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Is anyone watching the Sarah Connor Chronicles on TV

 
 
Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 10:46 am
The Sarah Connor Chronicles is a FOX TV spinoff series from the Terminator franchise. I'm finding it to be one of the better Sci-Fi shows on TV lately. Battlestar Galactica held the title of "Best" (in my opinion) for years, but it ended recently.

Just as with Galactica, one of the basic elements of SCC is the question of what makes us human or machine. As both series explore the evolution of machine intelligence to a point where they become almost indistinguishable from people, at least SCC is maintaining a "harder" science approach to the issue.

I hope SCC keeps enough of an audience to allow FOX to renew it's contract/season.

If you like this type of show and you haven't seen it, give it a try.

Is anyone else enjoying this show?

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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 11,277 • Replies: 173
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 12:06 pm
@rosborne979,
I've been following the series and the ratings have been dropping but, hopefully, if that happened it could be picked up by the Sci-Fi Channel. When the networks move shows to Friday nights (in this case followed up by "Dollhouse" which isn't catching on), it's the next thing to striking the first nail into the coffin. I agree it's one of the few sci-fi shows that embraces some hard science -- in this case, robotics, which was, of course, a favorite theme of Isaac Azimov, adding the element of There isn't any hard science of time travel or "replicants" (from, of course, Blade Runner with a robotic exoskeleton) but a sci-fi show can't survive without getting into some fantastical elements too, as Star Trek with time-space warp and teleportation hypothesis.
rosborne979
 
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Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 12:19 pm
@Lightwizard,
Lightwizard wrote:
I agree it's one of the few sci-fi shows that embraces some hard science -- in this case, robotics, which was, of course, a favorite theme of Isaac Azimov, adding the element of There isn't any hard science of time travel or "replicants" (from, of course, Blade Runner with a robotic exoskeleton) but a sci-fi show can't survive without getting into some fantastical elements too, as Star Trek with time-space warp and teleportation hypothesis.

I think the ideas regarding artificial intelligence are one of the few areas in which sci-fi can stretch the boundaries of creativity and entertainment without coming into direct conflict with physics (as we currently know physics). Even though AI is purely speculative at this point, it's not a physics problem like light-speed barriers are. And it leaves plenty of room for moral angst in the characters that have to deal with it. Smile

I'm hoping that the summer release of Terminator Salvation will lend a boost to SCC.

"Dollhouse" is also getting better (after a slow and aimless start).

The best thing about Sci-Fi for me has always been the "ideas" that underlie the fictional world they are inventing. The lasers and explosions are fun to watch, but they don't give the show any elegance or gravitas. Sci-Fi shows need some underlying idea which drives the shows along and threads them together, and I like the mystery of trying to figure out how the fictional science of the show changes the world the characters live in (as that reality is revealed episode by episode).
Setanta
 
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Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 12:20 pm
I generally don't watch tee-vee, but with Roswell's recommendation, i will probably check this out.
dyslexia
 
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Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 12:27 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

I generally don't watch tee-vee, but with Roswell's recommendation, i will probably check this out.
yeah, me too.
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DrewDad
 
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Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 12:34 pm
I've been watching this season, and we're a Nielson family this week. They'll get at least one pair of eyeballs on the show.
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 01:17 pm
@rosborne979,
Don't have any idea how it got edited that way, but here's the complete sentence:

adding the element of androids/"replicants."

"Eleventh Hour" gets into really good story-lines and hard science with the male lead a scientist. "Fringe" utilizes some hard science but does get pretty free-wheeling and inventive to the point of being outre, but it's entertaining and, of course, owes a lot to "The X Files." Those two are more science fantasy/mystery shows. It was once thought to dub what was then "science fantasy" as "speculative fiction" but that was too general, but came into its own as science fiction thanks mainly to "Astounding Science Fiction" in the late 30's. In a lecture at UCLA in 1954, Forry Ackerman coined "Sci-Fi," (after "Hi-Fi")?

Now we have a show that's "socio-sci-fi" straight out of the old Galaxy Magazine of the 50's, "Kings." Let's see where they go with that.
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DrewDad
 
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Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 01:20 pm
I've become a convert of the appellation "SF" for "speculative fiction" instead of "sci-fi".
Lightwizard
 
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Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 01:50 pm
@DrewDad,
I think the Sci-Fi Channel has immortalized the term -- "SF" is pre-60's.
DrewDad
 
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Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 01:53 pm
@Lightwizard,
Don't you mean "the SyFy Channel"?
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rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 03:45 pm
For those not familiar with SCC, one of the lead roles is that of Cameron Phillips, a beautiful and cryptic young Terminator (an infiltration unit) sent from the future to protect John Connor. The role is played by Summer Glau, a classically trained ballerina. Summer also starred in the Firefly series by Joss Wheadon (another good sci-fi show) and sequel movie Serenity. Summer brings a grace of movement (and simple good looks) to both of these shows.

One of the episodes ends with a monologue by Lena Heady (the other major star of the show) in which she laments that if the machines were ever to acquire the human sense to appreciate beauty or create art, that they would no longer have to destroy us because they would "be" us. Meanwhile, during the monologue the terminator Cameron, motivated by an earlier conversation with John, is seen quietly lacing up her ballet slippers and beginning to dance all alone in her room to the strains of a classic ballet.


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Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 04:01 pm
@rosborne979,
My wife and I have been watching it since the start. In our opinion, the character, "Cameron", is one of the best elements of the show. She plays it excellently and with more depth than is immediately apparent.
rosborne979
 
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Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 04:14 pm
@Reyn,
Reyn wrote:
My wife and I have been watching it since the start. In our opinion, the character, "Cameron", is one of the best elements of the show. She plays it excellently and with more depth than is immediately apparent.

Agreed. Although I'm really starting to like some of John's lines as well. In the last episode John tells his uncle that he wants to talk about the future. The uncle asks, "you mean your future?" (because of John's obvious link to the future), but John replies, "no, your future". It has a very ominous ring to it, especially since John is still armed, and very angry.
rosborne979
 
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Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 04:19 pm
Here's another great scene with another great character, Cromartie (played by one of the cast from HBO's Deadwood and John From Cincinnatti, Garret Dillahunt).


I like the treatment of the scene because the violence isn't show but only implied, as the reality of the situation becomes clear to the characters.

0 Replies
 
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 04:36 pm
@rosborne979,
I think that was one of "John's" best episodes in the series so far.

The famous "pool scene" is definitely one of the more memorable ones, for sure!

Now that Ellison is enteracting with Cromartie, under controlled conditions in the basement, some good bits are coming up, too.
Lightwizard
 
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Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 04:53 pm
@Reyn,
I hope the fan base can keep it alive. They do have smart writers and haven't laden it down with special effects (which end up sometimes costing more than they're worth at the expense of paying good writers and actors). It's a character driven drama and the sci-fi elements are used wisely as a foundation. Sci-fi writing was critiqued through the 60's as not having real characters in story lines the reader could identify with. I think I identify with John as a much younger me and I think knowing what my future is would be as much of a burden as he experiences. The writers do make it believable -- how the characters interact with some very clever introspection.
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littlek
 
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Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 05:52 pm
been meaning to catch this show and haven't yet. I will not that BSG is done with.
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Thomas
 
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Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 11:40 pm
@rosborne979,
I'm following it, but I might be dropping out soon. IMO, it's trying to be too many things to too many people. Terminator series, family series, annoying religious overtones that go way beyond the allusions in the movies ... it's not bad, but I like the terminator movies better. Looking forward to #4.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2009 09:41 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:
I'm following it, but I might be dropping out soon. IMO, it's trying to be too many things to too many people. Terminator series, family series, annoying religious overtones that go way beyond the allusions in the movies ...

Really? Like what?

I remember a few religious references, but they seem to have more to do with the characters than with the basic premise of the plot.

Thomas wrote:
it's not bad, but I like the terminator movies better. Looking forward to #4.

I'm looking forward to the next terminator movie as well. I wonder if there are going to be tie-ins to SCC or if they will ignore each other.

One of the underlying questions of SCC is how/why [future] John Connor is using machines as allies and where that leads for humanity. The impression I get from the scenes from the next movie is that they are going to run into something along those lines.
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2009 09:50 am
@Thomas,
Those have been the minuses but if they remain sporadic, I could follow it out to the end. The problem with a 4th movie, the third "Terminator" film is the weakest with one of Ahnold's worst performances and this series is eating up all the material. With the spin-off looming, I can't see any producer getting the money together and enlisting Ahnold to reappear as, what? The baker Terminator turning out cinnamon rolls? But, they have with James Cameron as a writer:

Terminator Salvation (2009)

Set in post-apocalyptic 2018, John Connor is the man fated to lead the human resistance against Skynet and its army of Terminators. But the future Connor was raised to believe in is altered in part by the appearance of Marcus Wright, a stranger whose last memory is of being on death row. Connor must decide whether Marcus has been sent from the future, or rescued from the past. As Skynet prepares its final onslaught, Connor and Marcus both embark on an odyssey that takes them into the heart of Skynet’s operations, where they uncover the terrible secret behind the possible annihilation of mankind. Christian Bale plays John Conner.

Have to wait to see how the ratings hold up until the end of this season, but I'm afraid they are still hell-bent to survive in a ratings war by appealing to a larger audience.
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