Saturday, April 11, 2009

TV: Primeval ... Continuing to Suck ... Me In?

I'll hate myself for doing it, but I think there's a light at the end of the current Primeval sucks period. This week's third episode of the third season is clearly a turning point. At least I hope it is. Please!!!

About half of this week episode continues the clueless suckitude that has permeated the first two episodes of this, the probable last season. On the other hand, a return of the dinos was also front and centre, the kind of stuff that made the first season of the show so fondly remembered. A little humour leavened that part of the show, with cute little "ratty chipmunk beaver" kind of things making their way through just about any part of the hospital that they wanted. A couple even outlasted the anomaly's cessation, to join the little brood of prehistoric fauna Connor and Abby seem to be building. The nominal baddie of that part of the show, a reporter with the worst haircut almost ever, was more nuisance than bad dude The coming attractions suggest he becomes more involved next week.

Back to the just plain bad stuff about the episode. Helen Cutter, uber-baddie for two and a bit seasons, becomes almost righteous at her finish line. Mind you, unlike the other character that ends up prostrate on the pavement with a bullet hole to emphasize escape to the hereafter, we don't actually see Helen's corpse. Please, Please, Please let her be dead and gone from this show. Her rationalization for all the mean-spirited acts she's pulled in the past (literally and figuratively) means bupkus to me. IF she genuinely thinks Nick Cutter is the author of future disaster, she should have killed him off, from a distance, someplace more easily accessible than the ARC. Instead, she inveigles him to solve an artifact mystery. When he refuses, she doesn't shoot him. She arranges to blow up the ARC ... with her still in it.

Come on!

On the other hand, if we are now rid of Helen Cutter, I will accept the absurdity with a straight face and chalk it up as one of the lesser stupidities perpetrated this week, Which brings me to my other pet peeve. Clones. Especially the insta-grow kind.

I will accept clones. Physically-similar replicas, minus any environmentally-caused changes over the years. A clone of me wouldn't have the residual problems my fractured shoulder have caused me over the years. A clone of me might not resemble Alfred Hitchcock unless the doctors growing the clone decided to feed it my not-so-smart diet. Most importantly, my clone would NOT have my memories, unless it turns out we store our memories in every cell in our body. Complete copies. Clone stories are usually really bad science, once you get past the conceit of clones existing at all. I hate all stories dealing with clones, with very, very few exceptions.

And this episode isn't one of them.

There IS an effort to deal with my major hates dealing with clones. It's just not all that believable, even within the context of a science fiction show. The clone in the show, at least the newest one, must have taken some time to grow. Helen could have left if to grow and come back 20 (40?) years later to pick up the fully-developed plaything without having actually LIVED those decades. She COULD have popped in, in the morning, to see what Nick was looking like, before going back and fashioning her pet idiot identically, except the clothes were wrong. And with her break-in capabilities shown last week, why would haircut and two-day old beard be easier to reproduce than filching/buying exactly the same clothes? And of course, the speech patterns, while that of an idiot, are enough to fool Laila AND Jenny. Surrrrre. THIS is why I hate clones.

So, how come I haven't pulled the plug on my fatal attraction to Primeval? Again, the coming attractions promises what brought me to the show in the first place. Dinosaurs. Big ones and small ones. Raptors next week aplenty. A change in cast is also imminent, as we gain the cop from episode two to cover the spot left open by this week's death.

Maybe that bright light at the end of the tunnel is my future-self just smiling brightly.

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