeremy waves achey hand
yeah, it does. Looking forward to it.
( 12 worms — Feed the birds )