What I’ve been watching (May 3-9)

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Sometimes I’m asked how I decide what to review on this blog, and the answer’s pretty simple – it’s whatever I happen to have watched, read, seen or listened to that week. I never choose to watch something purely to review it, which at least means that everything I review here is something that I actually wanted to see and why a negative post is usually a function of genuine disappointment rather than because it’s not my sort of thing in the first place.

But I don’t review everything I see/hear/watch in a week – I do have a life, strange as that seems to me as well I’m sure as to you. I cherry-pick the things I have something (new) to say rather than just churning out the same comments on an ongoing series for the sake of it. However, I thought as a one-off experiment, what I’d do here in this Very Special Post is run through the disturbingly long list of things that I have watched on the screen in the last seven days just to put a little context around the posts that did make it to the big time so far in May … Read the rest of this entry »

Defiance S1: Pilot (SyFy)

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Episodes of the new SciFi sky-high concept series Defiance are airing on UK’s SyFy Channel just 24 hours after they hit their US counterpart, with the broadcaster evidently highly aware of the need to make the show into a simultaneous world-wide phenomenon. It’s an ambitious plan for SyFy, which hasn’t has a sizeable hit since the glory days of their Battlestar Galactica reboot.

defianceI confess, I didn’t think this would be for me: I’m something of a ‘fair weather’ scifi-and-fantasy fan, which means that while I love shows like Doctor Who, Star Trek and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and movies like Star Wars, The Matrix and Inception, the minute things get too weird and strange I tend to get alienated (pun intended) and start to think it’s all a bit silly and just for kids. I expected that sensation to kick in while watching this new show just as it was always an impediment to my giving Muppets In Space – sorry, Farscape – a fair crack of the whip. Even Firefly never clicked with me, for all its implicit Joss Whedon-ness.

Sure enough, there were moments in the first 20 minutes of Defiance where I was wondering if I’d make it through the two-hour pilot before giving it up as a bad job. But then somewhere along the way, the show started to click for me after all: not totally, but enough to keep me watching. Enough to sit back at the end and say, “Okay – I’m in for episode 2.” Which is far more than I ever expected. Read the rest of this entry »