That said, I absolutely loved watching Darren McGavin's masterful performances in Kolchak: The Night Stalker, A Christmas Story, and Murphy Brown.
First, evolution is not an immutable genetic program. The primary mechanism of evolution is natural selection--small, random mutations occur over generations; those mutations that improve the organism's chance to survive and procreate are passed on to future generations and become the new baseline, as it were, of the species. Individual mutations that reduce the chance of survival and procreation simply die off.
There is nothing in genetics, at least to my knowledge, that predisposes us to develop six fingers in the distant future. If that were true, then by the same logic, four-fingered cartoon characters are humans from the distant past. All of our protohuman ancestors had five fingers, as do modern apes. In our modern society, having a sixth finger might make one a more versatile concert pianist (see _Gattaca_), or be able to spear one additional olive, but I doubt it would help him get more women.
Second, the enormous cranium of future Gwyllim (McCallum). Any woman who has given birth and any man who has been in the delivery room knows what I mean. For humans to develop a larger cranium would require women to simultaneously develop a larger birth canal. Otherwise, the only humans who survived would be those relative few with access to hospitals and Caesarian sections. The fact is, homo sapiens has not evolved genetically in probably 100,000 years. We are the same basic humans as the Cro-Magnon man. Our modern society has largely eliminated the genetic pressure to evolve. We no longer need to outrun predators or outwit our prey. Children who are born with life-threatening genetic defects are now given a chance at life by advanced medical procedures. (I'm not a eugenist--as the parent of a child with asthma, I wouldn't have it any other way--but the point is that those genes can now survive and be passed on to future generations.)
So as interesting as it is to speculate about what future humans might look like, I suspect it will be quite different: (sarcastic social commentary begins) a species that can tolerate higher average ambient temperatures, that can breathe air with elevated carbon dioxide and monoxide levels, that can possibly live underwater as well as on land, that has a more robust immune system, and that is resistant to radiation and environmental toxins such as mercury. (sarcastic social commentary ends)
The other plot hole I found is at the very end, when Gwyllim asks Cathy to help him move into the infinite future, why doesn't he activate the machine himself with his telekinetic abilities, and can't he read her mind to find out that she's going to send him backwards, and mentally force her hand in the forward direction? Does something in the chamber block his mental powers?
Unfortunately, I only remember a couple of gags from this show. One was when Rufus was trying to promote the diner as a truck stop. He told Bert that one of the truck drivers "pushes reefer" (a term meaning to sell marijuana). But before Burt could protest that he didn't want drug dealers frequenting his diner, Rufus explained that he drives a refrigerator truck.
In another episode, Rufus had taken a loaf of bread and sliced it the long way instead of across. When Bert asked him why he did it that way, Rufus explained that slicing it across cuts against the grain. Bert told him, "There is NO GRAIN in bread," realized what he had just said, and then gave up trying to argue.
This is a goofy, improbable comedy. For what it is, I thought this film was hilarious. Folks who watch this expecting a Casablanca, or even Dr. Strangelove, will be sadly disappointed. But if you want to suspend disbelief and just sit and be entertained, by all means, see this film!
I do feel that Marisa Tomei was relegated to a minor role in this film. But then I find it hard to watch her in anything and not remember her biological clock ticking demonstration from "My Cousin Vinny". On the other hand, how does *anyone* outdo Jack Nicholson?
*** SPOILER ALERT *** (for anyone who has been living in a cave)
Seeing Nicholson and Sandler's duet to "I Feel Pretty" was alone worth the price of admission.
Or maybe you want to watch this smarmy weasel just for laughs, to see what outrageous idiocy is going to come out of his mouth next. Whatever you do, don't send him money.
It's a shame they split up during Jim's prison term. Nowadays they make waterproof mascara. Need I say more?
Unfortunately, the loss of Kevin Kilner as Boone towards the end of the first season, signaled the beginning of a string of cast changes that disrupted the continuity of the series and the story line (to paraphrase a line from "The Outlaw Josey Wales": when I get to liking a character, they don't stay around very long). Robert Leeshock put in a fine performance as Liam Kincaid; but I felt Liam became less interesting the more "human" he became. As part alien, he straddled both sides of the fence and could bond with Da'an in ways that no human ever could; but as a human, he was just one more resistance fighter.
Another disturbing trend--and maybe it's my own imagination--was the tendency to cast women based on their brassiere sizes. I thought nothing of it with Lisa Howard--I thought her portrayal of Lili Marquette was first-rate--but then with the introduction, shortly after Lili's disappearance, of Jayne Heitmeyer as Renee Palmer, I became more suspicious. The final straw was Lori Alter's well-endowed and scantily-camisoled Ehrengraf wrestling with Liam in the final moments of "Emancipation". All we needed was the Jell-O. Were they TRYING for the adolescent male audience? I'm not criticizing the acting abilities of any of these women; I'm just saying that it was hard to take the series seriously after that.
Finally, would it have been rocket science to choose a less transparent name than Doors International? Jonathan DOORS--Bill GATES??? (Not to mention Microsoft WINDOWS(R)!)
I can't comment at all on the fifth season--once I saw the Atavus appear and started reading some of the story lines, it just became too painful to bear.