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January 22 2007

Review of 'Dresden Files', draws comparisons to Buffy and Angel. USAToday.com reviews the supernatural sleuth series from the SCIFI channel, praises BtVS and Angel.

Looking forward to this tonight- it can't be expected to be of Buffy/Angel calibre, but should work as a fun lead-in to BSG. :)
I've not read any of the series, but the show looks interesting enough to be given a chance. I was wondering when someone was going to start comparing this to Buffy and Angel. 'Twas inevitable. :)
The basic description automatically warrents a comparison with Angel. Didn't expect it to take long. :P
The books are good and Jim Butcher does occassionally throw in a Buffy injoke for good measure. Great reading material, though in the UK they're more marketed towards the crime fiction fans rather than the fantasy readers (well judging by the covers anyhow). Never got an Angel vibe off the books though.
Actually, I stumbled on the books by accident. I was James Marsters on site and clicked on the link, read a sample chapter and now I am reading book three. I really enjoy the books and do hope the T.V. adaptation of the series is as good. I guess tonight's episode will tell.
You can find another aricle that compares The Dresden Files (unfavourably) to Buffy/Angel here.
It will be interesting to see how some of the effects in the books are handled. I understand Jim Butcher is pleased with what he has seen of the series. I've enjoyed the books, which I too stumbled upon through the JM audiobook connection.
I think that the later books in the series are better than the earlier ones. (Not that the early ones are bad-just more ordinary.) He's kind of hit his stride writing - some clumsiness in the first few has disappeared...things have become more interesting and complex. He's still got some work to do for 3-D female characters, IMO.
Two dimensional female characters are almost demanded of slueth stories. I suspect he could do better, but wants to keep it "in character."
My son and I just watched it. I was interested in seeing more, so I would call that I success. I have not read the books, though I have listened to the downloads of the James Marsters readings and was impressed enough to look for them at the library. (They were not there.)

I actually would never have even thought of comparing it to Angel. Admittedly, Bob the ghost made me think of Giles a number of times, even though their descriptions would not tend to sound similar. They served a similar storytelling function so it is understandable. Angel and Dresden are such different characters and their motivations and problems are so totally different that I don't really see why they would be compared. The only things I really see are that they are both male and live in a magical world.
Ocular: Two dimensional female characters are almost demanded of slueth stories. I suspect he could do better, but wants to keep it 'in character.'


Oh, man, where to begin?

Marian Halcombe, Lady Molly of Scotland Yard, Harriet Vane, Val Campion, Kinsey Millhone, Marta Hallard, Lady Amanda Fitton, Hilda Wade, V.I. Warshawski, Minnie Cassands, Cordelia Gray, Lucy Pym, Tess Monaghan, Beatrice Ashby, Liz Garrowby, Rebecca Schwartz, Troy Alleyn, Loveday Brooke, Anne Rodway, Clara Ford, "Tuppence" Beresford, Nora Charles... and thousands more.

The detective or sleuth genre is not limited to two-dimensional female characters any more than it is limited to two dimensional male characters. It is limited only by the author's imagination...
I was glad to see that Angel and Dresden were very different as well- I'll continue watching it. Seems it's the kind of show that looks very similar on paper, but once on screen the similarities are minimal.
Well, it didn't suck. That's a step up for any new SciFi show. I wasn't expecting a BSG caliber show, so I wasn't disappointed. But nothing hooked me. I kept getting distracted by work. Had it been engrossing, I wouldn't have. Hope they can make it better. Let me emphasize, the show doesn't suck. Once again, my Whedon love has made my standards so darn high almost no new show interests me much (besides BSG).
Not so bad. Especially Paul Blackthorne as Harry-he really could not have been better. Bob the skull/ghost, had just the right amount of snark, too. If they can get the story elements up to their standard, it will really be fun to watch.
I agree with you newcj, Bob kept reminding me of Giles also. Enjoyable. Often shows get better about 3 episodes in so definitely worth watching. Plus I love a mystery. It would be nice if they could get a former Buffy or Angel writer on staff.
I was sooo looking forward to this last night. At the end of the hour, I was a little dismayed. It had such dramatic departures from the books that I wonder how much influence Jim Butcher had in the development of the series.
I will continue to watch...mainly to reward the Sci-Fi channel for producing new programming...but Dresen ( so far, folks it's only one episode...) isn't the chivalrous, church mouse poor, black magic avoiding wizard he's drawn to be in the books.
**taking deep breaths...**

-And Bob simply doesn't do it for me. In the books, he's a dirt mouthed, street wise spirit with a penchant for romance novels and the seemier side.

It IS worth watching, as long as I can suspend disbelief.
I guess I don't understand why anyone would compare this show with BTVS/Angel. Just because it has a fantasy/supernatural theme? Why not compare it to Supernatural? X-Files? Why not let the show stand on it's own without comparisons to other shows? The only thing I compared last nights showing to was the Dresden File books. The books are great, I love the audio versions (duh, read by James Marsters, of course I love 'em!) and last nights pilot was a bit of a let down only in that you have to get used to the changes from the books to the screen. Bob is a skull in the books, not a ghost. His car should be a VW, not a Jeep. But like I say, once you can get past all the changes, I think it will be a good show. It will never be like Buffy or Angel, but then it was never supposed to be.
I was a little disappointed by last nights show. I LOVE the Dresden books and knew my expectations were going to be high for the show but still... I can forgive the jeep and some of the other differences (Were was his cat?). Bob to me is a shame. The plot could have been better and more interesting. The creature makeup though was horrible.

I'm hoping the show gets better with time. If it doesn't, I'll just stick with the books.

New Dresden "White Knight" out in April!

[ edited by Whisper on 2007-01-23 02:40 ]
Imo you shouldn't get too excited about the differences. A lot of
the character devices in the books are harder to do or less
effective on a TV show. For example I don't think it would be
easy to deal with a 25-30 lb. cat on a weekly TV show, in fact I
think it would be a pain in the ass. Take away the cat and Bob
loses a plot device. Also I suspect that Bob works better with a
non CGI body. It might even be cheaper that way. Besides its nice
not knowing whats coming next.

On balance it was OK but not nearly snarky enough or if you
prefer, alternatively dark for my taste. Also I was underwhelmed
by the actress playing the Lt. Murphy character.
I enjoyed it enough to want more. Paul Blackthorne was pitch perfect and could make me fall in love with Harry all over again. Also, per the Jim Butcher forum, this was not the original premiere ep -- a 2 parter was scheduled and pushed back in favor of a more standalone-ish ep by the network suits, sigh.

I didn't mind the differences from the novels, but I'd appreciate more substantial female characters. I think Ocular probably meant that 2-dimensional remark about the noir genre, but still, I'd like to see Murphy's role beefed up and the introduction of some of the more interesting female characters from the novels, eventually. I didn't like Murphy much either, but I don't think she's meant to be likeable for quite awhile. She's a pretty adversarial personality in the novels anyway.

Bob is fine, although I preferred the more amoral tone of the books' Bob. It makes a keener contrast with Harry's more righteous moral sense. I think Mister is supposed to show up eventually unless they've -gasp- cut his scenes!
Punkinpuss said:
this was not the original premiere ep -- a 2 parter was scheduled and pushed back in favor of a more standalone-ish ep by the network suits...

That kinda says it all for the future of this series, doesn't it? (cough)Firefly(cough)
Haven't seen the new series yet here in the UK, waiting for a download. But I've been a Dresden fan since the first audiobook came out, and obviously we have our cherished preconceptions - (what? Karrin transformed into a brunette and not even Irish?) - but at least it's out there, and hopefully those who enjoy it will read the books and learn what it's really about.
Like Bones, this is an adaptation, not just a transfer to the screen. It may be OK as a standalone product. Give it time (if the suits will allow).

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