Friday, August 31, 2007

Flash Gordon 2007
Episode 2
Starring: Eric Johnson and Gina Holden
Not only did I not think it was going to be possible, but I hoped to the good gremlins of TV world that it wouldn’t be, yet, as it stands, I think the second episode of this ill-fated series was even worse than the pilot. And that, friends, is saying an awful lot. However I must admit that it really isn’t the plot or story line of this mess, but it’s the stiff, wooden acting and the ridiculous, poorly placed dialog. I can forgive the sad set design and worthless ‘Science Fiction’ weaponry that they’ve managed to scrape up from some back room in a warehouse, and I can even excuse the simple fact that so little of this series thus far takes place anywhere else but Earth and Earth-looking alien worlds. But what I refuse to ignore is how astoundingly worthless and beyond help Flash and Dale’s acting is… not to mention everyone else’s. However, I must admit again that I absolutely love the skittish, over-the-top skills of Dr. Zarkoff (Jody Racicot). Basically the entirety of this sophomore edition takes place on our planet as a stranded bounty hunter, Baylin (Karen ClichĂ© –appropriate to the extreme-) plays her fish out of water roll to a T. At the end of the pilot she was left behind after being set to earth through one of Ming’s rifts. Her job was to locate and secure the IMEX (watch, goofy) and the rift closed behind her. So now she’s been living in a park in a tree avoiding the local batch of throw-away actors and pelting them with food. Seriously, in one unforgivable scene we see Baylin toss a handful of what looks like chewed apple onto the park ranger while he, in turn, sniffs and proceeds to EAT it. No, bad monkey! Goodness, who eats food that falls on them from nowhere? NO ONE! So this path of hijinx goes on and on. Dale, meanwhile, hears of the mischief-causing out-of-towner and feigns stupidity as she deals with the situation from her press perspective as her fiancĂ©e, the rugged 100-pound-wet cop does, well, police-like stuff. Next, back on Mongo for the full four minutes we’re ever there, Ming (John Ralston) has called for the execution of an ice smuggler as, evidently, water is the hot commodity on Mongo and Ming controls every bit of it. This is why smuggling ice is a crime, see. Anyway, Ming’s daughter, whom we met and thoroughly gagged by in the pilot as well, Aura (Anna Van Hooft) believes this execution to be unwarranted since the ice thief was only stealing to give clean water to his dying daughter (*SOB*). So, ever so Ming-The-Mercilessly, Ming decides to offer all the assistance he can to the dying daughter by upping the poor whelp’s water rations… and then kills the father! Best part of the show. On earth a new bounty hunter has arrived and is after his ‘life-mate’, Baylin. He goes around whipping folk with the most ridiculous Star Wars garage-sale prop I have ever seen. He has a tussle with Baylin, Flash, and Dale, gets his supposed super-strong butt handed to him by our hero, and shipped back through the rift. This leaves Baylin still stuck on earth and ‘living’ with Flash. Man, some people. Anyway, as we fade out of yet another insipid episode in this series we see a naked and glistening Baylin bathing in oil as, apparently, she does on Mongo, and Flash slyly looks on impressed. Dale, for some reason, pulls him away. Second best part of the show. Oh, it still sucked, though. This needs to be better by episode three or I just might have to spare myself anymore torture.
--Stew Miller
(I don't see what Stew hates so much about this show. Flash Gordon is something different to every generation. The people who like the eighties flick compared to those who like the original serials and then there are the fans of the comics. Flash is a pretty braod character to begin with and open for some interpretation. I'm just glad that they keep an element of goofy in this series. It could have been all doom and gloom like that new Battlestar Galactica abomination. Oh well, to each their own, I guess. -- Editor.)

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