Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Okay, It's Bad, But I'd Have Watched It:

This was linked to at Spandex Justice, and I finally got a chance to watch it.

It's...interesting. The writing and plotting is atrocious, though cutting out the interview parts would probably go toward helping improve it a lot. The characters were pretty well established though, considering it was only an hour and a half pilot. And I thought the casting was inspired. I've absolutely no complaints about the acting, really, though I'd have liked to see the characters portrayed a little closer to their comic book personalities, I *always* want to see the characters portrayed as their comic book personalities...I never claimed to be unbiased. :-)

The costumes, except for Guy's and Fire's are absolutely atrocious, and the special effects are silly. But it actually felt like if they'd either gone a bit more tongue-in-cheek, or if they got a better writing staff/costume department, there might be an entertaining show under there.

The characters are the real draw though...we have:

Guy Gardner/Green Lantern: they cast him very well I think. He doesn't look the part per se (no bowl cut or red hair, a bit *too* stylish, and a bit too small in stature...this guy's no ex-football star, that's for damn sure, but he's got just enough of the frat-boy attitude, the arrogance, and nicer if not necessarily *softer* core to make the character work.

Writing wise, they've toned down the character dramatically. He feels like a much later incarnation of Guy than the one of the Justice League (not counting the brain-damaged nice version), probably to make him something of a more viable lead. I liked that they managed to do it without turning him into Hal 2.0 though. He's pretty much Guy in Recharge, now that I think about it, when he's interacting with Kyle. He's still posturing, arrogant and macho, but he's also expressing a lot more of the concern and brotherly camaraderie behind that that we see in Kyle's GL run or Recharge, just extended to the whole group. It works, I think.

And I find the idea of Guy able to sing operatic tenor so damn amusing, that it's now incorporated into my view of the comics. He hasn't done it yet, but someday, god willing he will. At the perfect time to fuck with *everyone*.

His costume's also the only one besides Fire's that actually works in a live action scenario. But I've always said Guy had the best costume. Kyle's were pretty, but you pretty much have to look like Kyle to pull them off, whereas the cut of Guy's would flatter almost anyone. The powers weren't utilized as well as they could have been, (why did he conjure a copter type thing instead of fly? He's not inspector gadget) but there were some really good moments...honestly, better than I'd have expected.

Beatriz "B.B" DaCosta/Fire: Well, she's not a Brazillian spy anymore. She's an American struggling actress. Which loses some of the international feel that I really enjoyed about the comic, but I can see why they made the choice. The actress is a brilliant choice though, has the attitude and personality down *cold*. (pun unintended. :-)) Her subplot with the little geek boy is pretty lame, but she definitely has charm and chemistry to have made her a very entertaining character if the show had actually worked. Besides, a kickass woman with cool powers, confidence, brains and sexuality? Smallville should only be so lucky.

And her costume really works as well. I liked the choice of Green streaks versus all-Green hair...the latter would have probably looked worse in live action, where the streaks worked much better.

Barry Allen/Flash: Barry's a weird mix of Barry and Wally, I think. Unemployed, though always looking for work (he's not lazy or incompetent), a bit more of an optimist/nice guy than Wally. The actor is inoffensive looking and has a lot of personal likeability and charm, which is the important thing for a Flash, I think. I also thought the speedster stuff was pretty well-handled for the pilot. We got to see a lot more of the day-to-day applications as well as the downsides of his power, than the others.

The costume looked awful though, but he was adorable in civilian clothing.

Ray Palmer/Atom: He had a lot less confidence than he does in the comic, I think. Token geeky, love-lorn scientist guy. He was the only portrayal I wasn't really fond of, because while the alterations to the others kind of made sense, I really didn't see the advantage to this one except for the lazy romance subplot with Ice...which basically amounted to "You're shy, I'm shy, let's get together."

Bah, my Guy/Ice shipper scorns this paltry attempt at a pairing. But it *was* only a pilot.

And his costume looked dumb. The actor was good though, charming as well. :-) Not his fault I didn't like their take on the Atom.

Ice: And playing the ordinary girl stuck in extraordinary circumstances is Ice. No Norwegian Ice Deity here, I'm afraid...though that probably would be much to explain. Still, I could wish they'd gone a different route than the shy office girl with an overbearing boss (this time in a meteorology department) that gets powers via an accident...I mean it worked in Batman Returns but tends to be a little overdone. Still, the actress was cute and played shy, sweet and funny really well, so that's good. Her voice might have gotten irritating after a while.

????/person giving the JLA orders (I'm not spoiling): Good actor, bad fit and the costume looks hideous. Yeah, it's pretty much exactly from the comics, didn't work so much. They should have done like Fire and revamped it a little. Still he was pretty cool.

Actually, as silly as it was, I've seen worse pilots made into shows and worse shows on the air. Besides, the quality of the beginning doesn't always mean anything, Smallville started great once upon a This really can't go any farther downhill. :-) And the actors might just be good enough to take it.

Besides, I'd have wanted to see their take on Ted (...though that weird copyright thing probably would have made him impossible, I can fantasize) and Booster. Ralph's probably out as the powers would have been really hard to do well, but Max Lord taking over in the season finale would have been priceless. :-)

So yeah, I'da cringed, but I'd have watched it too.


  • At March 01, 2006 4:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Not as bad as I expected (I've heard horror stories of it) - lot of the humor fell flat on its face. "Come on Ray, fix the TV! We're gonna miss Touched by An Angel!" (My how special effects have changed)

    Guy Gardner was adorableeeeee as the Blue Lantern. Atom really was bleh, costume/civillian and all (way to save a cat!) Fire was a highlight as well, I think I liked that costume (besides the weird green crap below her eyes) better than her comic one. The inclusion of _____ was a cool surprise, and they sort of pulled it off.

    The interviews was a neat concept, the Weather-villian-guy? Nnnnnnnnot so much.

  • At March 01, 2006 9:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    And realize, too, that as a pilot, it was done on the cheap. Had it been picked up, the costumes certainly would have been reworked, etc.

    I actually do like the pilot, despite my somewhat dismissive tone. I did like Fire a lot in it, and I think it would have worked well with her and Ice.

    In fact, they should just do a Fire and Ice show. ;)

  • At March 01, 2006 9:26 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    gus: It really wasn't that bad. With good writers behind it it could have been interesting.

    vincent: yep, that's true. In fact I was surprised at how well Guy and Fire's outfits worked.

    Throw Guy in there, I'd watch!

  • At March 02, 2006 1:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Kalinara! Thanks so much for linking to that. It's one of those things I've been meaning to see for years, and I wouldn't have known it was on YouTube otherwise.

    I'd always been expected a train wreck, but it isn't terrible. Most of the characters aren't really themselves. Guy is kind of a composite Lantern, and I don't know what the deal is with Barry or Atom. But none of the actors embarrass themselves.

    If it didn't have the JLA name on it, it could have been an amusing little syndicated superhero show, I think. But that name sets up certain expectations which the show just can't meet.

    Also, I didn't much care for the X-Men angle with [the character played by Charles from M*A*S*H] in the role of Professor X.

  • At March 02, 2006 2:11 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    anthony: honestly, I think the portrayals are as accurate to the comics as any tv tie-in/movie tends to be. They have to make some changes to accomodate the medium after all. :-)

    Really, though, it's no worse than say Mutant X. And the actors are more capable (barring John Shea who's always awesome) and the characters more likeable.

    The X-Men thing was annoying, but that possibly could have been phased out over time. Especially if they went with a second-season take over by Max Lord. :-P

  • At March 03, 2006 2:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    O so camp, o so fun Thanks Kal!

    They had fire take off like lantern, probably didn't wanna repeat it
    Atom=bleh, GL was a wierd composite but worked,
    Flash minus mask worked & funny, Fire was hot! and Ice made me melt:-)
    ____was actually not awful.


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