Sinking My Teeth into Action (Mania.com)

By:Jason Davis
Date: Monday, August 21, 2006

I am a snob. There's no doubt about it. I can't tell you when I became one or why it happened, but I have a definite tendency to look down upon certain types of shows. I won't apologize for hating reality television as that's akin to despising a cancer ravaging your own body. I will however consider myself remiss in denigrating the value of action shows. If it doesn't have some rich complexity or philosophical underpinning, I'm quick to dismiss a showheaven forbid that I just enjoy something for entertainment purposes. I used to watch HIGHLANDER: THE SERIES fanatically, but you'd be hard pressed to find an episode in my collection after the advent of this unbidden snobbery. What is he on about this week you might ask? What is this self-flagellation in aid of?

I've just started watching BLADE: THE SERIES. I like it. The pilot was all right, but I've just watched "The Evil Within" from July 26th and found it thoroughly enjoyable. Executive producer David S. Goyer, who co-wrote the screenplay for BATMAN BEGINS as well as scripting the three BLADE films, brings his well-honed flair for comic to motion picture adaptation to bear lending the series the same style as his other genre outings (NICK FURY: AGENT OF SHIELD aside...). What I find most intriguing is that the eponymous half-vampire slayer of the undead seems to be a supporting character in his own series. This is probably for the best as he's best kept dark and enigmatic. Instead, we're given Krista Starr as our point of view charactera move I applaud whole-heartedly.

Leaving aside actor Jill Wagner who portrays Starr with assuredness and vigor, the character is wonderfully drawn across the early pilot episode only to be unexpectedly turned into a vampire midway through. Then, instead of offing her, Blade injects her with his serum and sets her to work as his spy within the mafia-like world of the undead. The show creates an intriguing blend of genres, taking bits from gangster stories, espionage tales, andobviouslyvampire lore to create something fresh in the oft-explored realm of Nosferatu-TV. Jacket the genre mélange in a comic book cover and you've got a winning formula that plays to the action-oriented flavor of Spike TV without sacrificing storytelling for cool action sequences. I look forward to future episodes, and indeed seasons, of Krista Starr delving deeper into the world of the vampire families with her deadly sidekick Blade by her side to take care of the clean-up and provide the muscle.

As I mentioned last week, I'm presently on vacation. When I return, it'll be time to render judgment upon the summer season which seemingly concludes next week with everything from ENTOURAGE to THE 4400 going on hiatus. HOUSE, M.D. premieres on September 5, signaling the start of fall by my estimation. Hopefully, I can wrap up my thoughts on the summer and offer a preview of things to come in the coming weeks. Failing that, I shall make up bald-faced lies about the networks' new shows in an effort to see if my confabulations evoke more praise than the actual shows that inspire them. Sadly, I suspect that at least 25% probably would...


E-mail your comments to wastelandjason@hotmail.com and I'll get back to when I've seen how much better than me everyone's aged at my high school reunion.


MONDAY, AUGUST 21


KYLE XY (8 PM PST, ABC Family) "Overheard" The official logline for this episode tells me nothing. In all honesty, having not seen the show yet, I'm not even sure what it's about. I just know that it had cooler commercials than ABC Family sister series FALLEN which merited merely a groan and rolling of the eyes when I saw it.

WEEDS (9 PM PST, Showtime) "Cooking With Jesus" This was my favorite new half hour of last season. It stars Mary-Louise Parker. This fact alone, as far as I am concerned, should boost Showtime subscriptions 100%.

LIFE ON MARS (10 PM PST, BBC America) Episode 5 The best hour of television ever devoted to football! When I say "football," I mean soccer, though why Americans should call a game in which armored behemoths run about the field cradling a ball in their arms "football" is beyond me. It should be obvious that soccer is football and the other game is...I don't know...rugby for wimps?

TUESDAY, AUGUST 22


DEAD LIKE ME (7 PM PST, Sci Fi Channel) "Business Unfinished" The story of Roxie's death is revealed and your columnist nearly dies of laughter.

DEAD LIKE ME (8 PM PST, Sci Fi Channel) "The Bicycle Thief" Mason faces an unpleasant task while George decides to buy a bike.

EUREKA (9 PM PST, Sci Fi Channel) "Dr. Nobel" Henry attempts to disarm a weapon.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 23


BLADE: THE SERIES (10 PM PST, SPIKE TV) "Angels and Demons" Is it just me, or is Krista the real star of this series?

THURSDAY, AUGUST 24


Let's get the fall schedule under way so I can talk about GREY'S ANATOMY hereI got nothin'! I'm out here in the cold...

FRIDAY, AUGUST 25


NIGHT STALKER (8 PM PST, Sci Fi Channel) "Malum" Sci-Fi burns off the remains of this ill-fated re-make. This episode is okay, but rather predictable.

MONK (9 PM PST, USA) "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert" As much as I hate concertswith all those sweaty, dirty, diseased people crammed together in confined spaces over-excited by the musicI can only imagine how a proper obsessive-compulsive would react.

STARGATE: SG-1 (9 PM PST, Sci Fi Channel) "Counterstrike" I don't know, I got used to last week's title and it would make things a lot easier if I could just call this one "201."

PSYCH (10 PM PST, USA) "Shawn vs. the Red Phantom" It doesn't take psychic powers, fake or otherwise, to guess a comic book character will be at the center of this story.

STARGATE: ATLANTIS (10 PM PST, Sci Fi Channel) "Common Ground" Sheppard gets an origin story while incarcerated with a Wraith.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 26


Go join the throng and see SNAKES ON A PLANE. I think I must be the only person on the planet not anticipating this film like it's the second coming of STAR WARS...and as far as second comings go, that one left me unimpressed...

SUNDAY, AUGUST 27


THE 4400 (9 PM PST, USA) "Fifty-fifty" Season three concludes. Hands up everyone who wants to see Jordan Collier's power revealed!

DEADWOOD (9 PM PST, HBO) "Tell Him Something Pretty" Thanks to everyone who wrote in to explain last week's title to me. I am enlightened. I am also depressed to see a good show die so young as the foul-mouthed inhabitants of the camp mosey off the schedule and into TV history. Sure, there will be a pair of TV movies to tie up loose ends, but I'll miss the thirteen weeks a year I used to spend with Al and company.

THE DEAD ZONE (10 PM PST, USA) "The Hunting Party" It's Dick Cheney! Duck!!! Seriously, Johnny Smith wraps up his fifth (really the latter part of his fourthbut more on that nitpick later...) season on USA.

BROTHERHOOD (10PM PST, Showtime) "Ecclesiastes 7:2" As always, an uplifting quote from the folks who brought you the plagues of Egypt: "[It is] better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that [is] the end of all men; and the living will lay [it] to his heart." They really should make BIBLE: THE SERIES. Of course, they'd have to do it for HBO (they could re-use some of the sets after they inevitably cancel ROME) or Showtime what with all the sex, violence, and smiting. Of course, we'd then have to be sure to differentiate between BROTHERHOOD and BIBLE: THE SERIES whenever we talk about episodes called "Mark" or "Ecclesiastes."

©2006 Jason Davis