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July 24 2006

(SPOILER) Tess is back. Summer Glau is back on The 4400 this Sunday.

From USA Network: Kevin Burkhoff is forced to go on the run when his Promicin research makes him a target for elimination. In order to get to Kevin before anyone else does, Tom and Diana look to Tess Doerner for help.

All hail Summer.
It'll be great to see her again, the 4400 has been really great for me while I'm in BSG withdrawal ;)
I've never seen this show. Can someone tell me why I should watch it? And don't worry, I'm an easy sell.
Can someone tell me why I should watch it?

Because Garret Dillahunt, Peter Coyote and Bily Campbell are hot. Hot Older Men. Oh yeah.

The plot arcs are great too.

Plus the highly underrated Buffy writer Doug Petrie is on the staff.
"Can someone tell me why I should watch it?"

Summer. Duh. :-P
As additional incentive for BSG fans, Ira Steven Behr (who also penned an award winning new Twilight Zone ep, amongst many other things) is exec producer. Ira worked very closely with Ron Moore back in the Deep Space Nine days, so that may encourage folks to check it out. Robert Hewitt Wolfe (also DS9) was a consulting producer early on. The creators are René Echevarria (DS9, Medium, etc), and Scott Peters (Tracker, The Outer Limits).

Actor Jeff Combs is also a draw for me. I was a fan of his before this, with his turns in DS9, Enterprise, and the classic Re-Animator B-flicks. Gripping, intense, fast-paced, twisty stories, interesting characters and some interesting twists on their particular concept with less interference than this show would've gotten from a 'real' network.

Do yourself a favor and check it out!
Petrie is still on staff? For some reason I'd thought he left the show.

"Can someone tell me why I should watch it?"

Summer. Duh. :-P

I was asking about the show's quality. I had heard that it went down hill after the first season.
I actually think this show has been better (for the most part) post-Season 1. Doug hasn't written anything for S3 of 4400 yet and I'm not sure if he's currently on-staff.

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2006-07-24 18:57 ]
Have to agree with zeitgeist there. I thought the mini-series was only so-so, but season 2 and so far season 3 have been excellent. Definitely one of my favourite shows at the moment.
I agree with everyone who has already posted extolling the virtues of The 4400. It's a really fantastic show, sometimes depressing and confusing, but hey, that's what makes it great. You're never quite sure where they are going to take it next and the characters are fantastic.

And I'm so excited to see the return of Tess. Summer is just brilliant, and I loved her first appearance. So I'm really really looking forward to this next episode.
I thought I saw Summer in the trailer for next week's ep! Yay Summer!

ElectricSpaceGirl, I will agree with the comments others have made here. I was not very interested in the 4400 miniseries, but I started watching again in the middle of last season (well, OK, when Summer came on the show). Now that they have figured out who the characters are and given us a few more clues about what is going on/why the 4400 are who they are, it's getting good. Interesting characters and relationships, good stories every week -- how do the 4400 create or solve weird things that are happening? Also, it's not very gory or creepy, so if there are people in your house who don't like gross stuff or violence, they will still like this. I would recommend it, although it might be hard to catch up with the story unless you see S2 on DVD or something.

Quality-wise, I'd put The 4400 lower than BSG (the best sci-fi on the air right now) and a little lower than Dr. Who, but way better than Surface, Threshold, this season's Dead Zone (is it just me, or is it not as good this year, maybe because Mr. Piller passed away?), etc. :-)
For me, the 4400 is a mixed bag, although I agree that the last plot arc of season 2 was awesome (the whole promiscin inhibitor story). On the one hand, the stories are pretty cool. It's an interesting take on the traditional abduction story, and the situations are relatively believeable. Plus it has that guy who played Schram on Enterprise, who is just the sh*t as far as cool character actors go (he's up there with John Billingsley).

But beyond that, I don't think the show has much going for it. While the stories are interesting, the writing and especially the dialogue is weak. On top of that, most of the actors suck, which just compounds the problem. And while I give USA credit for trying to make a sci-fi movie without a lot of special effects, they don't do it well, so it just comes off as cheesy ( hands secrete an oil that causes hallucinations...better cover them with gloves). No special effects means a lot of people standing around staring intensely. Add to that a lack of really attractive people (sorry Simon, but men or women, this cast is UGLY), and you have a lackluster show that reads as a bad rip-off of a Stephen King novel (in fact, the first episode of the series features the theme song to "Kingdom Hospital") and is already showing actors jumping ship to avoid being saddled with a bad project (how else do you explain the ridiculous ending to this season's opener, or the complete absence of Kyle this season).

All in all, it's not a bad way to kill an hour on Sunday nights, but I put it below just about any quality sci-fi show currently out there, including Smallville, BSG, and Dr. Who (and of course Firefly). I think there's a reason USA runs it in the summer and not against other shows in the same genre. Later y'all.
The guy who played Shran on Enterprise was the above-mentioned Jeffrey Combs :) As for actors jumping ship, seems to me that was about $$$. I don't think that not having 200 fx shots in every ep detracts from it one bit, and although I wouldn't put it above BSG or Firefly, S2 of Doctor Who was incredibly underwhelming to me on the whole after a terrific starting run (say the first four eps)-- and I say that as a 20 year fan of the show. And to utter the word Smallville in the same sentence as The 4400 (or the word quality for that matter...)- bite your tongue! ;)

Not the best show ever, but an entertaining diversion.

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2006-07-24 21:54 ]
I've never seen an episode of this show, but I've been hearing good things about it (on a Signal podcast, in a review in Entertainment Weekly). Any of it out on DVD yet?

Not to derail the conversation, but me and my family finally decided to check out a little something called Battlestar Galactica. We rented and watched the entire first season (including the miniseries movie) and the first half of second season. I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed it and look very much forward to season 2.5's release!
ariana75 - Season One and Season Two. Just rewatched the entirety of BSG with barest_smidgen, can't wait for it to start up again :)
I like the 4400 a lot. Don't love it, but I like it a lot. I do love seeing Summer again though, woohoo! And the DS9 people too, especially Jeffrey Combs, great actor.
Ok, you guys convinced me to check it out. I do most of my cable show watching on DVD, since I don't subscribe (BSG is an exception to that because I can't stand to wait for new episodes).
While we're commenting on Summer, can I say a happy birthday to her today!!!!! 25 years old and getting better as she goes!!!
I think calling the cast 'ugly' is a tad bit harsh, BoltRider. Maybe that's just because my can't help but go all pitter-patter at the site of Patrick Flueger (Shawn Farrell) who is clearly... too young for me. Bwah.

In any case, I do disagree with most of your assessment, but that's okay -- to each their own.

Also, I watched the BSG miniseries for the first time just last night, and yikes, I hope it gets... better? It was entertaining enough but incredibly depressing and a bit slow/boring at times. I hear the series itself is a lot better than the miniseries was, so... *crosses fingers*
I can't wait to see her again!
It's all good Hoppy. But if you didn't like the BSG mini-series but like 4400, I guess we're just different ends of the sci-fi spectrum (except when it comes to the Whedonverse, of course). On the Summer Glau note, I have an odd question? Does Summer ever play roles where she isn't bat-sh*t insane? River was crazy, Tess was actually crazier (if that were possible), just non-violent, and while I couldn't bring myself to watch "Mammoth," it seems like she mostly just ran around screaming? So what's the deal. She's got more chops than that I think.

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