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Sunday, September 18, 2005

Public Service Announcement

Do not watch Threshold. If you have accidentally watched it, rinse your eyes with water immediately and contact a doctor.

Here's a commentary of the first 20 minutes of the pilot episode. I could go on, but it's too painful to watch a second time around.

0h 1m: A "fractal" shape appears on the radar screen. Only it's not something the radar's seeing, as the image is bigger than the radar area, encapsulating the whole screen. Plus, the screen is wobbling like an Ocean Waves filter has been applied in Photoshop. So, what? The alien ship is reprogramming the computer graphics code to display normal radar data (only wobbly!) with a spooky spiral on top?

0h 1m: The bridge starts deforming, with paint chipping of and windows cracking. But it seems this is only for effect, as it's never mentioned again, even as the Red Team arrives on the ship to investigate.

0h 2m: "Highly Pathogenic SARS-like virus" Yeah, that SARS sure was infectious as hell. Alot more scary than, say, the flu.

0h 3m: a helicopter comes to pick up Dr. Caffrey while she's out walking her dog. A suit in a black helicopter lands in a park in the middle of an urban neighbourhood right next to where the doctor happens to be walking her dog at the exact same moment. A minute or two earlier or later and they'd have had to land the chopper in the park and then run who knows how many blocks after her. It can't be because they're in a hurry, because a few minutes later she's wearing different clothes, so she went back to her place to change. Now, is it completely logical or is it just cool and shows something important is up? A pair of suits showing up at the door and taking her to the airport would have worked.

0h 5m: "The Oval Office seems to think you're a genius"
"Oh, I don't know about that"
"Your modesty is refreshing. Now drop it"
I've seen better dialogue in an Estonian soap opera with a budget of two cents and a box of matches.

0h 6m: The heat plume of a UFO entering Earth's orbit (note: orbit, not atmosphere) has a tail. Like a comet.

0h 9m: "What if some kind of technology could be reverse-engineered? Do we want it falling into the hands of other countries?" Gag.

0h 10m: A scientist is bitching because he's been assigned to be a part of the first ever extra-terrestrial contact. Yeah.

0h 11m: The 'crash site' is near the US coast. The NSA informs that the North-Koreans also detected it and are moving in. They have 5 or 6 hours. Yes. The North-Koreans are the only ones besides the US that detected it. And they're moving in. Later, the mighty USA blows up the ship so the North-Koreans can't get their hands on it. Anything you say.

0h 11m: Again with the animals moving in the fractal pattern. Okay, we get it.

0h 12m: On the helicopter ride over, the obligatory bonding begins. The federal agent/special ops guy/"ghost" asks personal questions about Caffrey's father, as a result of which we learn she doesn't know her father. What a complicated and multi-faceted character she is.

0h 13m: The ship has no power, but all the screens are still showing that fractal pattern. Later, we see every electronic screen on the ship displaying the same pattern. Even screens that aren't capable of showing it. If you'd have an electronic watch with an LCD display, it would also show that pattern. Your fucking flashlight would show that pattern, according to the writers of this show.

0h 15m: "What about the ship's computers? There might be a log or outgoing emails" Yeah, that's it. I'm sure they emailed their penpals the minute they encountered the UFO.

0h 16m: Since when does any video camera (or VCR or tape recorder for that matter) really make that sound when you fast forward?

0h 17m: He's been looking at the squiggly morphing ship for 20 seconds and the first thought he has is that "we're dealing with some kind of higher-dimensional geometry. I think we're looking at a four-dimensional object in three-dimensional space" Egads. This idea could have had potential if they'd handled it right.

0h 18m: "Congratulations gentlemen. We've just confirmed extraterrestrial intelligence." How? By looking at a squiggly morphing thing floating above the sea? By bleeding out of your nose? What exactly confirmed it?

Later on, they come to the conclusion that the aliens are trying to colonize Earth by altering our DNA and making us like them. And the way they come to that conclusion is reminiscent of a Batman episode:
Batman: One: "What has yellow skin and writes?"
Robin: A ballpoint banana.
Batman: Right! Two: "What people are always in a hurry?"
Robin: Rushing people? Russians!
Batman: Right again! Now, what would you say they mean?
Robin: Banana… Russian. I've got it! Someone Russian is gonna slip on a banana peel and break their neck!
Batman: Precisely, Robin! The only possible meaning!

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Anonymous liis said...

Dänjel, kas Sa oled meil liiga kriitiliseks äkki läinud? :|

Blogger dr.dna said...

eino pole hullu kui vahest mõni ebaloogiline asi sarjas/filmis juhtub, aga kui seda juhtub iga kahe minuti tagant ja kogu storyline on juba iseenesest nii lollilt tehtud siis kyll on tegijad kannalöögi silma teeninud.

Anonymous Wilford Whitmarsh said...

It''s quite impressive.


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