Friday, December 19, 2014

My Weekend Crush

Right, so I need to talk with someone else who watched “Ascension.” The three-night miniseries on Syfy was as brief as it was confounding. Still one of its most welcome attributes was the presence of Lauren Lee Smith, our beloved Soup Chef from “The L Word.” I didn’t recognize her for a second with that white-blonde short hair. (Yeah, I miss the red.) But I certainly enjoyed her presence, and I greatly enjoyed that they made her of the homogay persuasion (even if her lesbianism was only in discussion, and not any action we could see).

The show also featured a very good Tricia Helfer (Number Six on “Battlestar Galactica”) and a brief yet appreciated appearance by Rachel Crawford (Petra the circus performer from “When Night Is Falling”).

Anyway, back to the show. [Set Phasers to Silent: Spoilers Asteroid Field Ahead] Holy what? I actually appreciated the limited run of the series. Television has become such an investment of time that you get reluctant to try something new for fear of the loss of hours of your life. (Or maybe that’s just me and I should get out more.) But three episodes three nights in a row is beyond doable.

Also appealing was the premise, which was part retro drama, part morality tale. Fifty years ago a spaceship with 600 souls has been sent into the stars to ensure mankind’s survival. Now, half way through their 100-year journey, we get a peek into their lives as things start to get weird. The sci-fi story within a sci-fi story was cleverly wrapped. I actually totally did not expect the Night One twist (they’re still on Earth, whaaaat?) So then it became the Truman Show of space stories. And there was also a psychic starchild. Like I said, things started to get weird.

But I was pretty disappointed in the ending, which wasn’t so much an ending as when the cameras stopped. There were enough loose ends to wrap around the circumference of the Earth twice. What’s with that kid? Will they stay in fake space? Where the hell did that officer go? Why did they have to kill the lesbian? Yeah, they killed the lesbian. Sigh. Oh, Soup Chef, it was nice seeing you for a little while. Happy Weekend, all.


Caitlin Kams said...

I have not stopped trying to get people to watch this show. Ascension was something I have been looking forward to since SyFy announced it. The limited run worked in this show's favor. I'm hoping it gathered enough attention for them to continue in their Sherlock-esque format. I was pleased with every twist and characters that are devious while locked in a time where everyone was seen as generous and honorable. I am bummed over Samantha's death, even though that moment was a definite Holy Shit moment for me.

alice said...

Tricia Helfer was *amazing.* As were a number of the female actresses (and a decent portion of the guys, too). I do wish that they'd be a bit more plausible with some of the science behind their sci-fi (the whole 'birth list' thing wouldn't be an issue if your goal is replacement rate reproduction - more than 3 people will die each year when you had people starting on the mission who would now be in their 90s and older. Every woman could have 2 kids, no problem.)

But that's an issue for me with most SyFy shows - this one did a really good job with the first night twist, and with making a number of their villains be interesting enough to raise the stakes. I def. hope that they continue it, and soon.