Red Right Hand: THE SOFTENING OF SARAH CONNOR
*He is not a secret agent. Not at all.

 

THE SOFTENING OF SARAH CONNOR

Don't get me wrong, I liked Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. I'll certainly be watching it, but the fact is, they've taken some of the bite out of the franchise. And I'm not talking about plot. I can deal with the changes they made to make the thing viable on a continuing and weekly basis. No, it's a style issue.

And they didn't just take the bite out going from movies to TV. They softened up the show from original pilot to aired pilot. See my original (p)review...or don't. Doesn't matter.

Let me start with a positive though. One change from pilot to pilot I totally approve of is casting Dean Winters as Charley. I dug him in Oz and in Rescue Me and in all kinds of other things and I dig him in this.

And I can totally buy Lena Headey as the new Sarah, but she was much tougher in the original pilot. The prime example comes at the end of the show where we get the soft lens out in the yard of the new house with the slow motion and it's a sunny day. Somehow the war drums are supposed to make it ominous. And what's Sarah wearing? Looks like the softer side of Sears.

The original version had Sarah, in black tank top, gutting the walls so she can hide guns in them while Terminette and John tend to the arsenal. It plays like the coming storm.

From the script:


  • SARAH CONNOR'S FACE
  • Battered, bruised. Badass.
  • SARAH (V.O.)
  • It's gonna be a goddamned dogfight.




Of course they weren't gonna get "goddamned" in.

What. The. Fuck.

It's the Terminator. It's implies violence in the title, a title that was changed to put "Terminator" in it. It's war. Why are we sapping it of its potential coolest moments right out of the gate. Is this some attempt to to broaden the appeal to people who will not be watching the show anyway? Because it's the Terminator.

Just...

Gah.

Well, I saw those names in the producer credits and so did you. John (Veronica Mars) Enbom, Toni (Battlestar) Graphia, and Natalie (Heroes) Chaidez...and, of course, Josh Friedman. I'm going to throw a flag for network interference on this one and chalk it up to the suits once again realizing that they can second guess what people want all they want, the fact is...they don't know and they never will until the numbers come back, by which time...it doesn't even matter anymore.
©2016 Michael Patrick Sullivan