THRESHOLD; E-RING - Complications Ensue
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Monday, October 03, 2005

Not loving Threshold, though everyone else seems to. It feels like science fiction written by people who don't like science fiction. They're chasing after a science fiction MacGuffin, but they could be chasing after airborne Ebola, or some Al-Qaeda plot, or anything else from 24. There is nothing intrinsically interesting for me to chew on after the episode is over. I want my science fiction to be about something. What is human? Are we more than the sum of our urges? What profit a man if he gain the world but lose his soul? What price progress? This is sort of like a malevolent Andromeda Strain, but with a lot of grim-jawed operatives, guns and data mining. In fact, it feels a lot like ...

...E-Ring. I like the foreign locales. What bothers me rather deeply is that all the episodes seem to be about us violating international law to grab bad guys. This last episode had two stories about us ignoring our allies to break laws in their territory. In the A story we're kidnapping a bad guy in Uzbekistan without talking to the Uzbeki government. In the B story we are sabotaging a "French protest vessel" in Italian waters.

In other words, the audience is supposed to applaud the use of US military force against peaceful protestors from an allied nation, in the territorial waters of another allied nation. The French government actually did this, of course, when it blew up Greenpeace's boat Rainbow Warrior in New Zealand. It was considered shameful, not just criminal.

As Joseph Welch said to Joe McCarthy: "At long last, senator, have you no shame?" I feel that is how we are forcing even our friends and allies to feel about us: "At long last, America, have you no shame?"

Only I feel less and less like saying "we" these days.

7 Comments:

While I agree with some of what you're saying here Alex, what really pisses me off is that the high point of every episode of E-RING is the joint chiefs signing off on a doc so we can go into a covert ops situation. This show is about people who push paper. Our leads never get into the thick of things (which I understand is the big change this week when Ben Bratt goes to Iran/Iraq/Middle east of nowhere).

That, to me violates the very rule of drama - the hero has to solve the problem, not push paper and rely on others to do the work for him.

Is it just me that feels weird about this?

By Blogger Bill Cunningham, at 5:59 PM  

I think that shows like "E-ring" are based upon the fear mongering and uber patriotism that is being shovelled down our collective throats by the Bush administration.

I don't think "E-ring" will be around long, it didn't do well in its time slot and the critics have trounced it.

By Blogger writergurl, at 6:08 PM  

Yep, Bill, there's a whole lotta nothing going on in that show...

By Blogger writergurl, at 6:09 PM  

Clone shows. Same shows. Different day. SO BORED. All I can do is click, click, click.

My only hope is Jason Lee.

By Blogger madscreenwriter, at 6:52 PM  

To me Threshold feels like a CBS crime show with a few sci-fi overtones. I don't think it's a bad show, but it's not particularly different from most CBS shows in many respects. And I have to admit that while I usually try to watch a bit of everything, I have zero interest in watching E-Ring.

By Blogger Jeff, at 9:15 PM  

I saw the "Invasion" pilot during the summer and hated it. Does anyone know if its doing any good?


Seems like this season that the networks are trying to rival Lost's sci-fi/supernatural mystery with either one genre or the other (eg. Sci-fi: THreshold, Invasion etc. Supernatural: Well, Supernatural :p, ghost whisperer, Night Stalker) I haven't really seen anything that mixes the two.


Off topic: Guys/Gals, watch Veronica Mars... Please!!! Tivo Lost or download it and watch it later but watch Mars so it stays on the air. Kevin Smith guest stars this week ;)

By Blogger Jason Sanders, at 9:48 PM  

I watched the pilot of THRESHOLD and I couldn't follow it. E-RING, Dennis Hopper in the military. Next.

By Blogger PJ McIlvaine, at 11:47 PM  

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