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"Surface" is a hit in several arenas: sci-fi, drama, thriller. I would
highly recommend this on-going NBC-TV film. All episodes to date follow
one another into a kind of "soap" but differing from a soap opera by
the drama & intrigue offered by it's main male actor, Carter Jenkins
(protraying the character Miles).
While the basis for the show is an unknown sea creature which Miles raises from the egg, other characters hunt what could be its mother which tops the scale larger than a whale. This program will keep you glued to the screen and is entertaining for the entire family. NBC has a big hit with this show. Personally, I'm over 50 yrs of age and wouldn't miss it. How about you??
I loved this series and hated to see it end. Why was it taken off the air? I don't understand why we get good series and they are removed, but we get junk on the air and they stay forever. Please advise. You can't leave us hanging like this!!!!!!! I looked forward to Monday nights so that we could gather around the TV as a family and watch the new stars that we had grown to feel personally involved with from week to week. We would always try to guess what would happen for the next weeks show. I would even have relatives call as soon as the show ended and discuss the plots each week. Can't you do something to help us out here!!!!!????? We really need to have a continuation of this series or make it into a movie to end it well. Think about it. We loved the characters as well. They were excellent in their parts.
Surface has the making of a potential classic on TV. It's not totally
sci-fi. It's a family drama, mystery, fantasy, and horror. There are
moments of humor, especially with the two teenage boys and the girl
whose related to them and character development with great special
effects and suspense. Lake Bell is good as the main protagonist trying
to discover the mysterious creature's origins, but I think the
producers should give the audience more of her. The supporting cast is
good as well. The chemistry between the characters is engaging and
Surface is the best show that I have seen and I'm confident that it has the potential to be another sci-fi TV classic.
I believe this show has great potential. It's great to finally see a good family show that we can all watch together. NBC has not always been my in my top TV stations...But you now have my full attention! This show reminds me of some the shows that I use to watch when I was a child and now that I am a grandmother...IT'S Great to see the return of good TV. It has great suspense and action and the young man- Carter Jenkins- an Outstanding young actor. Where did you find him? He seems a natural and he seems to fit the show. I look forward to more challenges in the coming shows and agree it's up against some other great shows...But- if given the chance...it will survive. Great Show and Great "New" actor- Carter Jenkins. MLBrinke
The 15 episodes of the first, and I wouldn't be surprised only, season
of "Surface" worked as involvingly as if it were a mini-series like
"Taken." The executive producers, Jonas and Josh Pate, never seemed to
be stalling or creating filler but had clear character and story lines
and trajectories set from the beginning.
The production values, including of the sea monsters, were very high for a weekly series, so that even if the series is not renewed viewing the DVD as a whole will be very entertaining. An important element in its success was the filming locations in North Carolina which provided more visual variety than we usually see in most series which are routinely filmed on either an L. A. back lot and environs or in the Vancouver area.
While there were tips of the hat to many other sci fi movies and shows of the past (Jay Ferguson's "Rich" certainly seems similarly obsessed as Richard Dreyfuss in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"; the daring duo's extreme adventures under the sea certainly seemed like a tribute to Jules Verne, let alone "The Abyss"; some sort of cryogenics facility seemed a lot like something we'd seen in "Coma;" their nemesis seemed to be borrowed from "The X Files," etc.) but it all came together freshly and with some unexpected twists.
Unusual for sci fi, the female roles were key and interesting. While I at first thought Lake Bell's "Dr. Laura Daughtery" was too young (not to mention impossibly gorgeous in a bathing suit) to be a marine biologist, over the first few episodes her threatened status as a newly minted PhD was dealt with spookily as part of the conspiracy to make her suspicious. Her scientific capabilities were always believable, even if her survival luck was amazing. I remained a little unclear about her personal time line of her life with her son, who she must have had when she was a teenager, and ex-husband (let alone the apparent ex-boyfriend "Jackson" who literally stuck out his neck for her). But her devotion to her son was a sweet recurring theme, even as she kept abandoning him to follow leads and escape henchmen.
Martha Plimpton had a delightful guest starring arc as a quirky, guilt-ridden scientist. And the teen age girls actually had brains and feelings. While the mom was clueless, so was the dad, amidst their extremely upper middle class lifestyle.
The relationships between the brainy females and their guys was always appealing, and their dialog sprightly. "Rich"s practical life skills as a fisherman and insurance agent, and brute physical force, were continually balancing "Laura"s scientific knowledge. I was very impressed that the series kept their relationship as a friendship with loyalty but no exaggerated sexual tension, as he is throughout a devoted family man to the wife and daughters he has had to leave behind on his quest, helping to make this appropriate family entertainment.
Teen Carter Jenkins' "Mile Barnett" was geekily adorable throughout, from his boyish loyalty to an unusual pet and his first crush on a girl who actually appreciates him, to his exploration, and finally embrace, of new found super powers. I particularly liked how the series helped him find his way through his volunteer work at the aquarium, which is shown as not just a commercial show but a serious scientific institution.
The story certainly capitalized on the world's recent experiences with natural disasters to believably surmise how people react, from prejudice to panic. A particularly effective episode incorporated MSNBC news and web coverage into the story line for a cynical commentary on old and new media.
Some of the travel times around the country seemed as unrealistic as in "Alias" as the central duo tracked down clues (and they seemed to get as much sleep as "Jack" in "24").
But the bringing together of the central characters and themes in the finale was convincing and exciting, even as it left open plenty of story lines for a network to capitalize on for a second season. NBC was smart to rerun episodes on the Sci Fi Channel and hopefully that could continue to build up interest in even short term renewal or mini-series conclusion.
Surface: Episode 3 Posted Oct 3, 2005, 9:34 PM ET by Bob Sassone Filed under: NBC, Sci-Fi/Horror, Surface
Maybe a giant fireball of an explosion in the poolhouse will convince Miles that keeping a weird sea creature as a secret pet isn't the best idea in the world. But somehow, I doubt it. I still think it's ridiculous. It's not cute, it's potentially deadly, so the only two outcomes that will be acceptable are, a.) the kid brings the little creature to the attention of Laura or Rich, or b.) the monster grows up fast and devours the entire family.
So while Miles and his buddy are trying to figure out how to feed and train the little creature, Rich goes back to work at his insurance job (wow, what a dreary office/small desk he has - he should just quit and hunt monsters full-time), and Laura is having her own problems at work and has to get a job as a waitress ($68 in tips for 12 hours work...not too good). The appearance of these monsters are affecting all the major characters, in big ways.
This is the best of the new sci-fi/horror shows. It's not as boring as Invasion; it has a better plot than Supernatural; it's not as goofy as Threshold (save for the little monster subplot), and it's not as awful as Night Stalker seems to be so far. I like how they have three different plots going (Laura's, Rich's, Miles) but they haven't brought them all together yet in some forced, let's save the Earth sort of way. This show is methodical, but never boring. It's majestic and epic when it has to be, but it's never over the top. It's the only show of this bunch where I can honestly say I look forward to seeing every week and that is leaving me guessing as to what exactly is going to happen and where they are going with the plot. The structure is smart, and I love how it ends with some big event (the giant monster eating the boat whole from below, tonight's Old Faithful exploding into fire and smoke).
I've stopped watching Invasion, and I'm going to watch Supernatural only because I'm reviewing it. The Night Stalker I'll watch for the same reason or until it's cancelled. Threshold is fun too so I'll keep watching that. But Surface is the one I'll buy on DVD, if it ever gets to that point.
I have to admit that the acting and the CG special effects in Surface
are both rather weak, but seriously this must be one of the best sci-fi
shows at the moment. It's storyline is rather deep going, interesting,
the character development is pretty nice, and since episode 1x12 it's
got a very nice twist to it. Sure, it has its ridiculous moments as any
other show has but after all it's quite captivating and always makes
you wait for the next episode. Especially now that it's going towards
the season finale things are getting more and more interesting.
Besides current shows like Supernatural with its magnificent cinematography and scary atmosphere or Threshhold which started out very well but ended in me cancelling it because of its ridiculous always-the-same per-episode story lines this show - Surface - must be on par with Stargate Atlantis. Both shows have weak CG and weak acting but in the end they got stuff to it that makes you really wanna see what's happening on next. And that - I say - is good entertainment.
I will review again after the season finale, but at the moment I can clearly recommend this show. Thumbs up!
I set my TV to record this show every week because I can't stand to
miss an episode.
My husband and I are hopelessly addicted (and we take pride in the fact that there aren't many TV shows we like to watch).
My son, who is away at college, came home on a short break. I told him the main storyline, and let him watch the third from the last episode of the season. He made me promise to record the next two so that when he came home on his next break, he could watch the season finale. Needless to say, he is now an addict.
The choice of actors, how they mix, their acting ability, along with the storyline makes this series absolutely riveting! I feel like I know these people and I can't wait to find out what happens to them next.
I even love that computer animated little Nimrod. (Okay, he does remind me of our two 5 foot long iguanas, even though they are a lot friendlier than little Nim!)
I truly hope we do not have to wait a long time for next season to start. And I love that part of this show is filmed in Wilmington, NC. Isn't it beautiful!? (We live only two hours away and we love those beaches!)
I also hope that the writers don't change for next season. So many times, I'll like a show, and then the writers change, and I find I no longer have any reason to watch it.
Anyway.. This show is a 9.5! Great job!!!
The first episode was much better than the over-hyped Threshold. I wasn't expecting much, so maybe I was pleasantly surprised? I liked the different stories, particularly the cute marine biologist in the deep sea submersible. Where did Lake Bell suddenly materialize from? I'm surprised we haven't seen her in something before this. There was a certain low-key approach to the whole thing that might carry this show a long way. They're not trying to call attention to themselves and position the show as "must-see TV" (yet). The sinister government conspiracy was more believable and better contained than that in the similar Threshold. I liked Rade Serbedzija (sp?) as the lead scientist. If this show continues to develop in a similar vein to the premiere episode, I'll keep watching, though it might get a bit tiresome to keep the creatures in the shadows. Give Surface a chance!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
So this is the season to watch TV again. Reality shows are bye-bye (I
hope)(well--Hell's Kitchen was pretty good. It got me back to the boob
tube)and supra-natural shows are in (most are not super, but thanks for
Let's talk facts and get you up to date so you can join in the fun; I want this show to survive.
Four main story lines drive the show: a single-mom marine biologist hungry to get funding for research and food on the table (the surprise is there is no dead beat dad story line!! three cheers for NBC); a scuba-hunter,insurance adjuster, family man going through post traumatic stress disorder trying to figure out what he saw when his brother harpooned a gigantic sea creature and disappeared with the monster in mysterious lights; a well-to-do boy raising one of the creatures (two points here: Bad point = the usual older - sister - rival - and - trying - to - be - good - parents - but - too - many -other - things - to - do mom and dad; Good point= we get to see the creature develop and learn more about it's habits) (Overall this is the story line I am the most disgusted and intrigued because the family is a throw away but the creature is so cool. "What makes it electrical? How does the creature get so big? What is going to happen when he does?"); Finally, the research scientist working for the government finding new facts every episode about these creatures (they live in lava, their body fluids can heal us and protect us, and they have really thick hides). This is the tension part of the story. You see there is this government bad man overseeing the scientist, trying to keep everyone in the dark, ruining the research scientist's reputation, etc. etc. I'm just kind holding my breath until...
I lied,sorta. The fifth story line is the Giant Sea Animal itself. In each story we learn a little bit more about the creature, about where it may or may not be from, but, we get glimpses of it coming to the surface. Honestly, the animal is being put together so well piece by piece. No hidden "Lost" monsters. We see how big this sucker gets, we see how fast it movies, we know it has a big hunger, and we are getting to know that it is going to be EVERYWHERE!!. Remember that bad movie about Dragon's taking over the world (I shudder to even bring this up), the IDEA was rockin' but the movie blew huge chunks. This is developing into a pretty good version of Dragon-like things taking over the world.
"Surface" is presented in Wide Screen format. I haven't watched too much TV in the last...5-9...years so I don't know if you all like that Kind of thing with the black on top and bottom of the screen (I like it; I hope you will, too) but it adds to the scope of Surface, the world will be affected. In Fact, I love it best when we see the creature work- for instance, it bites off half a great white shark and then decides to eat the boat that tried to catch the shark (The image is a view from the sky looking at a boat getting enveloped by a giant mouth coming from below the ocean-Righteous!)
I enjoy this show and I tell people to watch it. The pilot was slow for character development but the Concept was there and now it is starting to pick up in speed to the potential I was hoping for. Watch this show in good health: you won't be changed, you won't be bombarded with technical jargon, and you might just learn some cool, off the cuff stuff about Cryptozoology (the study of mysterious creatures like the Loch Ness Monster).
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