Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
Just watched all of season one, and part of season two of the British TV show SKINS on Netflix Watch Instantly. Pretty incredible. The energy of Doug Liman's GO, the pathos of FREAKS AND GEEKS, the raw cinema verite style that sucker-punches you like the film FISH TANK or, farther back, the US film KIDS. Forever meandering between ecstacy, hilarity, and heartbreak...with possibly the best musical score since THE SOPRANOS.
I'm hooked. Especially on poor, sweet little Sid.
Congrats to Kathryn Bigelow for finally breaking Hollywood's big glass ceiling for women in film, by winning a Best Director Oscar last night. Let us all hope the trend continues...
Monday, March 1, 2010
For those of you watching the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA spinoff show CAPRICA, SFX Magazine apparently has word from sources behind the show's production that season two may be a reality. The back half of season one airs this summer, and season two if it happens would air in 2011.
CAPRICA's fifth episode "There Is Another Sky" brings the series into some wide new territory -- reminiscent of some of the biggest concepts from THE MATRIX. I09's Annalee Newitz has written a terrific analysis that teases out some of the other sci-fi concepts percolating on the show:
What's worse than being a teenage girl trapped in the body of a massive robot? Being a teenage girl trapped in the collective fantasy of a million other teenagers. And that's exactly what's happening to Tamara, as she tries to find her way home. After what is apparently weeks of wandering through dance clubs and orgy rooms, she falls in with a group of game hackers and modders who promise to get her out of V-World. If she promises to do them one little favor. You see, Tamara has a superpower in V-World: Unlike every other gamer, who accesses the place via holoband, she can't be killed when you shoot her. She just heals up and stays in the game. She's basically the perfect mod for cheating, and that's exactly what the gang - led by a very Mondo 2000-looking lady named Vesta - wants her to do... Are Tamara's powers now more awesome than Zoe's? The answer to that question is what makes this episode pure genius.
...Daniel is about to be ousted from his company after announcing that they will be making holoband code free, no longer requiring people to pay a licensing fee for it. But he convinces the board to keep him by giving this speech, which is almost ripped from today's headlines about the music and movie industry's efforts to stay profitable in a world where everybody expects media to be free online.
If you think about it, the message here is both weird and chilling. If we can't sell media online, we'll just sell slaves instead. That's right, kids. All that pirating you're doing of media? It's forcing media companies to change their business models from selling content to selling sentient beings. Why doesn't the RIAA consider that?
...From its humble origins as a spinoff of Battlestar Galactica, Caprica has grown into a terrific show in its own right. A show that nimbly asks big questions about the nature of sentience and justice, while also spinning a terrific yarn about old-fashioned gangsters in a world of high-tech corporate warfare.This is definitely not Battlestar Galactica anymore. It's something else.
As Slate Magazine says, CAPRICA is such a different show from BSG that comparing the two is probably doing CAPRICA a huge diservice:
The first few episodes of Ronald D. Moore's Battlestar Galactica re-imagination reached out and clenched viewers by the throat, but with Caprica, the highly anticipated prequel series, Moore & Co. opted for a more grounded approach.
...Like Battlestar, Caprica takes on a bevy of weighty social issues, picking up the familiar religious and metaphysical threads while taking shots at a few new subjects like sensationalized journalism, corporate crime, and cultural identity.
...It's difficult to imagine people reacting to the show with the same fervor as Battlestar; there are far too few explosions and generally awesome things for that. But Caprica still manages to take on some daring themes with that familiar dedication to character and plot.
Much as it did in support of the miniseries and first season of BSG, the SyFy network remains staunchly behind their new production. Let's hope this Season 2 rumor pans out for us CAPRICA fans... Meanwhile March 17th brings a New York City Paley Center panel for the show featuring cast and crew, and there are rumblings that CAPRICA will almost certainly get a panel at this summer's ComicCon in San Diego.