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02 December 2005 @ 04:06 pm
1x01 ''Lucky Me''

Dawn Summers strikes out on her own with a new group of companions ready to take on the mysteries of the Key. No longer under the safe-keeping of the slayer, Dawn needs to rely on her own intuition and growing power to discover who she really is.

This series is already into its seventh episode and so far I haven't had the chance to delve into it. I was both excited and nervous about reading the episode. Excited because Dawn is a character that was tragically underused in Buffy The Vampire Slayer but there were glimmers of hope every so often that made me think ''this character could be so much more''. In the virtual continuation [devised by Darren J Eldred], Dawn was given a lot more depth and even ended up as the bad guy Ulithios, which is how she met her maker. In this show, Dawn is the hero, striking out on her own. I was nervous because... well, because of the reasons above. I have a great empathy for the character and truth be told, a little fearful that her potential might not be utilized.

So onto the review: the first thing I noticed was the beautiful writing, both in action and dialogue. Every word seems to flow into the next without any jarring stops. The description of the Savorte demon is simply brilliant. More often than not in other shows we're basically just told this is a demon but Claire really knows how the describe her things. Not just demons either, it's present in everything. The characters are already down, each with their own personality, and we can already see Dawn has grown up a lot since we last saw her in season seven. Not just maturity, but she's been training as well. My first chuckle came in the action when the big ass demon is referred to as Wally. So simplistic but as these screenplays are meant for internet readers only, we really do need some humour in the action paragraphs too, and Claire really delivers with that.

I loved how Buffy was hardly mentioned at all, it really put the spotlight on Dawn. I also loved how Dawn spoke about her but didn't speak about her at the same time. She referred to events instead of outright saying ''this is what happened...'' I think for a Buffyverse spin-off pilot to be successful in finding its own identity, these subtle references are the key. No pun intended. Giles' appearance was very welcoming and he was in character. I found it a little convenient the four managed to land near his home in England but eh... details, details. Besides, I put it down to the fact that those kind of things generally happen when Devon is around. I liked the respect shown between Giles and Samuel, I think that's exactly how they would be. The moment Dawn touched that key... very well done. It reminded me a little of Lord Of The Rings and I'm equally excited to see which new places the gang will travel to. I applaud the route you've taken with this, not grounding the team, but keeping them on the move. It's different and original, as is the backstory you've created for the key and the God... seriously impressed.

All in all I give this a 9. It's definitely the strongest Buffyverse spin-off pilot I've read. It would be a 10 but there were some spelling and grammar errors that held it off. But the story, pacing, action, writing, and characters are all very well done. Kudos.
02 December 2005 @ 03:47 pm
2x09 ''Two Second Delay''

Okay, so before I begin, I have to admit that this is the first episode of the Faith series I've actually read... but in most cases I think that's a good thing. I lack any emotional attachment (except for the leading lady of course) and can therefor give a view only an outsider can. My lack of feelings towards the characters are both a blessing and a curse.

So onto the episode. Well, it appears that Faith has been split into two by a demon previously seen in the Buffy episode ''The Replacement'' (the one where Xander gets split into two). We have her good side and her bad side. Problem is, the bad side has the slayer powers. It's got something to do with them being rooted in darkness. Faith works in an asylum and in this particular epiosde she has to help a girl overcome her demons... in more ways than one. It seems there's one out there that's making her crazy/insane and she's getting tagged as a self harmer. Suffice to say, Faith saves the day... with a little help from guest star Jessie (it should be noted that Jessie will be starring in her own show entitled Raven, which will be coming to a screen near you).

Now for the much hyped evil-ness. Hmm... I'm not sure whether it was just because it was hyped so much or not, but I didn't really get the evil-ness. It was basically Bad Faith running around and torturing every single member of the Faith-ettes. This includes Quinn, Pryor, and Noa. The fanbase suggests that Noa's the most popular character... and in true Whedon-style, she's the one who copped the most pain, in the sense that Bad Faith broke her back. Literally. Some of the torturing scenes felt very familiar (Faith torturing Wesley in Angel ''5x5'', and of Angelus torturing various victims). There was nothing groundbreaking or original and Bad Faith didn't even kill anyone. Now I know most bad guys are all ''go for the heart''... but I'm still waiting for the bad guy that actually kills the people who are eventually going to bring them down if he/she doesn't. Logic dictates it. For me, this torture serves as shock value, but it's all key to the plot (which I'm actually quite interested in).

This episode gets a 7 because it was well written but like I said above, most of the torturing scenes seemed purely there for shock value. There was no style to it. Nothing I haven't seen before.
02 December 2005 @ 03:06 pm
1x01 ''Pilot''

The opener was great, very cool to be plunged straight into the action like that, and obviously I'm already intruiged as to what Jackson has done. The teaser's hooked me straight away. The first line that made me chuckle out loud was from Jet: "Yesterday. Some quiet guy delivered it. He didn't say a lot, which was good, because he gave me the willies... not figuratively."

I like the fact The Man In Black isn't given a name straight away -- it adds a bit of eery mystery to him. And seeing him in Jessica's flashback adds another mystery instantly. Sympathy vote goes to Henry. Poor guy, in love with a girl who's completely oblivious to the fact... I think we can all identify with that. You know, apart from straight girls and gay guys... but moving on. Poor Warren, biting the bullet so to speak, and I'm already guessing that Jackson will get nailed for this crime.

Okay, Chaos is introduced. I'm curious as to who or what it is... my guesses lead me to believe they're assassins of some kind, but that's just the guesser in me. In any case, it's enough to get people hooked, and that is always a plus. Then we're treated to the action sequence, where Lauren goes all "hiiyyyyyaaaa" and stabs Jackson with a scalpel. Needless to say, there's a fight, Chris gets dead... a lot... and the episode finishes on the carnage. If this isn't enough to drag you back for a next episode, I don't know what is!

All in all, I found the episode written well and the plot was paced nicely. We don't know much about the characters, the title one being the most mysterious, and that serves to fuel our interest even more. It's cleverly done, never too much being divulged, but enough to whet our appetites. You've got a fan right here. I give it an 8.
02 December 2005 @ 03:01 pm
1x03 ''Crushed''

Well, read another one. 45 pages? Gah!

Anyway, nice little story this week. I liked taking a deeper look at Mark, his character is one of my favourites... reserved, coy, but honourable. I would have liked to have seen a little bit more drama with his unrequited love -- it cuts deep but he seemed to take it so well. Could've done with a scene at the end with him, seeing as this was really his episode.

Julie popped up and pipped away. At first I liked her, now I'm not being given the chance to know her. Sam still remains the best thing about the series... this should be his show. He gets the best lines, funniest moments, and... well, he's just the best thing about it. The whole Anna/James thing is very Popular but it could work... hopefully not though cos James is a little flat. Not sure why someone like Anna would even consider a date with him. He's kinda degrading her personality at the moment.

A little Dominic is a good thing... although, is he still waiting at the school for Gabe to return? He kinda left him standing there and went inside with Mark. That ain't no way to catch a bus on dirtroads. All in all the episode gets a 7. But seriously, we need to at least reach the standard 52 page mark.
02 December 2005 @ 02:57 pm
1x02 ''Tug Of War''

Okay, finally got around to reading the second episode. I was instantly pleased to see it was 55 pages, so bonus points for that. Sam is by far the best character, he has more personality than the others combined, including Gabe. Shame to see Julie and Mark on the sidelines, although I did pick up on Mark's happiness to learn Gabe and Dominic hadn't done anything yet.

As for Gabe, well, he seems a little melodramatic at the moment. When he lunged for Parker it just seemed a bit too... over the top. Also would've been nice to see Dominic's reaction to that. Anna's new friend Sarah... well, I liked her up until the end, when her 'secret' was out. I thought it was forced and not exactly believable the way it was played out. It could have been a great twist but I just wasn't feeling it.

Dominic's still elusive. Mark's pretty non-existent. Julie is way underused. Troy came out of nowhere (his little speech with Gabe didn't read too well). And Anna's relationship with Gabe seems to have crumbled and then been rebuilt without any real explanation or reasoning. The dialogue was cold in some places, the only dialogue I find near perfect is Sam's.

All in all, I give the episode a 5. There were a few lines out of place and character names where there shouldn't be. Still enjoyable to read but not much drama yet.
02 December 2005 @ 02:48 pm
1x01 ''The New Kid''

Finally I've got around to reading the pilot episode. I must say, I found it disappointing to see the script was only 45 pages long, it just always seems like something is missing when you reach the end, and this is still the case with this episode.

However, the story moves along nicely and is paced well. I just sat and read the whole thing in about 15 minutes. There is some great dialogue but some of the lines need a little work. Then again, it's always hard finding the character's voice in the series premier so I'm sure that'll all be fixed in no time.

The characters are introduced well and each have their own personality. Sam sticks out as one of my favourites, if only because he's not afraid to speak his mind and suffer the consequences. Julie is a character that could well build up to be a favourite too, she has potential, but was underused in the pilot episode. Dominic reminds me of one of my friends out here in Oz... he's a lifeguard, looks completely straight (obviously isn't) and can play the whole 'tough guy' approach but still have a charming side. So that was a character I could envision well.

I think the main problem I have with the episode is that I just didn't get a feel for the characters. I'm not sure if that's because the script itself was too short or because there were so many characters to intoduce...? I also feel that I've seen all this before, these circumstances, these voices, these conclusions... but we all know by now that you cannot judge a series by the pilot alone. I'm not saying the pilot was bad, I did enjoy reading it. Either way, this is just the starting block and I'm sure things will get better from here.

So in conclusion, I give this episode a 7. I may have just pointed out the bad stuff up there but I did enjoy it, it was a great read and kept me entertained throughout. I look forward to episode two.
02 December 2005 @ 02:24 pm
... to my reviews of virtual shows. What's a virtual show? Well, they're basically screenplays written as if they were to be filmed and aired on TV. Obviously this doesn't happen, hence the 'virtual', but we like to pretend it does. Cos let's face it, most of the shows we knock out are better than the ones that do get picked up by networks. ;)

As I am currently backpacking around Australia, my writing has had to take a back seat, so I will instead be catching up on my reading and offering (hopefully) insightful reviews of the shows I feast my tired eyes on. So sit back, grab a black coffee, and enjoy the read.
Current Mood: lethargiclethargic
Virtual Show You're Into: Pathways