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SFOTV: Where Is The Love?

Sci-Fi fans are a curious breed. We take to the Internet and basically beg the networks, big and small, to give us more genre programming. We say it can be done inexpensively, and that as long as the writing is good, we’ll watch. And what happens when the networks listen, and give us what we […]

Sci-Fi fans are a curious breed. We take to the Internet and basically beg the networks, big and small, to give us more genre programming. We say it can be done inexpensively, and that as long as the writing is good, we’ll watch.

And what happens when the networks listen, and give us what we ask for? Those same sci-fi fans tear it down, spewing hate for the fact that its production values are “cheesy,” or the writing “sucks,” or complaints about how the locations are all the same. They’re like Mikey on the old Life cereal commercials. They hate everything.

Let’s take “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” (“TSCC” for short) for example. Since the show premiered on Jan. 13, I’ve been cruising various message boards, trying to get a feel for how people are reacting to the series. A few general audience boards I read love the show. They talk about the story and the characters, and theorize about where it’s going.

Not so on some SciFi Channel boards. I read how the production values suck, and how the Terminator doesn’t look as good as it did in the movies. They complain about how Cameron didn’t give her model number to John, and why should that matter in the scheme of things. I realize sci-fi fans have been known to obsess over the technical details, but come on, if she didn’t give her model number, take that as a signal that it means something.

The bank vault scene is generating tons of negativity. They complain because a line utttered in the first “Terminator” movie has a character saying he can’t return home, it’s a one way trip. So they believe travel into the future is impossible. Look at the circumstances in each, and see if that’s what it actually means.

But the biggest thing I have seen argued about is the timeline. They need to know if this show is consistent. I have read how badly the show sucks, and how the writers suck, because the poster doesn’t believe the timeline matches up. They have a problem understanding how it relates to T3. I’m sorry to disappoint, but they are ignoring the events that occurred in T3. Yes, they may use some of the backstory, but in the TSCC universe, T3 never happened.

Why do they hate this show, when it has only aired two episodes? It could be a perception issue. It’s not unfolding the way they expect. It doesn’t look as good as they think it should. Or maybe they just think they could do it better.

If the last is the case, I wish these naysayers would get off their collective asses and just do it. But then they’d have to see how hard the entertainment industry is. They’d have to see getting a show on the air is like taking a course in compromise. Nothing ever makes it to air the way it’s envisioned. I’d love to see them do it just once, then they can deal with the hatred from their peers, because their show isn’t perfection.

Aside from sports fans, genre fans are the most opinionated, difficult to please fan group. Given all the hate genre shows generate, I have to wonder why the creative community keeps trying.

Sci-Fi Trivia

Summer Glau, the Terminator Cameron, started her professional acting career as a member of Joss Whedon’s stable of actors. Her first televison role was as the Prima Ballerina in the “Angel” episode “Waiting in the Wings.”

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Ed Left is a columnist for Airlock Alpha, digging out of the snow in Chicago. He also is the Webmaster of Sci-Fi On TV. He can be reached at eleft@airlockalpha.com.

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