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"Life" A Civil War (2007)

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13 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Scenarists do really need to be more computer-literate.

3/10
Author: acerbic-1 from Russian Federation
14 June 2008

Pff! It pisses me off.

I thought things like computer monitors exploding from hacker's attack are all in the past.

Yet this episode shows that a beer spilled on a keyboard causes monitor's image distortion and flickering. And not only that computer's monitor, but a neighbor monitor as well! Is it a kind of "infectious malfunction"? (By the way, this kind of malfunction CAN be produced on CRT monitor, only if damage applied to monitor's internals, but definitely this cannot be happening on LCDs, not by hardware damage).

For those who don't know: keyboard to computer is like remote to TV - if you crash remote you won't be able to control your TV, but that is all, no odd image distortions!!!

The other thing of this episode - secret database hidden behind a game - it is just ridiculous! Oh, theoretically one can make this trick. If that person is a super-duper hacker/programmer. Do you imagine how much efforts it takes to actually decompose a solid application and merge into it a stand-alone commercial database engine? And every time he wants to look into his database he must spend few hours to reach level 10?

I am software engineer myself and I tell you: It is much easier to use a simple password check, than build a monstrous system which can be bypassed by just any teen around.

It seems that the scenarists were in prison for ...how many years?

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Excellent episode

Author: jhblythe from Canada
7 July 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I agree with the user ratings: 'A Civil War' was an excellent episode from season one of Life.

The detective work was plausibly presented, with the killer's suspected motive veering from hate crime to drugs/money and finally to jealousy. The Muslims were presented multidimensionally, not as devils or angels but as imperfect humans. Reese's character is maturing, with less hostility and deliberate isolation, and we're learning more about her past. Lt Davis is helping with investigations, rather than trying to get Crews fired. Stark showed a heroic side, although he might still be one of the conspirators that framed Crews. And Ted's infatuation with Olivia is charming. (Who can blame him? Christina Hendricks character is irresistible.)

Another reviewer took issue some admittedly weak computer-related scenarios. I noticed the same issues but can't say they bothered me enough to make me enjoy the episode any less.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Get better screenwriters

1/10
Author: Rachel Pierson from Scotland
7 May 2014

I agree with other reviewers' comments about the embarrassingly poorly-researched nature of the computer geekery shown in this episode. The screenwriters clearly knew nothing about computers whatsoever, and were too lazy to research the topic at least well enough for it to act as a credible plot point. Their attempts to depict hacker culture made "The Net" look like a Horizon documentary by comparison.

That wasn't the worst part of this episode, however. I literally had to give up watching when a particularly corny scene involving Chistina Hendricks attempting to lip sync to a cheesy camp fire song crept into the storyline. And then crept in again in a subsequent scene. And again. And again. I think one of the screenwriters must have had a little crush on Ms Hendricks, and she must have had pretensions about being able to sing. It was truly cringeworthy.

I can see why this series got cancelled, despite a promising pilot. It was down to the writing, not the acting. I'm glad that the main cast found more worthy vehicles for their talents in subsequent years. I suspect by comparison that the screenwriters are now writing advertising jingles for pet food commercials.

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