The Sarah Connor Chronicles

I’m a pretty big Terminator fan. I’m not quite crazy enough to say that Terminator 3 rocked, but I do always throw out the caveat “but that ending had BALLS, man…”  I still stand by that. Anyway, I’m really crossing my fingers for Terminator : Salvation. I’ve been rewatching the classic Terminator movies with my sexy rogueish girlfriend, but the other night I decided to take a risk and give the Sarah Connor Chronicles a shot.

I really tried.

I’ve complained a LOT to the people I know about the whole forward time travel thing in the first episode. Yeah, it creates all kinds of continuity problems and all that. It’s horrible and it undermines the films a bit, but I figured if I can just stick it out and make it past that, maaaybe it’ll improve from there.

Let’s talk about the cast. Lena Headey is fine as Sarah Connor… nowhere near as intense or strong as Linda Hamilton, but whatever it’s tv and I’m trying to be forgiving. Summer Glau is good as the River Tam-inator (man, I bet that pun has been made thousands of times by now). The killer is the kid playing John Connor. He looks and acts like Matthew Perry after he wished to be young and in high school again. He’s a total wimp who way overplays the whole “Unnngh my destiny is gonna be harrrd” thing. Edward Furlong was way more likable and badass in T2.

Also, you don’t need to be a super terminator geek to start to notice really obvious problems with the writing. In the first episode, they time travel forward to 2007 using a time machine hidden in a bank vault in 1999. In order to explain this, the terminator chick points out that although you can’t bring anything with you when you time travel, they managed to send plans back to have one built in the past. 

Fine, I can deal with that…. but she also points out that you can’t take clothes with you (a running thing in the Terminator movies) and that you can’t take anything mechanical unless it has living tissue surrounding it.

Moments later, they blast an evil terminator chasing them into pieces and time warp away. In the next episode, it is revealed that the evil terminator’s severed (skinless!) head travelled forward in time with them. Again, you don’t need to be a huge geek to realize that they JUST FINISHED SAYING THAT COULDN’T HAPPEN.

Some fans got even more angry when that evil Terminator is able to use his severed head to signal his body, eventually reuniting the two. I’m fine with that… I don’t need a completely scientific explanation for where the power source is and how his cpu can work without it and how his body can navigate without vision and all that. The point is that the show has no problem destroying not only the rules of the films, but its own rules that it stated minutes before.

It’s also really low budget once you get past the first episode… which a terminator story has never been. Another problem is that all the Terminator movies (even T3) need to move. They start off a little slow, but as soon as the Terminator first makes contact with their target, there needs to be a pretty good pace. Sure, they have several moments where they can catch their breath and develop the characters, but they have a goal that they must keep moving towards. In the show, Sarah and John seem to have a new goal every couple minutes, whether it’s simple survival, tracking down human resistance fighters, or (yet again) trying to destroy skynet before it is built. John even spends time trying to stay in school during all this. There are tons of episodes and scenes that simply feel like filler too… it’s a mess all around.

I’ve given up on this show… but let’s cross our fingers for T4.


1 Response to “The Sarah Connor Chronicles”

  1. 1 Allegra
    May 11, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    Aww… I’m sorry that you didn’t enjoy it, but at least now it’s one less series that we need to watch.

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