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Mama Don’t Take My Robot Girl Away September 14, 2008

Posted by Ted in : Reviews, Sci-Fi, Terminator: tSCC , trackback



So what if she tried to kill us and set our house on fire? It’s probably just a bad transistor. I’ll fix her. I know I can!

That was the plot of the 2nd season premiere episode of Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles on the Fox network. T:tSSC is a continuation of the events after the second Terminator movie (or T2, as it was fondly known to every man, woman, and child in 1991). It tells the story of evil time traveling robots (called “terminators”) from the future who are hunting Sarah Connor and her teenage son John. They are doing this to prevent John from fulfilling his destiny as the leader of the resistance moment against the evil robots in the future. The leader of these marauding tinkertoys is a highly advanced computer program known as “Skynet”, which is rumored in certain silicon valley coffee houses to be a future edition of Windows (Bill Gates was unavailable for comment). The ultimate goal of Skynet is, what else, the destruction of the human race. I’m scared!

The resistance movement, being no slouches themselves, have sent agents of their own back in time to assist our protagonists in their struggle. This includes a benevolent terminatress named Cameron (aka the robot girl, portrayed by the alluring Summer Glau) who is committed to protecting Sarah and John at all costs. She is super strong, rust resistant, and says cute things like, “I am not programmed to feel emotion” and “Sometimes you seem inefficient.”

The final episode of season 1 ended with Cameron caught in an exploding SUV, which caused many of us to be concerned with her safety as we awaited the show’s new season. In the premiere episode for season 2, she emerged slightly damaged from the wreckage but seemed to still be in possession of her robot senses. The only problem was that something had gone wrong with her software and suddenly she was trying to kill Sarah and John instead of protecting them. She limped into a convenience store and stapled her ripped face covering back together with a borrowed staple gun. Then she spent most of the episode tracking down her human subjects until they were able to sandwich her between the front bumpers of two semi trucks and remove the CPU (which looks suspiciously like a car cigarette lighter ) from her head. John reactivated her later, against mom’s wishes, but Cameron promised that she wouldn’t try to kill them anymore. Stay tuned for future developments.

I’m proud to say that I never saw any of the Terminator movies. But I was willing to give this TV series a chance. I watched a couple of episodes during the first season, and was less than thrilled. The problem I have is that the tone of the show is too overly serious for a such a silly sci-fi storyline. Nobody ever smiles in the universe of the Terminator franchise. Instead of interesting characters, we get the usual good-guy/bad-guy paint by numbers routine, along with plenty of explosions and car chases. Sarah seems to have no purpose in life except to protect her son John, and to save humanity from impending robot doom. John is totally unlikable, and seems incapable of any emotion beyond self absorption. I guess it’s asking too much to expect good writing in a TV spin-off of an old Schwarzenegger flick. Of course, Arnold went on to become the Governator, so maybe there’s still hope for The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

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1. NICKNo Gravatar - September 14, 2008

It’s true…the show has tons of violence and explosion eye-candy, but its definitely missing something. Thomas Dekker (spelling?) isn’t so hot as John, but the series does follow the same tone as the movies (lack of smiling, happy characters…). I just CANT turn my back on Manson in the same way that I can’t stop watching Heroes cuz of Kristen Bell.

2. DubeNo Gravatar - September 23, 2008

Really? I love this show! Granted, it’s no Lost or Battlestar, but it’s fun entertainment. I think if the characters were happy, it would be just wrong. Would you smile if a Terminator was constantly trying to kill you? I wouldn’t. 🙁

As for John… I think reactivating the Terminator Girl was more about his character’s change than his choice. He’s finally standing up for himself and not just being a momma’s boy.

"Won't you tell me where my country lies?" said the unifaun to his true love's eyes...