Joseph Abbott (faxpaladin) wrote,
Joseph Abbott
faxpaladin

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Review: Threshold

Not great, not bad. Unfortunately, I'm discovering it's the kind of show that shrinks on you -- nice ride while it's carrying you, bad aftertaste. The show has a fair amount of potential -- the notion of alien-invasion-via-meme is fairly intriguing -- but I fear for its future:

1) I'm not sure the premise is quite intriguing enough to carry twenty-odd episodes, or even further; and

2) Two words: Brannon Braga. The man has a history of coming up with an nice idea that sets a show apart from its predecessors, then all but abandoning that idea in favor of standard-formula plots before the first season is out. His Trek pedigree shows most of all in the technobabble used to handwave away implausibility -- one thing when you're talking about 23rd or 24th century tech, another when it's supposed to be the present day and something more closely resembling our science.

As to which formula plots it's already threatening to devolve to, let's review:

Female lead agent, male lead agent. Check. Flashlights? Got 'em.

Trio of oddball tech types. Yup. (Oh, look, characterization-by-neurosis...)

And oh, yeah: The bald guy's in charge.

Verdict: If you don't think about it too much, it's actually fairly enjoyable, so far. If you do actually leave brain cells functioning, you'll probably want to give this one a miss.

Because I do think too much, some observations:

-- If this super-advanced transdimensional spacecraft can just pop in or out anywhere it wants to, why was it detected entering Earth's atmosphere on a conventional trajectory? ("Actually, that was our craft," say the mysterious Allies With Their Own Agenda who will doubtless appear at the season finale. "We allowed ourselves to be detected so you'd look in the right place and correctly identify what you found there as extraterrestrial.")

-- Sound waves can cause DNA to not merely mutate but spontaneously change its fundamental structure (becoming TNA?) This in turn gives humans superpowers including but not limited to superstrength, ability to absorb bullets without damage, and ability to pop in and out of places transdimensionally. Sound waves can also draw people by the dozens in a zombie state until the sound is turned off, at which point they wake up and wonder what the hell they're doing there. Riiiiiight.

-- The security guard at that abandoned water-treatment plant that you suspect to be a focus of alien activity (don't water-treatment plants generally have more horizontal and less vertical to them than that?) acts distant and distracted, talks monosyllabically and can only say he doesn't know if anybody was seen last night or when (or why) the plant closed. Gee, you don't think he could be a pod person, do ya? (Since he's supposed to turn out to be one of the missing crew members from the ship at the episode's start, additional kudos to the highly trained special-ops team for not memorizing what the people they're looking for look like. Oh, he shaved. Well, that explains it...

-- Blood can be caused by Mysterious Alien Something to spontaneously drip in such a way as to form the show's logo. Electronics screens exposed to Mysterious Alien Something display the Logo. Insects exposed to Mysterious Alien Something dance the Logo. A traffic jam, when seen from above, turns out to form... OK, now I just want to hit somebody.
Tags: tv
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