Sholio (sholio) wrote,

Sanctuary through 2x02

Still sick, still don't feel like doing much ... so I mainlined Sanctuary through 2x02 (the conclusion of the first-season-finale arc). My reactions are ... very mixed?

Okay, I gotta admit -- when this show gets fun, it gets pretty fun. :D And the fights with the (not so)supersoldiers were a ton of fun. I have decided that Tesla + electricity = OTP for me. Tesla, in fact, is still MAJOR WIN, even though I do have a sort of a problem with the fact that he's a crazy evil sociopath. (See also the not-squee section below.) But, damn it, he's a charming and very entertaining sociopath, and he can run around dressed in black and snark at people and light up my screen (literally!) and plot world domination all he wants.

Basically this show just has some awesome id-stroking flashy stuff -- characters in black leather running around blowing shit up and solving (slightly nonsensical, but who cares) puzzles in Ancient Labyrinths o'Doom, oh yes, I am there. :D

I'm intrigued, amused and fascinated by their world. I'm still bothered by the "abnormal" terminology and the way the characters draw a line between "abnormals" and humans (someone saying "x humans and y abnormals were killed" in one of the episodes made me wince -- how about "x+y people were killed", huh?) and, in general, the abnormals (aside from Henry) are given very little agency in their own lives in the Sanctuaries. It bugs me. But I'm also fascinated and delighted by the glimpses of wonder -- the walrus people (!!) just being casual neighbors of the rural folks up there on the Alaska-Yukon frontier, the mermaids dwelling under the sea. It's a world that I'd like to step into, to meet all the wondrous creatures that exist there. I keep getting annoyed with the show and then five minutes later it makes up for it with something that's cool or creepy or just delightful.

Aand then there's the not-squee.

I can deal with the contrived-ness of the plots (though the Cabal make me giggle, with their mustache-twirling evilness -- moral complexity, we don't got it!), but I don't like it when a show makes me want to wail "You people are SO STUPID!" at the screen on a regular basis. I like shows and books that challenge me mentally, that show me characters who are competent and clever, who use the tools at hand to come up with nifty solutions to their problems. It's one of the big reasons why I've always loved science fiction, for the problem-solving aspects of it. And these characters are SO BAD AT IT that I just want to shake them sometimes. As the episodes unfolded, I just kept thinking of all the many, many plans they could have tried against Ashley's bunch if they'd stop and think for five minutes. Tear gas! Tranquilizers! Explosives! Booby traps! Freezing them with liquid nitrogen! In the end, they used ZERO strategy and just reacted to whatever the bad guys did, which usually meant fighting them in their own strength areas (hand-to-hand) or just running away. *cries* I keep having to rewrite the plots in my head as I go along, to elide over the areas that bug me so that I'm not getting annoyed and frustrated all the time. I used to have to do that with the worst Stargate episodes as well, but here I have to do it constantly. YOUR BRAINS, PEOPLE! USE THEM!

(ETA: Oh, but Kate with the rocket launcher? TOTAL WIN! See, this is what I kept wanting them to do when they were running around fighting the bad guys with frikkin' swords. Actually Kate in general = win, I believe. :D She's so outside their whole crazy world that she can see how crazy it is and how caught up in their own head games they are.)

I also have a similar problem to the one that plagued me in Stargate, especially SGA, where the characters' less savory traits and occasional psychopathic tendencies are handwaved away in a cloud of cute warm fuzziness. It bothers me with Tesla (everybody does remember that the guy is out to enslave the human race and tried to kill Helen, right?) and even more so with Druitt (you know, the guy who likes to torture and kill women for fun?), and with the way that the potential problems with the Sanctuaries are not just handwaved but apparently do not even occur to anyone. I like moral shades of gray as much as the next girl if they're dealt with, but Sanctuary has the same issue SGA used to, where the characters are contemplating genocide one minute and then ten minutes later they're snarking cutely in the cafeteria and all is forgotten. I just ... *flappy hands* I guess it's not surprising since it's the same batch of writers as SGA that it would have some of the same issues, but it makes it harder to enjoy Tesla bickering cutely with Helen when a couple episodes ago he was trying to kill her and create a race of superbeings to replace humanity, and no one seems to have a problem with this. I just like my heroes to be a little more ... heroic? Or at least a little less self-centered and creepy?

And yet, my id has decided that Tesla is WHERE IT'S AT. I don't know about my brain sometimes. I just live here. *flails*

In the final reckoning, I seem to be engaging with the show on the "shallow flashy fun" level and not really getting into the characters or plots much. So, since I don't particularly care about being spoiled, I think my next move is probably going to be going on IMDB and finding all the episodes that Tesla is in, and watching those. BECAUSE I AM NOT SHALLOW AT ALL, NO SIR.

ETA: I ... don't suppose anyone has seen any Tesla icons around anywhere lately? :D

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Tags: tv:sanctuary
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