I wanted to wait until the morning after FOX’s two-night premiere to post some thoughts on the much hyped Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Instead of doing a full blown review for you, I’ll just say that I found the show fairly entertaining to watch a few more times before deciding to axe it from my life.
Truth is, however, I wonder if I would have even watched it if not for the writer’s strike. Yes, it’s action-packed in that lame sorta television way. The special effects are certainly better than I expected them to be. But there’s something lacking overall with this whole affair.
Besides the stunted dialog, the very competent cast is just left stranded with what seems to be a show without any heart or grit. We pick up with Sarah Connor (Lena Headey) and her son John (Thomas Dekker), who for those that haven’t seen any of the Terminator movies is supposed to be the savior of the human race, in 1999. They are on the run and trying to survive after the events of Terminator 2.
Strangely though, the show seems to ignore T3 altogether since in that movie Sarah dies of cancer in 1997. Here in the show we learn she dies in 2005. Continuity aside (ok I’ll cop to it this is a huge problem for me as it will be for many fans of the first two movies but it wasn’t a problem for my girlfriend who just wanted to watch a good show), this show offers some pleasure, especially with the new Terminator model sent back to protect John. As played by actress Summer Glau, the new Terminator “Cameron” is both pop culturally awkward and a killing machine. So much so, that the Terminator sent back to kill John Connor is afraid of her on sight. This will probably be one of the show’s central mysteries – to discover what’s up with the new model.
On the whole, this show is far from perfect and probably would have benefited from being on HBO or Showtime, there’s that much potential.
One caveat: in the movies Sarah Connor, as played by Linda Hamilton, is a stone cold bitch. She’s a warrior and a survivor. In fact, I think I was more scared of Sarah in T2 than I was of the liquid metal T-1000. For whatever reason, in this show, they’ve neutered her character. She’s neither warrior nor survivor. Instead she’s like a desperate soccer mom on the lamb in a bad Lifetime movie. I’m not sure why they’ve made the change but it certainly wasn’t for the better. Sarah Connor, as a character, is only motivated by protecting her son at all costs. That’s it and for whatever reason, the producers here have either ignored that or forgotten it all together.
The Sarah Connor Chronicles airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on FOX