Wednesday, September 28, 2005

New Yorker’s shameful confession, saw second episode of Surface!!

I know I should know better. But I just can’t help myself. I mean pilots are often rocky, and episodes can pick up from there right? Well, maybe deep down I didn’t really think that would be the case with Surface, but I would be remiss if I didn’t at least try to support a hugely promoted new sci-fi show. I think of it this way….even if Surface is, how should we say, “not good” –if it gets good ratings, more and more sci-fi shows will continue to be greenlit and some of those will be bound to be good, right?

But try as I might, after a scant second episode (which felt like it was about thirty eight minutes long without the commercials), I could still not get into it. It’s not that I believe the actors on the show lack any talent….it's more so that they do not seem very committed to thier roles. Maybe its the directing, I'm not sure. The moments these characters have on the show vacilate from hammy to flat, though to their credit, the wooden over the top dialogue doesn’t do much for them...

I found myself playing a fun little game as I slogged through the show (with the help of TiVo of course…)

I tried to match up each character on Surface, with their counterpart on Lost.

Lookeee here:

Laura, the main character in Surface is the Kate of the show. They’re both young, pretty, brunettes, rough around the edges, and they don’t like to take no for an answer. Of course Laura, to our knowledge hasn’t committed any felonies. And Kate probably wouldn’t make much of an oceanographer, but they definitely both have an explorer's streak in them, and won't let any one boss them around. But Evangeline Lilly adds a charming spunk to Kate, that Lake Bell does not demonstrate.

Here we have Jay R. Ferguson, portraying Richard Connelly. Like Sawyer he’s from the south, and there’s a tough “redneck” sensibility to him. I don’t really buy Rich, the way I buy Sawyer. Rich's efforts to be a rebel badass backfire into making him look like a foolhardy yokel. He also doesn't seem to pull off that layered sense of character the way Sawyer does. We recognize there is pain underneath his anger -- and yes we know Rich is bummed out about loosing his brother, but it doesn't carry the weight that Sawyer's orhanage does. Also, Sawyer would never have married that woman… and kids?

Leighton Meester plays Savannah Bennett. She is the snotty older sister of Miles, who has hatched and nurtured the baby sea creature in his very own home. (don’t ask). Like Shannon, she thinks she’s the hottest thing to walk the earth since Helen of Troy. She’s also spoiled, and can’t stop bossing her brother around. Unlike Lost’s step sibling loophole however, I think Savannah and Miles relationship will remain platonic. Also with Shannon, we’ve been able to see she’s actually human under her tanned superficial shell, I doubt Savannah will get as much of an arc.

Now you try to tell me that if Rade Serbedzija who plays Dr. Aleksander Cirko shaved all the hair off of his face and head that he wouldn’t look a heck of a lot like Locke. Dr. Cirko may be a man of science, but he obviously has a large amount of passion and faith regarding the sea creatures that are appearing out of nowhere. Like Locke he understands that there is unknown phenomenon that surrounds our reality. They do both loosely fit that “crazy old guy” role though. But again, Locke has so much more depth going on with his character. His character is much more nuanced.

So there you have it. Now you know what was going through my mind last night as I watched the show.

On a side note, in a moment that took me completely by surprise, the last shot of the episode blew me away. The final scene was on a boat out around Australia, where some folk were fishing for shark. One of the guys on board thinks he’s got something, and reels in his bait fast. When he pulls in his rod out of the water he finds a huge head of a great white that has been severed from its body. We then cut to an overhead shot of the boat where we see a gigantic shadow looming underneath it. The giant creature rises up and breaks through the surface of the water, its huge gaping mouth closing around the boat in an instant. I have to say it was pretty awesome and also reminiscent of the space slug that swallows the Millenium Falcon in Empire.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

ha, classic....I haven't seen Surface but the last scene where the boat gets swallowed by the giant thing was impressive (saw it channel surfing)

5:49 AM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

Totally. That's pretty cool that you caught it at that exact moment, while surfin'!

12:36 PM  
Blogger Mickell said...

Awesome series Lost is. Alas, haven't been able to catch much of it. Evangeline Tilly is lovely.

12:57 AM  
Anonymous nach said...

kv, you should do what i did with lost.... half way through the season, after people have figured out whether it's worth watching, download all the episodes and catch up...

p.s. go to or a similar site. it's amazing what you miss while watching a lost episode ... the numbers are absolutely everywhere, people will explain the symbols on desmond's jacket, what walt in the forest said if you reverse his speech, and other little things that are on screen for literally less than a second.

3:26 PM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

Cool, I will check it out. :)

4:16 PM  

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