11.12.2008

Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles Review




If you don’t recognize the phrase “You Sarah Conner?” then you have been living under a rock for damn near 25 years now. As far as the Terminator project goes, we’ve had 3 movies (rumors of a 4th), a ride at Universal Studios, and now a TV-series. The first two movies rocked, 3rd one sucked major rhino and I’ve chosen to forget it, and I’ve never been to Universal Studios. So, I still consider this a viable franchise.

This is the latest installment which follows the same premise as all of the others. John Conner, Sarah’s son, will be the leader of the humans in the human-robot war that will take place in the future. Basically, he is humanities only hope of victory and the robots know this. Terminators are sent back in time to kill him before he has the chance to rise to greatness. He also sends back some “friendly” cyborgs to protect his younger self. In this series he sends back a hottie wrapped endoskeleton that does wonders for the eye candy portion of the show. She is also a superhuman badass which plays into all kinds of personal fantasies. John is about 16 years old in the series, so there are some freaky undertones of man on robot love, but the kid doesn’t have a ton of friends, so more power to him.

Sarah, John’s mother and ultimate protector, is played by Lena Heady. Wow, the Gods smile on us when they send this vixen to our screen every week. This is the sultry Queen of Sparta from 300 if you’re having trouble with the name. I am a little biased, but I would watch her in anything. Can I get a “Hell Yeah” for HDTV? She is always serious, angry, and is also a complete bad ass. Did I mention how I feel about hot chicks that kick ass?

I’ve watched every episode and am a weekly fan, the TIVO is set. They are a little light on special effects and with the exception of a singleT1000, the Terminators are all of the old robot-wrapped-in-skin variety. So there is a lot of shooting and chasing and cyborgs throwing other cyborgs through walls and cars and that sort of thing. The Terminator dialog is slow, robotic, and has the same dry humor Arnold started with the series back in 1984. Actually, I’ve seen a few of his recent speeches and there isn’t much difference.

I only have one complaint, and that is the actress that plays the T1000. T1000 is the model of Terminator that is made of liquid metal and can change their shape at will. Shirley Manson is so hard to watch. I don’t mean to say she isn’t a good actress. She genuinely seems like a cold-hearted cyborg here to take over the planet. I’m saying she is literally hard to watch. She reminds me of an ugly Rebecca De Mornay. I know, that is like saying someone reminds you of a fat Chris Farley, but yeah she is red and beastly and has eye make-up that Cleopatra would be ashamed to wear. She can change her shape to anything she wants… so why this, why?

The series keeps me interested and the characters are convincing. I even like “David”, from 90210 (circa 1990), who plays one of John’s friends from the future, and I never thought I would say that. I don’t know if it will be up for an Emmy, but a MTV People’s Choice is in the bag. As for Sarah, she can kick my ass any day.

"Come with me if you want to live." I will help you decided what is worth watching.

Time for a counterpoint, for the most part. The Terminator series is lost in time. I still get a little creeped out every time I think that John Connor from the future sent back one of his soldiers to hook up with his mom and conceive John. The second Terminator took place in the early 90's and the third movie in the early 2000's with John around the age of 26 and his mom dead of Cancer. The Sarah Connor Chronicles takes place present day and John Connor is 16 and his mom (who is way hotter than Linda Hamilton) is still alive. But of course this is all explained with a "clever" time warp. Ah, now it makes sense?


I was excited when I started this series. The queen of Sparta, River from Firefly/Serenity, and that gay kid from the 1st season of Heroes. Actually the cast does not disappoint. Though Sarah Connor is way too hot and young to be John Connor's mom. John is what you expect of a squirrely, annoying 16 year old who travels through time. It's hard to imagine him developing through the show as the leader of the human race in the future. He has been chased his entire life and still manages to nearly get caught time after time. The dumb sap never listens his mom who tells him to stay home and not expose himself to the Terminator (a sign of disrespect to machines, ask the photo-copier at work). The female Terminator, Cameron, does well enough in her role. It doesn't require much acting, just deadpan speech and little facial expression. I believe the producers patterned her character after Paul Walker.

The Sarah Connor Chronicles shows the beginnings of machines that lead to Terminator creation. Apparently it is a chess program. I always thought the boredom of Chess kills, but apparently there's more to it. I am hardly bored as I watch the show but it suffers from slow plot progression. I was into the show until the new character was introduced, Kyle Reese, from... you guessed it...the future! That wouldn't be a bad thing but he is played by Brian Austin Green. Unlike meatwad, I am not a fan. I believe he brings the show down. He wants to play brooding but cannot pull it off. Sadly I am still waiting for his character to be killed off. Maybe the second season finale. One can only hope.

Don't get me wrong, this show has potential. The bad news is that it's on FOX. They cancel shows before their prime as a hobby. The show has a good time slot now, on Mondays. Though come January they bump it back to Friday nights, commonly referred to as the graveyard. Terminator has a chance of being picked up next season but most likely as a mid-season replacement.

As meatwad suggested there will be a fourth Terminator movie coming out this next summer with John Connor's part played by Batman himself, Christian Bale. The producers of the Sarah Connor Chronicles need to capitalize on the success of the movie to keep the show going. By the way, does anyone else think the title "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" is a little redundant?

To end I'm not going to say something cliche like "I'll be back." That would be expected.

Hasta la Vista, baby.

1 comments:

unfinishedrambler said...

Thanks, gentlemen, for your review. I was wondering whether to check it out through Netflix. Now I know at least, it's worth that, if not much else. Thanks again. Keep spewing the reviews.

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