I’m officially settled into my new place and life can go back to something resembling normal. Just in time for the rush of the holidays. I went to K-Mart yesterday to pick up a few odds and ends for my condo and ended up walking out empty-handed. Too many people strolling at zero miles an hour through the aisles, and let’s not even get to how many people were lined up at the check-out registers.
On the other hand, a successful change of address with Netflix brought me more Alias, 24, and Taken goodness. I got Firefly in the queue now, too, waiting for later this month, and Farscape. And somehow, Highlander season 3 came out on DVD a while back without me noticing. Amazon is already selling used copies. I have it on my wish-list pending finding out how much money I’ll have in the coming months. My old iMac computer is acting up, and I’m wondering if it might not be a good idea to get a new computer instead of getting the old one fixed.
Speaking of “Taken”, I just finished up that mini-series yesterday and really liked it. Several reviews on Netflix found it “predictable”, but I think predictability is in the eye of the Beholder. I didn’t have a clue where they were going with the three-family trajectory story, and so the whole climax leading to the life and person of Allie was an interesting surprise. I didn’t expect all the elements at the beginning and middle of the story to all end up woven together like that. I think I expected a series of semi-independent vignettes about various people’s abduction stories.
A reviewer on Amazon called Taken “Close Encounters of the Third Kind meets the Waltons”. I think this is a little simplistic. None of these families is the Waltons with their home-grown heart-warming problems. If they had been, I would have been bored. These families and the individuals in them were complex and had some serious problems and pains.
The ending was a little heart-warming I guess, and I know some people don’t like what they perceive of as too much sentimentality and heart-warmingness, but by the end of the series, I really wanted a little hope and had it given to me. Speaking against the whole predictability thing, I really worried that Allie might use her powers once too often and hurt or kill herself. I really worried that Charlie would die during the hostage situation. I really thought the Crawford family would fuck things up for everybody with their obsessive ambition. Maybe since it’s Steven Spielberg, I should have known better, but even the actual ending wasn’t that heart-warming. Just hopeful. And with the whole magic-sense-of-wonder thing that I like about Spielberg films.
I have an interest in family as a theme in stories I watch, but it can’t be just any family story. I am interested in very specific things, like special gifts/experiences being passed down through the generations, like the powers of the Clarke family or the UFO connection of the Keys family. I am interested in families that are “different”, set apart from people around them by whatever it is that makes them different–being part alien, or wizards/witches or whatever it is.
I am also interested in the “child I never knew” story where a person discovers that they had a child they never knew about or that they were separated from early in life. So of course I loved the whole Charlie Keys/Allie thing (and the way it brought all the disparate story threads together). I also like when interesting similarities between parent and child create conflict between them, as happened in the Crawford family.
So there was much coolness in this, and yet another thing to put on the Amazon wish-list for the day when DVDs actually become cheap.
Update: This just in. Of course Taken has the lovely and very human Julie Benz in it, but there is another Buffyverse alum as well. Charlie Keys is played by the actor who once embodied Parker Abrams! I knew I recognized him from somewhere, but Charlie is so much more mature-looking and sympathetic that I never made the connection with the pigprettyboy until I did a quickie imdb.com search.