TV Cheese: Flash Gordon & Sanctuary

Lalume has the week off because he is busy working on the Book View Cafe newsletter.

Therefore, Amy has some commentary on sci-fi television.

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I’m sure I would be Queen of Cheeze too if I ever got off my butt and activated my Chees-O-Meter for the Sci Fi Channel bundles of goodness. I really tried hard to find the 2007 Flash Gordon hawkmen – I saw the original show and Meredith saw them on You Tube and said they were going around and people were laughing their butts off at them.

Flash Gordon 2007 including Hawk Men

That is just the regular Flash Gordon trailer, but it does show Flash and the extremely un-hawklike Hawkmen in their Pleather Hawkcoats.

This is a Hawkman (I forgot that Timothy Dalton was in the classic Flash Gordon – Queen Remix).

Brian Blessed - The \

But Flash Gordon was just cheesy and cheap and idiotically-written. There must be something good about the Sci Fi Channel series Sanctuary because I keep watching it. I am not sure what that something would be, however. If anything, the writing on Sanctuary is worse than the deservedly deceased 2007 Flash Gordon.

On this week’s episode, the horribly-named “Magnus”‘s father showed up (pretty sure I saw the old coot in a prior episode, where he was squeezing through cracks with other homeless rubber-boned men) and, after having a giant hideous insect removed from the “muscles” at the base of his skill (lending new meaning to the old insult “muscle brain”), Senior Magnus told Junior Girl Magnus that he just had to leave after not seeing her for over 100 years – couldn’t stay. Why? Because he wasn’t included in future scripts! Duh!

Everybody just randomly lives forever, teleports, and does whatever on Sanctuary. Will “Sexy Guy” Psychologist/Psychic turned into a pale greenish Junior Hulk in this most recent episode, and almost had to kill his fake TV Script Racially Correct Asian Married to Black Woman Friend, except his other friends, including the suddenly wimpy and non-wereWarthog Henry showed up and saved him, and in 20 seconds, his slimy brain cockroach was removed and he was turned back into Bruce Banner or Wimpy Will again. I suggested last night that the scripts on Sanctuary were so painfully awful that maybe the actors were writing them — but maybe, the better parts are written by the actors, and the worse ones, the show writers. Amanda Tapping produces this “star vehicle” for herself and she isn’t short on ego. There’s definitely a Sanctuary-like quality to her web page – as if she were actually this bizarre immortal, “forever young” character, Helen Magnus.

“Hello father,” Helen informs the smelly, nasty old man found in the go-low mutant Fight Club arena.

“Arrr matey,” says the old man in a Jersey accent. Oh, wait! No, he didn’t say that. He began to verbally “spar” in idiotic repartee with this woman who just informed him that she thought he was her father.

Turns out, he really was her father – and he remembered this after the slimy brain cockroach’s tentacles were ripped untimely from the muscles of his backbrain. The horribleness of this old gent’s schizoid Joisey-Christmas Carol accent cannot be overemphasized. “You were born in Yorkshire in 1820, Slumgullion Magnus . . . you were the finest scientific mind of your time.”

“I got ter finish moi studies!” declares Slumgullion to the other hazily-filmed quasi-Victorian gentlemen brandishing their backlot canes and pince-nez at him.

It’s so horrible. But I keep watching it. And to Amanda Tapping, who piqued my interest because I truly didn’t recognize her as the same actress as the blonde, tough Stargate captain, and because I guessed she was Canadian based on her mannerisms, and had some wondering moments re: the weird Magnus accent – she is born in the UK, but raised from an early age in Canada. She seems to be a pretty cool person, and she is very full of life and interesting – but tone the ego down! Holy @@%!@@!! – acting is a job not a calling. And – if Sanctuary is written by “writers” – heck, Amanda – go ahead and write it yourself. There is no doubt you and your friends could do much, much better. Oy.



TV Cheese: Flash Gordon & Sanctuary — 3 Comments

  1. You’re entitled to find Sanctuary as ‘cheesy’ as you want, but it’s funny how it’s been acclaimed to be ‘ushering in a new era of SciFi’. I don’t even think we’re watching the same show, honestly, if you can criticize it as much as you just did. It’s a brilliant, WELL-written, clever show with fantastic acting and endless possibilities (thanks to the green screen). It’s been listed in the Guiness Book of World Records, appraised by many critics, and yet there’s a few petty bloggers around to pick at the show like it’s a dead carcass. Disgusting, really.

    And Amanda Tapping with an…EGO? You don’t even know this amazing actress, obviously. Anyone who has been a fan of hers for even a short time can tell you that Amanda Tapping is one of the most goddamn humblest people on the alphabet list of fame. She doesn’t think she deserves her fans, her success, her praise, although she accepts it all with an honored demeanor. Do your research before you go around throwing pathetic accusations at a brilliant actress such as her.

    And acting as a calling vs. a job is all in perspective. In fact, I’m pretty sure most actors would feel fucking offended by your claim there. As an actress? I know I do. It IS my calling, it’s a majority of my LIFE. Just as your calling is writing incredibly ridiculous reviews with so many claims but not one ounce to back them up.

  2. Justine – if you enjoy the show, this means it is good for you. I hope it was clear that I still watched it anyway even though I consider the writing to be terrible. It looks like the end was cut off of my post, so there you go for that. My main point is, I really think the actors could do better as far as the writing goes. The characters seem to change on a dime and the scenes are very unrealistic. I’m not criticizing the “abnormals” or the fantastic elements of the show (although the “junior Hulk” deal was a bit much, since it happenened in only moments and was cured even faster). I think the writing is horrible.

    And I’m well-known for commenting on the ultra cheesy sci fi channel shows. FWIW, the “Flash Gordon” plastic jacket hawkmen were way cheesier. And “Rock Monster” even cheesier than that, and probably – OGRE cheesiest of all.

  3. I agree about junior Hulk. And the writing is not the best, but it is certainly not the worst. Just because you don’t see how long it took, doesn’t mean it didn’t take some time. And Magnus’ father was not in the episode with the ‘stretchy’ people. He was in the pilot, (or maybe only the webisodes, I honestly don’t remember) as backstory for Helen.

    I keep watching, because I love Amanda (and the guy who plays Henry seems like a good actor – I will have to research him a little! I think it is Ryan Robbins?). I keep hoping the writing gets better. I have always like Damien’s SG Stories. Martin Wood is ok. Hopefully, with another season picked up, it will improve. It certainly is doing well as far as ratings for Sci-Fi are concerned.

    As to the ego thing, Justine is 100% right. Amanda is the humblest famous person I have ever seen. And she does not design her own website, and it looked like that before Sanctuary, and even if it reminds you of Sanctuary, that’s what her current work is, so why not?

    Feel free to pick on the writing, the acting, or any other thoughts you have, but stay away from personal comments about someone that you have obviously not taken the time to find out about.

    I wish I had had the chance to meet her, but she never seems to appear close enough, and I can’t afford the air fare to England, or the west coast.