September 21, 2012 at 11:35 pm #667
BBC America is rerunning the show right now. This is the first time time I’ve seen the show in about two years. Back then I thought it was OK but I didn’t feel strongly one way or the other. Good story but something that I couldn’t identify was telling me that there was something wrong. Now I know what it was: IT’S TOO DAMN LONG!
It’s composed of five episodes that could have been crunched to two without sacrificing the quality of the show. In fact, making the show shorter would have made it a lot better. They spent a whole episode, essentially, of Jack lamenting the death of Ianto. In other parts of the show we see officials wringing their hands over difficult decisions to make.Too much talk and people brooding about decisions to make and not enough of action and people doing things. It doesn’t matter how moody the music is: watching people agonizing over their decisions is BORING! Throughout the third episode I was moaning “Get on with it!” Episode four was worse. Nothing was happening! It wasn’t until episode five that we find out what was going on and even then there was too much moody music and people lamenting their past action (or lack thereof) and their current situation. Ugh!
If I wasn’t using the show as background noise while I was busy doing household tasks (sifting cat sand is fun!), doing internet things and so on, I would have changed channels a long time ago. I don’t understand how I was able to suffer through the show two years ago. I guess my curiosity overwhelmed my impatience and that’s why I couldn’t identify what was wrong with the show: I wasn’t listening to the bored part of my brain.
Two years ago I would have given the show maybe 3 stars out of 4. Now I’m giving it 2 stars with the advice: “Do something else while watching this show like knitting, posting on Facebook or washing the dishes. Because, if you don’t, you’ll be bored out of you mind waiting for the final 30 minutes of this show.”
/rantSeptember 22, 2012 at 3:39 am #4355
That’s pretty much how I felt about Miracle Day. Massive amounts of nothingness with small bits of story sprinkled in. I haven’t watched Children of Earth in a while, and now I’m wondering if I should bother. Considering that Children of Earth was shown daily, I thought it had the right timing and tension at that time. That’s one of the reasons I didn’t care for Miracle Day, it felt like a five day event that was stretched out and padded into ten due to the Starz network’s involvement.September 22, 2012 at 9:08 am #4356
Earl’s previous regenerationSpectator
I think Steve hit upon the key here: shown daily. (For the record, I thought the cabinet room deliberations were one of the most interesting and important parts of the whole thing – the upper crust deciding what would happen to the lower class kids, but not their kids (or, in the case of Nick “Mr. Big Finish” Briggs’ character, these decisions being made by someone who doesn’t even have children). It’s kind of like the thin membrane between civilization and chaos. But once a night, with 24 hours to digest, was how it was shown and perhaps how it should be rewatched. It’s sort of like watching a six-or-seven part Who all in one sitting – by the time you’re done, you’re thinking “never again!”, but it’s good stuff if watched one or two half-hour episodes per night.September 26, 2012 at 10:09 pm #4357
But once a night, with 24 hours to digest, was how it was shown and perhaps how it should be rewatched. It’s sort of like watching a six-or-seven part Who all in one sitting – by the time you’re done, you’re thinking “never again!”, but it’s good stuff if watched one or two half-hour episodes per night.
No,I disagree. My rule is, “if I can’t watch it in one sitting then it wasn’t very good in the first place”. I have a really good memory when it comes to TV shows and books (I’m reading two novels and 3 non-fiction books right now which requires a decent memory from me – otherwise I’ll be rereading the books constantly). Even if I saw it as you recommended and starting watching it on Monday, I’d be bored to tears on Wednesday and Thursday. Even the first half of the show on Friday would make me moan “get on with it!”.
I understand and appreciate the difficult decisions the leaders were making to meet the demands of the aliens but they were agonizing too much and taking way to long to make a decision. I know that these decisions take much longer in real life but this is TV land and I want them to decide quickly! The fact that they would drag out these scenes shows how hollow the ideas and stories were in this season. Layers within layers within layers is great stuff for the viewer as we tries to unravel the mystery. “Children of Earth” had, at best, one and a half layers and I was bored.
Let’s compare this to another mini-series I watched recently: “Shogun”. Much of the TV series had nothing to do with the main plot line of Lord Torunaga scheming to become Shogun. Instead we are given the treat of learning about Japanese culture and customs. And. of course, there were all those sub-plots of Blackthorn’s romance, his quest to sink the Black ship, and so on.
None of that was really happening in Children of Earth. They tried but the results were rather dull or, at the very least, simplistic. Sure, we got some face time between Gwen and her hubby in the potato truck but they we rehashing stuff from the previous seasons. Captain Jack put in a position where he dies over and over again? Yes, we haven’t seen that before (rolls eyes). In my opinion, the writers got lazy. Maybe it was a time pressure thing, which can be forgiven, but they didn’t spend the time tightening up the dialog and making the events in the show more alive.
Miracle Day wasn’t any better, although it had the potential of becoming much better. They had a lot more cool things going on, sure, but only enough for 5 episodes. They stretched it to 10! Oh God kill me now!
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