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|Index||12 reviews in total|
Okay...so it is gone, and it doesn't sound as if it will be mourned very
heavily. Well, it should be. I know they started out with some pretty
High-tech cases...i.e. cloning, cyber-rape... but they almost had to if
wanted to get their point across that this was a show about a few years in
the future when things are different. If they were to be anything at all
the ballpark of the time-period that has shows like the Practice, Law &
Order (ad infinitum) and so on..it would just be another show like the
with maybe some different clothes and some newer or geekier cars. Sort of
the "dam**d if you do, dam*d if you don't" syndrome.
Off-hand, I rather liked the show. One heckuva lot better than "the
Guardian". But, unfortunately...once something is deemed sci-fi it is
doomed from many people's viewing. Too bad. Don't know what they are
missing. And, unfortunately...I DO know what I will be
Frankly, I'm really tired of lawyer shows, especially ones dealing with
civil law. It's a little hard to get enthusiastic about folks who bill
you a hundred bucks just to make a photocopy.
BUT-- I enjoy shows dealing with social issues. And shows dealing with impending social issues are all to few. Usually they're limited to shoot-em-ups like the various STAR TREKs or TWILIGHT ZONE / OUTER LIMITS. This is too bad, as the viewer detaches the issue from its real world aspects and might not give it any further thought.
So having a show dealing with the legal issues of things to come is, I think, a good idea. My college Architecture profs used to talk about the idea of a soap opera that could be used to introduce new ideas to the viewing public. Wrap the technology in a nice plot and the viewer can get at least some of the ideas he's missing by not watching PBS or Discovery Channel.
Okay, the lawyers' characters might be as engaging as the cartoon characters on LA LAW or THE PRACTICE but that is a good thing. Make these folks lawyer caricatures and you lose the real purpose of the show, which is to make you think about the impending issues presented.
Not all issues are strictly futuristic. One March 23rd episode plot dealt with child stars. Don Most (HAPPY DAYS) gave a nice performance as a broken down former child star and Daryl Sabara (SPY KIDS) as a current child star afraid of puberty.
CENTURY CITY is a highly intelligent show. Whether it will attract unintelligent viewers is a matter for time to reveal.
Postscript-- Nope. Cancelled with its second episode.
I watched the pilot knowing this show wouldn't last more than a handful of
episodes. Like 'Mercy Point' from a few seasons ago (E.R. done sci-fi) this
attempt at The Practice done sci-fi was doomed by people's perceptions of
what sci-fi is and isn't. The people who watch procedural shows like CSI or
Law & Order do so for the reality, the 'follow-the-clues' approach, the
methodicalness (is that a word? it is now). Sci-fi (at least the
soft-sci-fi seen on TV) generally isn't known for these things. So who is
going to watch a sci-fi lawyer show? Not lawyer show fans who have a hard
time accepting the 'fiction' part of science fiction and not sci-fi fans who
want spaceships and laser guns in their sci-fi.
The pilot was also hampered by not being that good. Or at least, not that easy to follow. The clone case was too complicated and warranted the entire hour but instead had to share time with a b-story about a boy band reuniting. Neither case resonates much with the general public.
The second ep aired (actually ep #3) did a better job of presenting futuristic legal cases that audiences now could relate to. The rape trial was quite well done and delved into the philosophy of the issue making it much more interesting. But by this time, with the pre-empting this show faced, it was obvious it was doomed.
I think they would have done better with just setting the show a year or 3 in the future and dealing with the same issues, perhaps done as a bit of an 'alternate reality' where things are just a little more scientifically advanced. This way the courtrooms and more importantly the laws being debating are more recognizable to viewers. How today's laws apply to cloning is more interesting than how a fictional law from 2025 applies.
Oh well. One more mid-season show bites the dust. bet this one won't even get the almost mandatory 'save the show' webpage everything gets now.
It's being shown in Universal HD, if you have high-def satellite service. I thought it was a brand new program! I guess I blinked and missed it the first time around in 2004...very interesting show. I like the clever use of "future" technology, like the "Mate Finder" device that some people walk around with, like a miniature dating service in a Blackberry. It tweedles when someone who fits your criteria passes you on the street or something. The show I'm watching today also features a child finder device that lets a parent patch into any camera in the city to see what their child is up to. That's the upgraded version. The girl in question staged a kidnapping so she could have a finder chip removed. She is railing against the lack of privacy that her parents concern takes away from her. Some ethical things to think about. Anyway, it's an interesting show...wonder why Sci-Fi didn't pick it up...
This series is very thought-provoking. It may not be rigorous legal drama, but it makes you think about difficult issues. As far as science fiction goes, not all sci fi must be space-based shootemups. It is more a speculative investigation, exploring difficult moral and social issues. The science fiction element is the extrapolation of current trends or ideas, admittedly sometimes into the technically impossible, but provides the basis to wrestle with complex, controversial concepts. The characters are complex and well-portrayed by the actors. The issues are never clear cut, black-and-white, and the characters struggle with them.
It is almost pointless to post about Century City now that its cancelled but
what the hey. Set 26 years from now in a Los Angeles that has been through a
7.1 quake, and rebuilt itself into a slick, gleaming megacity (still hazed
with smog) fraught with all kinds of futuristic legal problems we arrive.
Taking a tack from the Minority Report school of design the set pieces look
like they came directly from the warehouses of Bang Olafsen, Ikea, and Sony
with the typical "computer displays etched onto glass windows and desk
display panels made of plexi" type of style. Derivative of Earth tech of the
near future in scifi. Great... Anywho this Law Office presented here gets
some really cool and creepy cases to litigate, and for the most part they
The pilot episode concerned a man attempting to save his son with the aid of an embryonic clone of said child. The only problem is cloning is illegal in the U.S. and having had the clone manufactured overseas (Crafty Singaporeans), and transported to the states he has committed not just an extrordinary crime but created a ethical situation which will not only hold the life of his son in the balance, but show the darker side of cloning....harvesting of its organs to support its gene donor. Sadly the drama presented was rather complex and emotionally unstable due to the writing and pairing with a second story involving an aging Boy Band that wanted one of its memebers to use a dangerous anagathic (age defying) drug as part of his wellness regimen. What was supposed to be serious came off as silly and contrived and really stole the drama away from the Cloning portion of the story. So basically the first episode was a bit of a dog and unfortunately that taint would come back and haunt the series for a few more episodes.
While it was not a "hyped" scifi show, filled with otherworldly effects and intergalactic intrigue, it did have its moments. One story concerning a virtual rape with nanomachines showed chilly social implications of technology and the future of stalking and psychopathic crimes while another episode dedicated itself to the plight of a man who with the aid of a neural implant that was designed to raise his IQ was facing possible death if he didn't have it removed, and the contentious issue being was he mentally capable of making the decision to change himself back or fight to stay as he was. There was indeed the kernal of great drama and speculative vision housed in the shows writers.
Whatever the future holds for scifi, televsion, and law remains to be seen in another time another place. Century City our best hope for glimpsing a possible "legal" future has met the falling of the gavel and its court is dismissed. Sad? Potentially, as "thinking persons'" televsion is few and far between and this could have been contender.
I will admit here and now that I found this show on line and the reason
I was watching was because of Ioan Gruffudd, that said however I
really, really love the concept of this show. The "what if" questions
it threw out our scientific advancement is something that needs to be
debated as to how it will one day effect society.
However I will admit that this series didn't get off to the best of starts. The Pilot episode was not fantastically well written and the cloning plot line became to complicated. But I think this show, if it had been given time could have worked out a few of its teething problems and really established itself. Perhaps not as the best show on television ever, but I something with an interesting twist, with stories that made you think.
But as many have said, I think a small number of people can accept a futuristic show like this. Some will say that it's not sci-fi because it doesn't have big space ships, or lazer guns and there are no aliens. Me however, well I love this kind of stuff, don't get me wrong I like sci-fi with spaceships and aliens to, but this was taking a look at scientific advancement, that at this time is in it's infancy, and asking where it might be heading.
The characters as well were are really likable and your sort of general assemble of characters. One thing I really liked was the the two women in the show, where strong without being cold hearted or bitchy, they were not ashamed to have emotions. The cast itself as the show went on seemed to be bonding as characters also, and if the show had continued there would most likely have been very enjoyable chemistry between all of them.
I know this show may just seem like another lawyer show, but to be honest I'd rather have a "what if" futuristic lawyer show like this, then just another lawyer show.
I really found the ideas behind the show interesting. It may not have
been for everyone's taste, but they certainly didn't hide from the big
issues, such as cloning and plastic surgery. I only caught 3 episodes
but I thought they were very aware of the issues that are being
addressed in courtrooms and laboratories around the world. Some of them
scenes did disturb me but so does CSI and that show is thankfully not
going anywhere soon. Iam a big Ioan Gruffudd fan and thought his first
foray into American television was very brave and as always, I applaud
his choice to stay away from the mainstream.
I may also mention that having my sentence structure changed because the 'system' doesn't think I have enough lines is annoying.
We recently started getting this in the UK, and I think it's a really
The good thing that they got right that other 'Sci Fi' shows often don't is it was all believable and thought provoking stuff which dealt with issues which, although in the future, you can easily identify with today.
The characters might have needed a bit of work-a couple of 'off the peg' ones thrown in and you can't help but think 'LA LAW' at times, but there was room to develop that.
Really disappointed to see it was canned after a few episodes-it's stuck away on a small cable channel here so I don't expect a UK uprising to save it, but, I can always hope.
I saw the previews for this series on CBS, and I thought "cool, a
Guess what? This isn't cool.
Granted, the creators of "Century City" were trying something new with this combination of legal drama and near-future sci-fi, but they didn't think this all the way through. With a viewing public that is used to exemplary legal dramas such as "L.A. Law," "The Practice," and the "Law & Order" franchise, you have to make the stories compelling enough to catch the viewers attention and make them want to watch. This show fails to do so.
Granted, the show *looks* great, with state of the art visual effects, and the cast is well chosen (with the exception of Nestor Carbonell, who is more suited to comedy,) and I will watch anything with Hector Elizondo mainly because he is one of the finest character actors we have today.
But strong acting and great visuals can't make a show great. Plotline has been and always will be a cornerstone of a great legal drama, and this show just doesn't have it (yet.) I'm willing to give the writers a bit of time to hash out the storylines (and I hope that they will,) because the concept shows promise.
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