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Why did they cgi an image of Darren McGavin as Karl Kolchak into a scene where Stuart Townsend as Carl Kolchak walks through the newsroom? Why remind me of the genuinely fun show they are trying and failing to emulate?

Last night I watched the premiere of Veronica Mars. Tonight I'm watching the premiere of Night Stalker. It's amazing how different the two shows are.

Both are intelligently written. Both have smart people behind them. IMDB lists Jeff Rice as the creator of Night Stalker--he's the creator of the original series and X-Files alumni Frank Spotnitz. It should be a home run, but instead it's another scare show, little better than Supernatural.

The big difference between Veronica Mars, Kolchak: The Night Stalker and the new version of The Night Stalker is the central character. Veronica is full of boldness and character. She's vivid. She flies in the face of authority and she dares to do what we would not.

Karl Kolchak was the same. He was brash and fearless.

This new Carl Kolchak is all smoldering pretty-boy intensity. He doesn't charge against barriers, he acquiesces. Instead of being brash and fearless, he's possessed of all kinds of secret knowledge, as though that's supposed to make him cool or interesting. Oh, he takes chances and faces monsters, but that's TV standard. What he doesn't do is live bravely. He doesn't publish the true story he investigates. He doesn't tell the FBI agent hunting him that he's a corrupt idiot. When the agent and coroner lie to them about the monster corpse he brought them, he just turns his back and slinks away.

It's disappointing. Lately, I find myself drawn to courage. Give me brave characters, who do what I wouldn't dare to do. That's exciting and inspiring.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 30th, 2005 12:10 pm (UTC)
Yes. It sucked. Sad because it has possibilities. I might watch another episode or two, but if they're the mess the pilot was I'm giving up.
Oct. 1st, 2005 04:06 am (UTC)
I've been trying to think up some positives about the show:

I liked the fact that they never explained what the monsters were or why they kidnapped the little girl (did they? I don't think I missed it.) They left the creatures mysterious, and that was good.

I also liked the Scully, a bit, although it's ridiculous that the two of them are senior crime reporters after 4 and 5 years. Don't crime reporters last?

I'll keep watching, even though it seems like a lost cause. Spotnitz might build a decent mythology for the show. It's not likely, but it's possible.

Besides, I suspect I'd like the show more if it was not a remake of something that meant so much to me when I was a kid. And it's better than Threshold.
Sep. 30th, 2005 02:41 pm (UTC)
On the bright side..
... it may permit there to be a Digital Knight series, someday. But yes, it's disappointing to see people screw up something that, to be honest, WASN'T THAT HARD TO DO, GUYS...
Oct. 1st, 2005 04:26 am (UTC)
Re: On the bright side..
It really isn't that hard. It's a brash, likeable lead and a monster every week. Not hard at all.

I know some people talk scornfully obout "monster-of-the-week" stories, but you know what? I like monsters. If I could have one every week, I'd tune in faithfully.

The biggest problem Spotnitz faces is that he's not alone on the schedule. Nearly every network is fielding some kind of sf/f/h series now, even USA. Years ago, I watched every sf show on the air obsessively. They were the only game in town. Now I play hard to get.
Oct. 1st, 2005 03:51 pm (UTC)
Re: On the bright side..
I think a modern show of that nature -- or at least the kind of show I'd do -- would be a bit more than that. A monster per story arc, rather than one per week. One problem I had with Kolchak, X-files, etc., was that they did the "cover up" until it was ridiculous.
Oct. 1st, 2005 08:19 pm (UTC)
Re: On the bright side..
Yeah, the cover-up can't stretch over several seasons.

Would you have a 2-4 episode arc? A season-long arc? Buffy had a villain for each season (or at least an over-arching story line) with numerous monsters mixed in.

I like the idea of a 2 or 3 episode monster hunt. I'm not sure how well it would play ratings-wise, though
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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  • 14 Jan 2019, 19:24
    The creepiest part is that some of them are actually well meaning.
  • 14 Jan 2019, 19:08
    Yeah. It's godawful what people will do when they have authority and no fear about using it.
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