Monday, May 7, 2012

Torchwood (Season 1)

Torchwood: The Complete First Season:  If you haven't heard of Torchwood, it is a spin-off from Doctor Who*.  If you haven't heard of Doctor Who, please stop reading and go away.  Seriously.  In the series, Torchwood is the name of the government** agency that deals with aliens, weirdness and anything else that tends to show up in the Doctor Who oeuvre .  It first showed up in several episodes of Doctor Who.  In the series Torchwood is headed by Captain Jack Harkness, who also was originally from the Doctor Who series.***  Like most new series, I started out expecting some rough edges while the writers/creators figured out what they were doing and the actors figured out who their characters are.  Well, I got it.  Though these rough edges were less like something that needs a little sand paper and more like the Himalayas.  For the first half of the season, I'm pretty sure the director spent every scene telling John Barrowman (Captain Jack) that he needed to "Emote More!!!!!!"  I've seen worse over acting, but never so much packed into so few episodes. Kind of reminded me of that SNL skit with the Master Thespian played by John Lovitz.  "My finger has been cut off! ACTING!!!!!  Only in this case you don't have anything so dramatic as a severed finger.  It's more like.  "My Shoe's Untied!!!!!!!!!!!! ACTING!!!!!!!!!"  The other main character is Gwen.  Who's fine, except she does have a mighty big gap in her front teeth.  So the first several episodes, every time she's came on screen all I could think was, "Mind the gap".  Actually, that's both mean and untrue.****  After several episodes you really don't notice it as much and she has a great accent.  Other characters are: Owen, who despite acting like a complete jerk and looking vaguely like Willem Defoe is the super, mack-daddy of his ZIP Code*****;  Tosh, an Asian lady who's good with computers; and Yanto, who's weird and whose stilted underacting is a stark counterpoint to Jack's overacting.  And if you think those descriptions are too brief and undeveloped, then you've gotten as much about them as the show tells you.  Fortunately, everything gets better as the season progresses and by the end of season 1, the Pook didn't want it to stop and is now asking for season 2.******

Torchwood (Season 1): B-

* - In fact, the name Torchwood is an anagram of Doctor Who.
** - British government.  Not everything happens in the USA.  Quit being so Amerocentric.
*** - If you don't remember him, he's the guy who can't die and isn't picky about who he's sleeping with.
**** - Mostly.
***** - Except they don't have ZIP codes in the UK, but you get the point.
****** - At the beginning of season 1, she just wanted to make it stop.

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