Thursday, October 17, 2002
Turds of Grey
I saw my first and last episode of Birds of Prey on the WB tonight. (I'd find a link for it, but if the WB doesn't care enough to put a link to it on their front page, neither do I).
I have to say that I have seen better television. Much, much better. Excuse me while I get my geek on:
1). While I'm thrilled, if not sexually piqued, that the red headed chick from Starship Troopers is playing Barbara Gordon (just think, if you've seen Starship Troopers, you've seen Batgirl's tits! Woot!), I have to say that the actress is being coached to be sexy in a wheelchair, and not, you know, someone who's paralyzed from the waist down in a wheelchair. Leaning forwards for those people is not an option. It's like balancing an egg on its end. Once it starts falling in one direction, there's nothing down there to keep it from falling all the way over. That's why wheelchairs have reclined backs to them, and it's why the people you see sitting in them more often than not are sitting back. Losing the use of your legs is one thing. Barbara Gordon was shot with a bullet in the spine. Bad, if not nonexistant, physical acting coach. And Barbara sitting on a Chaise Lounge curled up like a sexy kitten talking to Helena and the sidekick? It's only sexy until you realize that Alfred had to probably come over there and help prop her legs up on the couch like that; making the whole impromptu scene seem downright funny.
2). The Huntress? Bruce Wayne and Selena Kyle's lovechild? With superpowers?!? What universe is this supposed to be again?
3). Two words: New Gotham. Hey writing crew, it's just plain Gotham. Calling it New Gotham in the wake of 9/11 isn't going to create any amount of love for your show, especially when your computer generated fly-by's of the city look like a college school dropout made them. Here's a hint: Gotham isn't shiny. Metropolis is. I spent 40 minutes trying to figure out why Gotham City was destroyed and everyone was living in New Gotham, and how in the hell that city got built up so fast. You just can't go around renaming shit that's been established for the past 50 years. It would be like Mayor Daley renaming Chicago to New Chicago in memory of the New York tragedy. It's just a little confusing, and a whole lot trite.
4). Bruce Wayne finds out he has a daughter and skips town now that the lover who he created that child with is dead. Is it just me, or is this strikingly out of character for a man who was orphaned when his own parents were killed and then due to that psychological trauma became a father figure and mentored at least three young boys? Sure, they can say he's looking for Selena's killers, but when plotpoints that drive an entire series are weaker than established character cannon, it's time to fire your writers.
5). Harley Quinn. Medicine woman. Psychiatrist to the stars. I'm assuming that in this little invented universe, Harley hasn't committed any actual crimes. It seems from tonight's episode that she's a "behind the scenes" player; controlling the criminal puppet strings. The only problem is that the villain of the week referred to her as a "supercriminal." Shouldn't she have at least done something to earn that title? Because there's a big ol' continuity problem that's about to rear its ugly head. Either she's a supercriminal, or she's not. And since they referred to her as a supercriminal, I'm going to go with their statement that she is. That would mean that she has a known and sordid history of being a criminal (she's already referred to her beloved Mister J.), and if she had a known history of being a criminal (or at least someone who associates with criminals), don't you think Oracle (i.e. Batgirl i.e. Barbara Gordon) might know something about that, seeing as she's the all-knowing Oracle?
6). Trite/camp character names bore me. I realize that they're trying to appeal to that lowest common denomenator audience, but what the producers don't seem to understand is that the LCDs don't tend to watch superhero dramas. Geeks do. Naming a theif/assasin character who can turn into water Slick Waters is about the dumbest name you could possibly have given him. Shall we start calling The Flash: Speedy McQuickguy? How about Green Arrow: Verde Von Arrowhoffen. We could even call Batman: BatManuel. Oh wait, a funny show did that already.
7). Why the hell is Alfred in this show? Is he there to remind us that there's some kind of Bruce Wayne tie-in? Because I'm wondering who's tidying Wane Manor, and why Bruce would have left without telling his Butler when he's going to be coming back. "Could you check on the supercomputers once in awhile and start the Batmobile every other day come winter? I might be out for a bit." You know, it's that whole ugly continuity thing again.