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The Collector (2004)
Wasted potential, wasted time.
Okay, I admit, I only saw one episode of this so I'm not exactly an expert but in my opinion this show is a mess. The story behind it is interesting, more or less original and has a lot of potential for a fresh looking, dark and good TV series. It has room for complex characters, and a brooding-like struggle for the main character Morgan. But in The Collector all this potential is wasted on a sloppy script, bad acting, and a generally poor look. The characters, as well as the main one are pretty much flat and the episode itself very predictable. Maybe I just saw a bad episode, but I have a feeling that I can watch the rest of them and not have a pleasant surprise to see I'm wrong. Which is too bad, because it could've been a good show.
John Doe (2002)
Nice but flawed...
I'm not a big John Doe expert, I don't live in the US and the show came here a little late so basically I've seen only the Pilot but I feel that even from this standpoint I can make a relevant claim. The episode was nice, but all too regular. In fact, for a Pilot episode it failed to achieve several important elements that are required or at least recommended. A Pilot is supposed to introduce the show give the viewer all the relevant information without swamping him with too much details and events. I know that the atmosphere is supposed to be a bit murky as John himself does not have any pertinent information about himself but still in this case there were undeterminable gaps in time, almost no introduction of the other cast members but yet scenes that were displayed as though we have already grown accustomed to everyone. There weren't enough important details and too many things that should've come later on. If only one character is at the center of a show after seeing the pilot the viewer should already get a pretty good idea about the character. That's not delivered in this case, we're shown only small bits about his internal turmoil though I can only imagine that a person in his condition would not be able to think of anything else. And yes, it does bare more than a slight resemblance to The Pretender, only, unlike what's been written here before it's not more interesting or more earnest in the least. Dominic Purcell does a nice job, he's believable- in better circumstances the viewer would be compelled to throw all their sympathies toward him, but honestly sometimes it seems like the guy is about to hyperventilate at any moment whereas Michael T. Weiss is sweet, touching and convincing. The mystery intrigue-like part of The Pretender is interesting, consistent and gripping and I doubt that any of John Doe's cast can imitate Andrea Parker's performance. So there's no comparing it to The Pretender, definitely not to anything the great Joss Whedon would conjure up and most definitely not the The X- Files (as I've seen many have been doing while commenting). In fact I don't think I'd even be as presumptuous as to compare it to Dark Angel. Don't get me wrong, I'm still gonna watch the second episode. In fact I'm probably going to watch them all because it does seem like a fine show, one that everyone who likes the genre and the type can definitely enjoy on perhaps more levels than one. (And by the way, how does he know he sees only B&W if he can't remember ever seeing colors?)
One of the best...
I've seen many shows in the investigating crimes- prosecuting criminals genre and Law & Order manages to carry on Law & Order's tradition by being one of the very best in its field. This show is definitely not for too sensitive people. Every episode brings forth and depicts a different form of the scum of this world and unbelievably horrid acts, and it does so in a dramatic and very convincing (often a bit too realistic) way. In their possibly morbid minds the writers dig into these deeds nobody wants to believe are conceivable and the reasons that people do them. Unlike Law & Order, Special Victims Unit gives more screen time to the detectives and less for the lawyers, which actually makes it more interesting (if you want to watch interesting lawyers, `The Practice' is the best show for that). Like the regular Law & Order, the cases and the stories are the most important elements, and not the detectives. We don't get many personal stories. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is a series that's worth watching. Very interesting stories, very unpredictable, very professional. One of the best.
Mysterious Ways (2000)
Trying to be The X- Files
I don't have any serious issues against this series. I do think it's nice and I know for sure that I didn't give it a fair chance, I rejected it from the very beginning, but with reason. This show is just a cheap (figuratively and quite possibly literally) and unworthy imitation of The X- Files. Two educated people, one an open-minded believer and the other one skeptical but willing to give things the benefit of the doubt and ask the right questions. Both of them investigating "Miraculous Phenomenon", which is basically another way of saying The Paranormal. Okay, so most people won't find this imitation thing a problem. But I happen to be a wholehearted fan of The X- Files and I just think why see this if you can see the original. Mysterious Ways is enjoyable and certainly not bad for the genre lovers, but it is much less interesting, eloquent, innovative (I can go on forever). I do think it's cute that they're trying. The effort is definitely noted.
Going to California (2001)
A very cute series.
Sure, this show is not the smartest one on television. And it was often a bit too weird (weird in a bad way). But it wasn't all that bad. It's a very cute show, and in my opinion it had its moments. It's a nice idea, nice actors and nice scripts. It's a show to fill the time- definitely a series to see when you've got nothing else to do.
The X Files (1993)
The most intricately perfect work of art.
I find it hard to comment on The X- Files because it simply transcends words. It's an intelligent masterpiece, an epos of beautifully complicated scenarios, plots and characters. Eruditely taking on the grayest of areas, confronting those things under your bed and inside your closet thus bringing new meaning to the fears brought on by conventions and the imprudent obstinacy of social norms. The script, the actors and the direction make the most unbelievable seem believable and the unfathomable- unfathomably real. So thought provoking that if you really let yourself dwell in its essence, it can change the way you see the world, if only just by believing in the conviction that The Truth Is Out There.
Once a Thief (1996)
On contrary to the previous comment, I think that this series is brilliant. It's fast, interesting and appealing. The writing is funny and cleverly bizarre... it is just simply clever. The action sequences are directed perfectly. But you don't have to be an action lover to be captured by John Woo's "Once A Thief", because it has so many more elements that make this show one of the best in television, and one I definitely recommend to TV lovers out there.