Saturday, August 11, 2007

"FLASH! (BOOM) .... Meh."

I'm usually not real thrilled with Italian food. The ingredients, the common flavors, the theme of it...just not that big of a thrill to me. Just one of those things.

Still, my wife made a quickie home-made pizza last night and it was pretty good. Nothing special, just tasty, hot food when I was hungry.

I enjoyed it more than the new Flash Gordon show on Sci Fi.

Look, I've been wrong before. I was wrong about Battlestar Galactica. I said, "Man, this new BSG looks like butt." But I watched the miniseries anyway, and then the first two episodes, and I thought, "Yeah, OK, I dig this!" And I liked it pretty well for 2 whole seasons. I didn't think I'd like the new Doctor Who, but danged if I miss an episode. And I turned off the first (aired) episode of Firefly after the first commercial...but then I borrowed the DVDs.

That's why I said to myself, "OK, this new Flash Gordon series looks like butt. I'll sit down and watch it, despite all the snore-racious poo I've been reading about it on" So I did; I sat there and I watched it and I laughed at acouple of things and I even said, out loud, "I like the design of that ship" and "I like her eye makeup".


Sci Fi's new Flash Gordon is one of those 're-imaginings' of a once-popular SF property. Sometimes, that's good; sometimes, it's Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes. In this case, however, it's...'s BLAND. Bland, bland, bland. Enough has been 're-imagined' so far from its origin that, frankly, it ought to have just been called something else; the things you think of when you think "Flash Gordon" are woefully absent, replaced with more "modern" ideas:
  1. Ming is a blond guy who is "more a kind of Saddam Hussein".
  2. Flash goes to Mongo not on a rocket ship but through a wormhole, and he can come back and forth.
  3. Mongo is a decaying, thirsty wasteland .
  4. The Hawkmen are not winged guys who fly -- they are "guys that ... follow the way of the hawk ... and are all about birds."
Now...these aren't bad ideas. They're just (to me) antithetical to the whole Flash Gordon vibe. It's like if you said, "Hey, let's re-make Miami Vice but take it out of the 1980's!" or "What if I, Robot had some chase scenes in it?"

Frankly, it felt less like a Flash Gordon show and more like a half-hearted Stargate SG-1 ripoff, and not in a fun way.


That, and all the girls look the same -- skinny. Curves are nice! Boobs have fascinated men for millenia! It's proven!


And then...there's the Mexican truck driver.

Yes, the pilot episode (seemingly abitrarily) features a Mexican truck driver. We know he's Mexican (Hispanic, anyway) because he's listening to salsa music while driving, and then because his name, Fernando, is painted on the door of his truck. The illusion is fragile but acceptable.

Then, he tries to speak Spanish.

Look, I know they shoot this stuff in Vancouver. That's great; it's affordable, itlooks nice, there are facilities, etc.

Producers: HOW HARD IS IT to find someone there who SPEAKS SPANISH to DO SO ON SCREEN or at least PROOF READ THE SCRIPT?! Do they charge exorbitant rates for that kind of thing? Do you have a friend back in LA or New York who grew up speaking Spanish? Can you e-mail them a few lines and have them read them back to you, maybe save it as an .mp3 for coaching? THERE! I SOLVED YOUR PROBLEM! FOR FREE! YOU'RE WELCOME!

But it won't matter. I'm not really interested in watching the show. It's not bad, but it's not what I want.

Plus, in yesterday's mail, I got this: