Katee Sackhoff and Karl Urban are two good actors in my book. Both stars have new series that released on the same day, July 26th, 2019. As I did a little research on the two humans, I discovered that they had been dating (no longer – see correction message at the bottom)! But first…
With everything I have going on in my life, I try to limit the amount of TV I consume. Often, I don’t consider watching a show until I’ve heard or seen enough positive reaction to it. This is a “though the eyeglass” way of managing my time – why waste hours of your life on something rotten when you could be using it for another purpose – taking a nap, reading a book, writing, QT with family, drums, vineyard, (long list) – you get my point. But just now, I was hungry for some new TV so I skipped the wait period.
I have been looking forward to many things that are coming. The spin-offs from Game of Thrones. The Watchmen. Amazon’s takeover of the Expanse. Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series (in early development). Another season of Bosch. A return to the world(s) of Altered Carbon. The gut busting laughter from Rick and Morty.
I Was Punished.
Katee stars in “Another Life” on Netflix. Let’s start with the name of the show. It was a stretch, or a real vanilla connection, to what occurs in the story. Perhaps a more accurate title would have been “Liberal Millennials in Space.” I wish I had quit watching after episode three, but for some reason I kept hoping that it would get better and kept eating the cardboard. It didn’t.
I remember avoiding Battlestar Galactica for a while, until I was convinced to give it a run. I loved the original as a kid, as cheesy as it was looking back. When I heard that my favorite character, Starbuck, was re-cast as a woman it gave me an excuse to put the show on the back burner. When I did engage, I was hooked quickly (although the show did suffer from pacing problems every season). Katee didn’t need to be the old Starbuck, her character was strong and complex and she pulled it off with acting skill that was completely different, but eminently memorable.
I have long been a fan of Craig Johnson (the writer). He’s one of the best character writers I can think of, and he’s the reason I love Longmire – the books and the show. The characters in the books are so real that I swear could pull up a stool at the Red Pony, grab a Rainier, and have a conversation with them. They came to life on the screen (although, where was DOG?). The show was well cast. I’ll admit, again, that Katee didn’t match the image I had of Vic (Victoria Moretti) living in my head, so when she showed up on screen I had doubts. For a few seconds. She nailed that too.
Honestly, I don’t want to talk much about “Another Life”. I want those hours back. Katee had some moments. She’s the only actor in the entire show that made an impression, and that was with bad scenes and bad dialogue – and the cast is not small. If I was forced to pick one other, Jake Abel wasn’t terrible. Katee’s marriage is completely unbelievable, no chemistry, no suspension of disbelief. If you want to watch a science fiction show that pushes a social / political agenda in lieu of story, direction, writing, and acting, be my guest. All straight white men are, weak, stupid, and/or evil. Anyone over the age of 30 is evil (or stupid or weak). The crew of the Salvare is overpopulated with gay, transgender, bisexual under 30 somethings with not a shred of believability as having any naval, military, or astronautics training. Why would a nation, or a world for that matter, trust their future in these non-adult adults? Not plausible. Interactions are stilted, dialogue is fluff, and crew members are either hating on each other or having sex. The timing of direction was frequently off, detracting from what could have been powerful moments by hanging on too long, or, being so brief you might miss it. Alas, I really wanted to like it. (Disclaimer: I am politically independent, not driven by the ‘morals’ dictated by a religion, and firmly believe in the equality created and sustained by merit-based decisions. The above criticism is NOT hateful in nature).
I Was Rewarded.
Let’s switch to Karl, and The Boys. I hadn’t planned on watching this show. I’m not “done” with the whole superhero thing, like some people I know, but I’m also growing weary of the over-saturation. I needed a fresh spin for it to stick. This show delivered in one shocking scene, that led to another, and another, and… I am completely hooked.
As an admitted Trekkie, I loved Urban’s portrayal of McCoy. He absolutely nailed the character. He might be a better McCoy than Kelley (ducks). I watched much of Almost Human. Karl was good as John Kennex, but I can’t quite recommend the show. His on-screen time in LOTR was epic.
The Boys takes a fresh angle on superhero “collateral damage.” It is darkly, gruesomely, humorous. Don’t watch it with your kids. Characters that change are going through a tough journey to get there (not the flip of a switch). They are delightfully corrupt, as all humans are, especially those with power and the actors portraying them are nailing it. Some evolve. Others don’t. The Boys has a tone reminiscent of Breaking Bad (my best of all time), and is adding up what I call “Holy Shit” moments at a similar rate. I don’t want to give spoilers here, so I’ll keep it general but as an example, there’s one scene I want you to watch out for where Urban shows his force of character with just a look. He’s facing the “wrong direction” in a sea of people. Another character notices. I felt the wordless interaction through the screen. Brilliant direction. There are real treasures to be found in the dialogue. I’d list off four or five but I don’t want to ruin anything for you. It will take more than one season, but this one’s on a pace to hit the “all time” list. I’m not shitting you. Katee should have gone in with Karl on this one (as if actors have that level of choice). How cool would that have been?
Karl took a moment to send me a correction in a public and classy way. See for yourself: