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January 5th, 2009


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10:44 pm - This is all your fault, astrogirl2
So I just watched the first episode of The Pretender. I really, really don't need another fandom right now, but I'm rather afraid I've found one. And the fact that I'm saying this after a single episode is a little scary.


Brief disclaimer: I'd seen a few episodes back when this was airing, and somehow (despite liking Jarod and seeing an ep that made me remember Angelo forever) came away thinking of it as a rather dull version of Quantum Leap. So I really do blame astrogirl2 for getting me to even consider trying this show again.

Initial thoughts:

--Huh. Never thought Michael T. Weiss was all that cute in pictures, but lordy, he's really rather a looker, isn't he?

--And a really stunning actor. (When the Greek woman tells him he has "so much sadness...and so much joy," we've already seen that mix at play all episode, and she's only giving us words for what's already there.)

--How can a show dealing with themes that are so potentially dark (guilt, exploitation of children, death, deprivation) be so life-affirming? There were moments even in this pilot ep which made me nervous about how far Jarod might or might not go in punishing evil, and some moments of excruciating pain (when he passionately lists to Sydney all the simulations that killed people). And yet the overall feeling was of how much wonder the world holds, how awesome and interesting people are, that regardless of the dark, the light is always there, always underlying everything, and damn if that isn't a terribly rare thing in modern fiction.

--The moments when Jarod is looking at the world or enjoying his surroundings, and the music totally swells...that should be so cheesy I cringe. Instead it kept bringing tears to my eyes. I could be hormonal, but...it works. Somehow.

--So I think I'm probably hooked. At the least, I want to see more.

Current Mood: pleasedpleased

(18 lit candles | Light a candle)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:astrogirl2
Date:January 6th, 2009 08:48 am (UTC)
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I really, really don't need another fandom right now, but I'm rather afraid I've found one.

*snickers evilly*

And the fact that I'm saying this after a single episode is a little scary.

It kind of is! It took me several episodes for it to really start working for me.

came away thinking of it as a rather dull version of Quantum Leap.

It's a very easy impression to get, in large part because the A-plots, taken by themselves, are sort of a dull version of Quantum Leap. And yet... :)

Huh. Never thought Michael T. Weiss was all that cute in pictures, but lordy, he's really rather a looker, isn't he?

Surprisingly so, yes. He really doesn't seem like my type, to be honest, but there are moments when I find myself suddenly (perhaps even uncomfortably :)) surprised by how attractive he is.

And a really stunning actor.

See, it took me quite a while to realize that. He seems a bit stiff or stilted in some ways at the beginning here, really, but that's not bad acting, it's good acting. The guy knows exactly what he's doing, character-wise.

There were moments even in this pilot ep which made me nervous about how far Jarod might or might not go in punishing evil,

Those moments don't go away. :) But the fact that Jarod can be rather frightening, really, in how he goes after his evil-doers, just makes the fact that the does ultimately pull back and not step over some particular line all the more significant. Come to think of it, it took me a while to realize that, too. :)

The moments when Jarod is looking at the world or enjoying his surroundings, and the music totally swells...that should be so cheesy I cringe. Instead it kept bringing tears to my eyes. I could be hormonal, but...it works. Somehow.

There are so many things about this show that ought to be embarrassingly cheesy, and that instead bring tears to my eyes. I have no idea how they get away with that, but it's damned impressive, really.

So I think I'm probably hooked. At the least, I want to see more.

Huzzah!
[User Picture]
From:kerravonsen
Date:January 6th, 2009 10:08 am (UTC)
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But the fact that Jarod can be rather frightening, really, in how he goes after his evil-doers, just makes the fact that the does ultimately pull back and not step over some particular line all the more significant.
Why does this make me think of the Tenth Doctor?
[User Picture]
From:astrogirl2
Date:January 6th, 2009 04:04 pm (UTC)
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Ooh, not a comparison that occurred to me, but I kind of like it. :)

Actually, y'know, Jarod does have that combination of dangerousness and childlike goofiness that particularly appeals to me about the Doctor in general, now that I think about it. It's not quite the same, but...

Edited at 2009-01-06 04:04 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:January 6th, 2009 07:08 pm (UTC)
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That's not something I'd thought of at all, but it does kind of fit. Heh. Jarod and Ten in the same room...that would be a little scary.
[User Picture]
From:astrogirl2
Date:January 6th, 2009 07:10 pm (UTC)
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Scary, but kind of awesome. :)
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:January 6th, 2009 07:18 pm (UTC)
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And a really stunning actor.

See, it took me quite a while to realize that. He seems a bit stiff or stilted in some ways at the beginning here, really, but that's not bad acting, it's good acting.


Yeah, he's got this charm layered on thickly, but something else entirely (something nobody but him really understands) going on underneath. Which I may have picked up on so early because I do know a little bit about the character going in, but is still rather awesome even this early.

But the fact that Jarod can be rather frightening, really, in how he goes after his evil-doers, just makes the fact that the does ultimately pull back and not step over some particular line all the more significant.

Oh yeah? I noticed that, but not in a huge way, more a moment of relief; but it sounds like it's an ongoing theme. I approve. *g*

(btw, if there isn't a pretend at some point involving religion I am going to get annoyed, because with the heavy layers of guilt/penance/evil/abuse/forgiveness(?) going on, seriously, that needs exploring and if the show won't go there explicitly someone's going to have to write fic. *puts Jarod in a priest's outfit*)
[User Picture]
From:astrogirl2
Date:January 6th, 2009 07:29 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, he's got this charm layered on thickly, but something else entirely (something nobody but him really understands) going on underneath.

Yes, exactly! And he plays that layeredness really, really well. There are episodes where he just knocks my socks off with how masterfully he manages to do that. I think he's a big, big part of why stuff that should be cheesy works so well. He just sells it all, emotionally. And so do the other incredibly talented folks on that cast.

Oh yeah? I noticed that, but not in a huge way, more a moment of relief; but it sounds like it's an ongoing theme. I approve. *g*

It's something that occasionally comes up in a more-or-less explicit way, but often just sort of subtly feels like it's lurking under the surface.

btw, if there isn't a pretend at some point involving religion I am going to get annoyed,

He does, IIRC, spend a little time in a monastery at one point, but it's mostly off-screen.

because with the heavy layers of guilt/penance/evil/abuse/forgiveness(?) going on, seriously, that needs exploring and if the show won't go there explicitly someone's going to have to write fic.

Oh, the show definitely explores that stuff, sometimes very subtly, sometimes very explicitly. Hmm, there is an episode coming up soon for you in which someone does contemplats exactly those issues in a church... I think I look forward to seeing your responses to that one. :)

And, yes, by all means, write the fic!
[User Picture]
From:whitemartyr
Date:January 6th, 2009 08:51 am (UTC)
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Ahaha. I loved this show. But I lost track of it so I don't know how it ended... ha.
[User Picture]
From:kerravonsen
Date:January 6th, 2009 10:10 am (UTC)
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But I lost track of it so I don't know how it ended
Really stupidly, actually. It totally jumped the shark at the end.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:January 6th, 2009 07:11 pm (UTC)
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I can totally see you enjoying this show, Kim. It's dark but not at all dark, both at once! Totally your view of the world.
[User Picture]
From:feliciakw
Date:January 6th, 2009 11:40 am (UTC)
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My experience with The Pretender:

Watched the pilot ep of The Profiler followed by the pilot ep of The Pretender when they first aired in the early days of my marriage. Watched them at my mom's house. At night, of course.

Was so freaked out by them, specifically, The Profiler, that when I got home to a dark house, I turned a light on in every room.

George got home from wherever he was (probably a rehearsal), and commented that the house was lit up like a circus tent.

I continued to enjoy The Pretender for a while, but somehow lost track of it or got distracted by newly married life. I also remember a scene that had to do with a paralyzing poison that well and truly freaked me out. *shudder*

But I do remember that I liked the show, so perhaps I'll have to Netflix it.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:January 6th, 2009 07:12 pm (UTC)
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I've watched a few eps of The Profiler, and it's the same kind of creepy that normally keeps me from watching Criminal Minds.

I can see you enjoying The Pretender.
[User Picture]
From:redstarrobot
Date:January 12th, 2009 03:15 am (UTC)
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Join us. Jooooin us...

I also remember a scene that had to do with a paralyzing poison that well and truly freaked me out.

Oh, hell yes. That was roughly when the show went from, "You know, I suspect this show might be darker than it's letting on" to "Holy crap, yes, this show is evil". :)
[User Picture]
From:dejla
Date:January 6th, 2009 03:31 pm (UTC)
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I said the same thing about The Mentalist. That one is somebody's fault, but I can't remember whose...
[User Picture]
From:kalquessa
Date:January 6th, 2009 04:51 pm (UTC)
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Aw, Pretender. That's another show like Due South that my godparents watched religiously, so I've seen a bunch of eps but all out of order and with little concept of the overarching plot threads. Hm. I should really get that Netflix account and watch this again, in order.

And yet the overall feeling was of how much wonder the world holds, how awesome and interesting people are, that regardless of the dark, the light is always there, always underlying everything, and damn if that isn't a terribly rare thing in modern fiction.

This is what always appealed to me in the show: that Jarod has seen the darkness, even been the darkness to a degree, but now he's out fighting against it and at the same time discovering all the reasons why it's worth fighting. And I love that these reasons to fight are often distilled in Jarod's delight and enthusiasm for simple things. The episode where he became obsessed with twinkies is forever etched upon my memory. Any world that contains twinkies is worth saving!
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:January 6th, 2009 07:13 pm (UTC)
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I wasn't sure whether you knew this show or not! I'd be amused if you started watching it again...this is getting kind of out of hand, the fandom is having a resurgence. LOL.
[User Picture]
From:kalquessa
Date:January 6th, 2009 07:18 pm (UTC)
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Astro (or, well, Astro's friend, really) will have precipitated a huge new expansion of the fandom! *laughs*

It really is rather a cool show. I can see how it might eat someone's brain, it just never had a chance to eat mine properly because I only watched when i was staying with the godparents. You will be unsurprised to learn that I mostly remember enjoying it for its humor.
[User Picture]
From:redstarrobot
Date:January 12th, 2009 12:49 am (UTC)
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Astro (or, well, Astro's friend, really) will have precipitated a huge new expansion of the fandom!

And I see three people on this post who just need the smallest of nudges. For instance, why wait for Netflix, when you can have some sweet, sweet Hulu candy, little girl. Give us your braaaain.

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