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April 07 2005

Jane Espenson Wrote Tonight's TRU CALLING!! Herc at AICN gives us reasons to watch tonight's episode and praises Jane in his own unique style "She's Hunter Thompson good. She's Alan Moore good. She's Joss Whedon good". There's also an update about David Fury working on The Inside.

I saw the trailer for this episode and it looks really good. They are doing some interesting things this season. It's really showing promise...that unfortunately it can never fulfill since it was cancelled.

Is it just me, or does anyone else want Jack and Tru to hook up? Or, have him fall in love with someone he's trying to keep Tru from saving? But then, you know, still let them die. I want to see him conflicted about his work, torn between both sides...just a little. I want to see his shades of grey.
I swore that nothing but nothing would ever get me to watch TC again but Jane Espenson is the one thing in the world that could get me to break that vow (that and SMG making a guest appearance on the show!). I am not sure if TC even got to finish all of its first season here (Australia) so we probably won't see the 6 S2 eps. Not sure if it will even have an R4 DVD release.
"She's Hunter Thompson good. She's Alan Moore good. She's Joss Whedon good."

Ha, bless Herc. ;-)

I wholeheartedly concur. Go Jane. Jane rules all. Jane for president of the universe.
Yea I seriously doubt it too Catalyst. I live in the Southern Highlands, NSW, and only get Prime instead of 7, and they only played like 3 episodes of Firefly! I am yet to see the entire season. :(
To poor for DVD's. Which incidently, someone is selling DVDR copies of Firefly on Ebay Oz, that has got to be illegal! Right, I'm off to dob.

BTW Bad Kitty Jane for president of the universe
isn't that Zaphod's job?
It's upsetting to know that there are only 4 remaining episodes,and the series has only just begun to get really interesting and fun to watch for me.

Season 1 was just too messy for me with too many unexplained things going on and lackoffollow-through with characters, etc. but even with season 2 losing 2 of its main characters, the show has DEFINITELY found its ground.
Well, then I may watch tonight. I couldn't get through the second hour of the return last week. Of course, people's comments are intriguing me!
I also wanted to add that I want Tru to be conflicted about her work. The cliffhanger at the end of the first season should have been Tru wondering if Jack is right all along about some people being meant to die, and that she is messing with the natural order of things. This show does not seem to be following the hero's journey, which I think is a mistake.

Other than that, the writers are changing things up, and it's not easy to guess what's going to happen in the end. The tension between Jack and Tru just crackles, which is probably why I want them to get it on. I like my heroes to be tempted by evil. It makes them easier to relate to than if they are just the stalwart hero.
I had never seen Tru Calling untill last weeks 2-episodes season premier. Quite nice show. Not as good as Angel or Buffy but enjoyable.
"And that terrified the Chinese potential!"

Hahahaaaaa.
"I also wanted to add that I want Tru to be conflicted about her work. The cliffhanger at the end of the first season should have been Tru wondering if Jack is right all along about some people being meant to die, and that she is messing with the natural order of things." -- electricspacegirl

As I've said in a number of forums, the mythology of TC is underdeveloped. I can understand why Tru dismisses Jack's point of view, because Jack hasn't come close to presenting a convincing argument as to why saving those people is bad. Tru has saved people for the past 23 episodes, and absolutely nothing bad has happened as a consequence. Why is Jack (and, by extension, Daddy Davies) so sure that Tru's "messing with fate" is evil? If he knows a specific reason, shouldn't he tell her? And if he doesn't know, if he's just acting on a belief, shouldn't Jack--who seems to be a fairly reasonable individual when he's not jockeying for position with Tru--be a little more unsure about his own role in the grand scheme of things?

[ edited by cjl on 2005-04-07 19:40 ]
I wish to ask a question. Was the seasonal opening of 'Tru Calling' that good?
The season opening of 'Tru Calling' was last Thursday, and yes, I would say it was very entertaining: it had a lighter tone with more twists and surprises than anything the first season had offered.

I'm hoping for another fast paced episode, with some fun homage to Audrey Hepburn's 'Wait Until Dark', but we'll see if that is where tonight's episode takes us.
Not that I know much about the series cuz I've only seen a couple episodes, but I'd imagine Jack's take on it is that these people were meant to die. Fated, you might say. So Tru doing her bit is basically defying the universe. Taking the power of life and death in her own hands. Jack's job would be to preserve nature's balance, and undo the 'damage' to destiny that she's done. However, one would have to believe in predeterminism for Jack's argument to work, and since we all have a choice day to day how to run our lives, the argument eventually wears thin.

Like others have mentioned, I swore off Tru Calling after the first few episodes and swore I'd never watch it again cuz I found it hokey with a thin premise and terribly written plot and dialogue, but if Jane Epsenson's behind this episode, I'm hard pressed NOT to give it a try this evening. I just love her stuff. Maybe she was able to pull the show out of its doldrums, just too late to save the series from cancellation. If anyone could make something out of this otherwise lackluster series, it'd be Ms. Espenson.

I hate going back on my own decision to stop supporting Fox though. It's a tough call. Most television series need at least a season and sometimes two before they really hits their stride. Networks like Fox and WB don't seem to understand that anymore, and I hate supporting any network being run by people who won't stand behind the products they broadcast.
Honestly, I didn't think the opener was good, especially when compared to the first season.

TC's first season had everything I wanted in a show, and many of the things I'd come to love in Buffy - quirky characters, good dialogue, new twists on old plots. While it was a bit formulaic at times, it continued to test Tru's powers to the point where she had to relive one day four times and come to the conclusion that eventually, she couldn't save everybody; and I always found the mysteries engaging. But then, I'm a sucky guesser.

So far, the sophomore season is not living up to the 21 episodes I fell in love with.

But I still love it. And it's Jane. So of course I'm there, with bells on.
"Jack's take on it is that these people were meant to die. Fated, you might say. So Tru doing her bit is basically defying the universe. Taking the power of life and death in her own hands. Jack's job would be to preserve nature's balance, and undo the 'damage' to destiny that she's done." - ZachsMind

That's exactly Jack's attitude. And I've never understood why Tru hasn't shot back: "What if this 'gift' of ours isn't upsetting the balance, but is God/Nature/the Universe's way of CORRECTING the balance? Unless you know something you're not telling me. Answer me that one, Jack! Whaddaya you got, Jackie boy, because you're just not convincing me here...."
CJL> She has. Last season she said to Jack (paraphrased), "You think there's some sort of Divine plan? Maybe I am the plan."
I hate supporting any network being run by people who won't stand behind the products they broadcast.

I agree with you on that point, ZM, but the new, developing shows that are actually good do pay the price in the boycott. I know that as someone without a Neilsen box, or TiVo, the networks have no idea what I'm watching, that's why I try to garner interest from other TV watchers, get them hooked on a good show, and in turn, hook their friends.

I don't think boycotting Fox is going to help them change the way it's run. Not unless you repeatedly send them postcards telling them why you don't watch their shows.

And on a side note, what is the best way to support your favorite TV shows, or the ones you want to stick around because you see potential? I'm really serious about trying out this new Quality Television Activism thing I got going on.
"She's Hunter Thompson good. She's Alan Moore good. She's Joss Whedon good".

Comparing Jane Espenson to Alan Moore is one of the most offensive things I've ever heard.
SPOILER ALERT! (Highlight the following text to read it, provided you've seen tonight's episode already)

Oh. My. Gawd.

Overall I just gotta admit: VERY well done.

I really hate admitting this. Looks like now I gotta give Tru Calling a fourth (or is it fifth now?) chance. Did Espenson have anything to do with next week's episode? Anyone know?

[ edited by ZachsMind on 2005-04-08 04:38 ]
... Strange, ZachsMind. As a fan of the show and its first season, I was obtusely unimpressed with tonight's episode. And also, that final "water balloon" scene was so obvious it made me cringe - this is me. Who never predicts endings, ever.

Also? I hate Jason Priestly. I hate his line deliveries. He bothers the pee out of me. And the handwriting-as-plot seemed uninspired to me, and uncharacteristically sloppy from someone who's been outwitting Tru left and right.

All in all, I'm really disappointed with this season so far. Unfortunately, there's only three episodes left, so I may just have to ignore the S2 canon and cling fondly to my memories.
See what happens sometimes when you take a chance with something, ZM? ;) Glad you liked it. I haven't seen this ep so thanks for the invisi-text, and not spoiling us left-coasters.
ZM, I think she's some kind of producer as well, so she probably helped break the next episode. The previews looked interesting, making Jack look a little less smug.

I agree with your positive assessment, ZM, that was the best TC yet. Also, I could sense Jane's ubiquitous smile behind Harrison's comment after leaving his first encounter with Jack.

[ edited by Biff Turkle on 2005-04-08 04:38 ]
I STILL didn't like Harrison at all. Haven't liked the character since the start. Espenson didn't help there. I mean the actor playing him does as good as can be expected. I just think the character was ill-conceived and has no proper motivation or purpose.

Daromaius, I don't know what to say: We can agree to disagree seems so trite. Perhaps you're clouded a bit from still remembering Priestly's work on 90210? Not able to separate the actor from his previous work? I didn't see a lot of 90210 on purpose, and what little I did see, Priestly's matured so much since then.



I think Espenson's work here is brilliant, but then I'm tainted. Ever since "Rm w/a Vu" Espenson simply can do no wrong in my eyes. =) She had me at "Band Candy."

[ edited by ZachsMind on 2005-04-08 04:53 ]
Good episode, great idea with the rewind and not giving Tru much to go on. Got to admit that I caught onto Jack's plan to mislead fairly quickly, though and I was a tiny bit taken back by Davis' sudden outburst but Jane always makes it work. Seems as if though ever since season 1's finale until this point, the episodes have really rocked.
Tonight I watched my first complete episode of "Tru Calling." I had previously tried to watch it during the first season, but it was too boring, so I had to just turn the TV off.

But tonight's episode was pretty good. Eliza Dushku continues to exhibit her talent as one of today's best young actresses. And the dialogue of tonight's episode was pretty good also - there were quite few memorable lines; also, there were plenty of clever plot twists, esp. the ending.

The show;s still completely reliant on it's central turn-back-time gimmick, and both the acting and the characters are weak in general.

But I did actually enjoy tonight's episode, though I doubt I'll be watching again, unless Jane's writing.
Well, judging by the trailer for next week's episode, it looks like I may get my wish to see Jack conflicted about his work. I'm pretty happy about that.

I loved Jack's witty banter in this episode. So funny! He and Tru are so fun together. I'm a little put off by the way Galifianakis plays awkward. There's no humor in it. He just seems so wooden.

ZM, I thought the later season 1 episodes were pretty interesting, once Jack showed up. I've liked the dynamic he brought to the show.

Only 3 more episodes left.

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2005-04-08 07:17 ]
Well, I tried the series premiere, and one or two episodes after that. By the time they got to one which was basically a refabrication of the Roberts/Sutherland movie "Flatliners" I bowed out. Just couldn't hang.

Then I tried it once again at the insistance of a friend, who thought I was being too hard on it. Don't think I watched that entire episode. It had something to do with Tru at a beauty pageant. Anyone seen Miss Congeniality? Apparently, so had the TC writing staff. Bleargh!

The third time I watched again was when Priestly joined up. I knew it was a blatant attempt to get viewers, by adding him to the cast, but I fell for it anyway. He was stiff and unappealing. Not a convincing bad guy to me at the start, so I once again bowed out.

I think I've given TC many more chances than one would normally give any series. This FOURTH time trying TC again, the third time I have given Tru Calling a "second chance," I watched merely because I haven't seen any of Jane Espenson's work in awhile. Expected it to suck, and for the first time, for me anyway, it actually didn't. So again, Fox cancels a series before it can get a chance to break its stride. I understand that not supporting Fox means I'm also not supporting new programs which deserve attention, but it's the fact they are on a network that is so trigger-happy and unpredictable that I have no choice but to avoid the network whenever possible.

Lone Gunmen.

FreakyLinks.

Firefly.

Wonderfalls.

Tru Calling.

VR5.

Strange Luck.

I just can't count on getting interested in a series on Fox because just when I start liking something they pull the plug. It's self-interest really, but I no longer wish to waste my time with their stupidity.

[ edited by ZachsMind on 2005-04-08 08:13 ]
I remember Strange Luck...

I taped tonight's episode. I like Espenson's work, and I've been told py several people (who downloaded the episodes a long time ago) that this one is one of the best of the whole series. No pressure there :)
ZachsMind - I'd never actually seen 90210; I was too young when it first came out and, in retrospect, have no interest.

I am, however, still clouded by my vision of the first season, which IMO was far better before Priestley joined. I just don't like him - I think he has no talent and his lines, which could be chilling, intimidating, and even sexy? Wind up sounding instead like he's taken Tru's Barbie doll away and cut its hair.

Hidden text.

I can agree with your assessment of the Game as played by Jack and Tru, but the handwriting thing still bothers me. Also, I, who am pretty great at suspending disbelief, wasn't buying the "hot tub in the morgue".

I'm warming up to, but not particularly fond of Avery.

I couldn't stand Carrie or her Damsel-In-A-Bad-Dress routine and figured that if she wasn't evil, she needed to die. Her Dark Hidden Past (tm) was so out of left field. I'm starting to think the damn things were being handed out at Wal-Mart. One free with every purchase.

Also, while it was an excellent decision to have Tru "lose", it makes no sense. Every other time she's failed, the day has just rewound again. I want an explanation for why this is not the case now.

I also want Davis to get over his "awkward" phase because, as someone before me has said, it's not funny. It's just weird. I can appreciate the dichotomy of someone who is brilliant and socially crippled, but it's just not realistic anymore.


End hidden text.
That wasn't a hot tub. Some morgues have a basin large enough to be able to wash off dead bodies. That's what they were using, which is kinda gross but also very funny.
Daromaius, I actually agree with you on all points except Jack. I like Jack and I like his chemistry with Tru, but I thought he was really sinister last season before Tru found out he was Mr. Death.

Here's the thing. There are awkward parts (acting, writing, ridiculous plot points), but there's some good stuff too. This isn't Buffy, and I won't rate it on that scale. It's just a fun show to watch, and even laugh at. It isn't perfect, and I can't really care if I see the story play out (unless in the 6 episode, they throw in a new plot twist).

I watch it becuase I have nothing better to do on Thursday night, and because it isn't as bad as most TV. Hell, I watch the O.C. sometimes. I just take it for what it is. This isn't appointment TV for me like Lost and Alias are. And it certainly isn't on the same level as Buffy or Angel. But hell, nothing ever is.
Daromaius:

This response is to hidden paragraph 4.

In the season 1 finale, Tru didn't manage to save Luc; there was no rewind, he stayed dead and there was a funeral. So your statement that she was always able to win is incorrect.


This responding to hidden text is tricky!
Don't know from Tru Calling, although I'm sure I'll rent the discs at some point. But now that electricspacegirl has brought up the O.C., I have to randomly jump in, off-topically, to say that I received the first 4 episodes of season one from netflix - and really enjoyed them. Not so deep, but decent acting, smart and witty writing, and, let's face it, eye-candy abounding. And several of Seth's lines were totally Xanderesque. The fact that Jane E. wrote one of the episodes in question might have helped. I understand from an obsessed colleague that S2 is far inferior, but I enjoyed the O.C. enough to get the next disc.

Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the two episodes of Farscape that I watched (the pilot and, I think, S1 ep. 7). Didn't interest me at all. Since there seem to be a number of Farscape believers here, maybe one of you could point me in the direction of the episode that will convert me?
The O.C. had gone downhill since the first season. I started to lose interest during the second half of season 1 actually. I only watch it for Seth, who is hilarious. Great comic timing. And I love Sandy, and the stories that involve the adults on the show. And Sandy's eyebrows. Mmmmm.
Brownishcoat - Luc never asked for help. Everyone who has asked for Tru's help has either received it, or the day restarts.
Daromaius, thanks for clarifying your point.
Always good to hear these exceptional writers from Buffy past continue to turn out exceptional work on other series.

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