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Craig R. Baxley
In a future of political, economic and moral collapse, a genetically enhanced superhuman prototype named Max escapes from military confines and dwells amidst the decadent underground street life of *Seattle* to avoid government agents who want to bring her back into the fold. Searching for others of her kind who were scattered in the aftermath of her escape, Max encounters Logan, an idealistic cyber-journalist battling repression and corruption in post-apocalypse America. Eventually, Logan calls her to the highest part of her being and Max becomes his samurai as the pair takes on the ruthless power-brokers of the new millennium. Max and Logan's odyssey leads them closer to the secret of her past, deepening and complicating their relationship in the process. Written by
I think the jury is still out on this one, but it will be an uphill battle for this show, despite some good numbers for the two hour debute.
"Dark Angel" is the kind of sci-fi I should like, in that it deals with a plausible future and what could be an appealing central character. Unfortunately, we've met these genetically enhanced "perfect soldier" types before, so there's nothing new there. Even her bike messenger day job comes to us out of William Gibson. There's not too much new about the setting, either, although I found the opening explanations of what's going on a little merky.
That was a major problem with the pilot. I wasn't exactly sure who the bad guys were or how many of them were around. Nor was I clear on who exactly the guys where who had created Max and her fellow genetically enhanced kids or what their connection was to the government or the apparently private company Max spent most of her time fighting in the pilot. I hope things get simplified in future episodes.
I was also very unclear on Max's character. TV, of course, is all about character and Max's seemed a little muddled to me. She was this mysterious loner/outsider type who seemed to be everyone's patsy, spending an awful lot of time getting sucked into other people's problems.
There's an old rule of screen writing which says, beware of main characters with no clear goals. Max supposedly wants to find the "others like her," but spent almost no time doing that in the opening show. She was too busy helping out everyone around her. Unless she starts following some clear path, things will get worse. The only way to have a character without some attainable, important goal is to make her a keen observor of what's going on around her, and Max didn't come off that way at all.
All this leads to the heart of the show and the main question. Jessica Alba is as fetching a girl as exists in Hollywood today. I'm sure no small number of teenager boys will tune in just to oggle her in those tight fitting biker outfits.
But can the girl act? I think that question has not yet been answered and subsequent episodes will have to do a lot to prove that. She was adequate in the first, but just barely,
Good luck with this show. I hope it succeeds, but I won't hold my breath.
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