Monday, February 27, 2006

In Defense of "Surface"

I don't watch very much television. I used to watch basically nothing, except an occasional episode of The Simpsons and The Daily Show and then some Red Sox and Patriots games. But then we got DVR in the fall as part of a package deal and watching HD shows on our big tv is just too pleasurable to resist. So I started watching a bunch of shows last fall. It sucked up a lot of my life. And here's what I learned:

Surface was the best of the new hour-long shows. I watched all 15 episodes (okay so I missed one--that episode where they first go down in the homemade bathysphere--stupid DVR didn't record it), and it was good. Everyone else talks crap about the show, but unlike Invasion it doesn't suck, and unlike Threshold it actually finished a season (and Threshold was unwatchable after the really cool pilot anyway).

So I feel like I need to stand up for Surface since nobody else seems to be.

The stuff early in the season with Miles and his sister's hot friend. That's classic high school awkwardness. And his sister's development over the course of the 15 episodes has been believable and nice. You like to see bad guys turn good and vice versa.

And Lake Bell is a great protagonist. She's a terrible mother, she's attractive but not in a typical hollywood way, she is convincing as a scientist--unlike say Denise Richards in that horrible Bond movie where she was the nuclear physicist or whatever she was supposed to be, and her stubbornness leads her into trouble. She's the most interesting lead in any show this year.

The other dude--the crazy insurance guy--he's a great foil for her.

The three main characters not meeting until the final episode of the season. Also a genius move.

The CGI creatures? Not so genius. I hate CGI, and if that's the reason you can't watch the show I can sympathize, but at least they're trying to show you the creatures instead of teasing you for episode after episode.

I know it probably won't come back next year, but I will miss it. It was like a fun catch-the-Spielberg reference game every week, and my Mondays just won't be the same. I'll have to find something more productive to do, like write crap like this.


Anonymous said...

interesting interesting - i still hate tv, which isn't to say i wont watch it and enjoy it (im amused by friends for god's sake) but i certainly won't start going out of my way to watch tv (my roommate watches it).

it does sound interesting as a show, perhaps concerning the cgi - well someone has to practice it until it becomes indistinguishable from real life: best ones to do it are the 1 season shows.

Anonymous said...

Invasion actually is sort of interesting now and then (high praise, I know). Plus I have this weird, unnatural, probably-shouldn't-even-mention-it thing for William Fichtner so there's that.
Lake Bell used to be on Boston Legal, which is terrible but it's on ABC a.k.a. the only channel I get so I watch it (also why I watch Invasion). And I'm sorry but she is ass-ugly. Plus annoying.
I just realized Boston Legal has somwthing sort of in common with Invasion for me. Because I also have a thing for super-creepy James Spader. I'm not sure what's wrong with me. Though it's kind of fading because he's all puffy-faced now. Right, this all had nothing to so with what you wrote about.
...another exciting edition of "Molly's Creepy Crush Corner."

Anonymous said...

Show us some Ninja Wolf!