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January 30 2004

Kristin from eonline is dead on Tru .... Calling that is. Kristin is playing a corpse next week on TC and talks about it in her latest column, which includes an outtake clip.

Over My Dead Body: Don't hate me for looking so beautiful. You'd look radiant, too, if you had two makeup artists sponging on body paint and artfully crafting veins and rotting flesh.

The vision of loveliness at night is courtesy of the kind people up in Vancouver, British Columbia, who work their magic on Fox's Tru Calling, the freshman drama starring Eliza Dushku.

In the episode, airing Feb. 5 on Fox, I play a dead body Tru's brother Harrison (Shawn Reaves) pulls out of a drawer in the morgue.

I just can't get my blood pumping about Tru Calling. I wanted to like it. I found the one or two episodes I've seen to be terribly written, involving supporting characters with the appeal of potted plants, and I don't feel any sense of suspense or concern for the lead. I know she's going to succeed at what she sets out to do eventually, it's just a question of how. There's no sense of urgency or distress. I have a similar problem with the tv show Joan of Arcadia. The premise turns the head, but the implications and the execution of the idea fall empty and flat, and any plots that steer away from support of the inciting premise (girl turns back time to save the dead or girl gets weird messages from God or whatever) makes one wonder why tune in at all? Most of these stories coulda been told on Seventh Heaven or Dawson's Creek or Melrose Place without the inciting premise. Okay, sometimes it'd fit better on Passions or Northern Exposure cuz of the weirdness factor, but you get the gist.

Tru Calling hasn't found its voice. It sounds like any other dramadie out there with a hokey hook to get people's attention and pretend to be different, when it's just not.

Tru Calling might win a second (or is it third or fourth?) shot from me, simply by hiring Kristin as a corpse. Hmm... something to think about. I'm not sure yet if Kristin making a guest appearance is enough to turn my head, but it is kinda nice to see an online personality get acknowledged in television like this. I might try to tune in just to support that idea. It'd be interesting to see Harry Knowles get more face time on tv (like he used to), maybe have our own prolific Caroline make a special walk on appearance in an episode of Angel (granted Whedon might have to foot the plane tickets), or perhaps Masquerade from atpabtvs.com... Personally I'm more interested in online celebrities than I am the Tom Cruises and Nicole Kidmans of the world. However, there's not a lot of call for online celebrities crossing into the television medium. I'd like to see that change.
How likely is it that Tru will get a second season, I'm still wishing for it's demise, in the hopes that Eliza'll realise Faith is probably her best shot at a long run on TV.
That said, I've only seen the unaired pilot, last year I wished for Firelfy's demise before seeing an episode, I reckoned if Firefly was cancelled we'd get another year of Buffy, I then watched Firefly, and mourned when it got cancelled.
Everyone who wants to laugh at the ludicrous nature of Tru Calling absolutely must go to televisionwithoutpity.com and read their show recaps. They rip the bad writing apart in the most hilarious and biting way imaginable. If the show got cancelled I think I'd miss the recaps more than the show itself, and I actually kinda like the series.

Did anyone but me see last week's episode written by Doug Petrie? Doug, what happened?? If he can't even craft a stunning episode of the show, I think it's beyond hope.
I was stunned by last week's episode. The pure, unrelieved mediocrity of the script saddened me beyond belief. Absolutely generic mystery story; I guessed the killer (technically) before he even showed up on-screen. That wouldn't have been so bad if any of the characters were halfway memorable. They weren't. Easily Doug Petrie's worst. Script. Ever. (And remember, this is the guy who wrote "As You Were"....) Does everybody who steps onto that set automatically lose 50 I.Q. points?
Hey now, I liked As You Were! But yeah, it was almost like Doug's talent got sucked out by some mysterious on set force. The only positive is that the episode didn't beat me over the head with those "our viewers have no brains" flashbacks like they do every other week. At least it trusted me to remember plot points for more than 5 minutes.
what everyone else said about Tru! I've tried to be a good soldier and watch it for Eliza but it's just so freakin bad. Last week was the worst and agreeing with MindPieces re TWOP's recaps. (Random Boyfriend Generator=my favorite). How can something with people as good as ED and DP involved be so very bad?
I watch Tru because I hope it will get better. I was struck by something in the aired pilot that got me interested. It was a kind of sadness and heart dealing with Tru's family and the loss of her Mother. I was hoping that if they focused more on that then the show could be good. And I like her brother.

But yeah, I agree the characters are flat. I heard they were going to bring in a new character who will be an antagonist to Tru and her missions, sort of like the Evil Leaper from Quantum Leap. I think that's why I'm still watching...oh, also, there's nothing better on TV at that time. Sorry, but the last season of Friends? Bored now.
Oh, and which episode was it that Doug Petrie wrote?
Doug Petrie wrote last week's high school reunion murder mystery, entitled (points for originality here) "Reunion." He also co-wrote (with series creator--and I use the word loosely--Jon Harmon Feldman) the Flatliners ripoff, "The Haunted." The latter wasn't nearly as bad, but when we're talking Tru Calling, we're always dealing with relative levels of suckiness.
It is very formulaic. I am still hoping they throw some new twists into the plot. I thought Quantum Leap was formulaic too but was totally saved by the acting and writing. Not to mention the sexy Scott Bakula. God I miss that show.
"The network has been so supportive, and they picked us up for a full season, which might not have happened somewhere else. We don't have huge numbers, but they see that there is potential." Is Eliza talking about FOX? Supportive? Jeez - where was that support for a good show like Firefly. Idiots.
I was thinking the same thing, genghis. I guess FOX only supports certain shows. The more complex the show, the least likely it will survive on the network.
Wow Electric, you're really bringing back some old school memories with the Quantum Leap mentions. I used to love that show, especially the Evil Leaper storyline. Let's hope we get a great DVD release someday soon.
I like the storyline towards the end too, when Sam leaps into the bodies of people that have one woman in common. Then he gets that woman pregnant and the child turns out to be his biological daughter who in the future helps to get Sam back home. But then I think he leaps and gets lost again. I'm not sure if I saw the last episode.

Yeah I was so in love with Scott Bakula back then!

My reason for referencing Quantum Leap is that I consider Tru Calling to be Quantum Leap meets Groundhog Day. I'll bet that was how the creators pitched it to the network.

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2004-01-31 05:35 ]

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2004-01-31 05:36 ]

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