Stem cells, gene therapy, transplants, and cloning have changed the definition of "humanity" in the modern world, but the darker side contains monsters that only few are brave enough to face, because the future lies in their hands.
First and foremost, yes, I'm very much a fan of the books, so this led me to a bit of concern when I heard it was being made into a TV series. Not that there isn't an absolute wealth of information crammed into Jim Butcher's amazing novels with which could make several glorious movies or TV shows, but all too often (as is the case with this series I'm afraid) the series is developed by business people... not fans of the material. The result is a less than half-hearted attempt at realizing Butcher's amazing series.
Now trust me, I was not gunning for this series to fail.. quite to the contrary I wanted to see it succeed in hopes that it might inspire others to check out JB's novels.
Harry Dresden is the kind of character you'd buy a beer for in a bar. He's just an interesting cat with a great sense of humor and sarcastic edge that would keep fascinating conversation going well until last call. The Dresden of the TV series you'd pass by and not even give a second thought to. He's as flat as the script paper he's created on.
You see far more development of the character as a kid than you ever did as an adult. And it's not the actor's fault (even though I do think Nathan Fillion of "Firefly" would've been a better fit for those who are familiar with the Harry from the books), but Paul Blackthorne is doing what he can with what he has. The written script however is where I find fault for not dipping into Butcher's bag of tricks enough to bring the wonderful universe of The Dresden Files to life.
What they got right: Bob. That's about it. The way they changed Bob for the series makes sense AND it works. Both in the way he's written and performed. And is it me, or did anyone else who read the books also imagine Bob with a British accent? It kind of surprised me to see that's how they created it in the show, so I guess I'm not the only one.
I do hold out hope that they will find a way to turn things around.. but I'm not left with an awful lot of confidence. The preview of episode two looks pretty lame.. "Murphy gets possessed".. eh.
The first episode should've been an absolute grand slam home run. It wasn't even a double.
I was disappointed and I'll give it one or two more shots.. but beyond that, I'll just be waiting for April when the next novel of the Harry Dresden series comes out.
Oh by the way, when I first had read comments the producer of the TV series had made about things they were changing for the TV show, I posted a note on Jim Butcher's website and just aired a few of my concerns. I actually did receive a response on the site from Jim Butcher and he was most unhappy with what I had to say. I thought this was a shame because I did and do want to see the show be a success.. but for now I'll bide my time and hope I won't be left with the empty fulfillment of an "I told you so."
*** Update *** Having now watched up through week 5 I can tell you I think they have improved. I'm surprised they still haven't gone as far into the depth of the books as they can. I don't know if that's cause they're saving story arcs for another season or they just don't want to spend the time on them yet.. but they could do more with this and I hope they do.
Paul Blackthorne has grown on me as Dresden.. with the first episode I felt he was OK but with the show's progression I think I like how Blackthorne is presenting Dresden. It's not exactly like the books, but not too distant either.
I still wouldn't say the show is great and to be honest I'm not even sure I'd be watching right now if it weren't called Dresden Files. But for now they have my attention.
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