I finished watching The Sarah Connor Chronicles last night (the day after they came out on DVD), and man, this is a really good series! If any of y’all like sci-fi and/or the Terminator movies, you should definitely check this series out!
First of all, the series rocks at continuity. In a world with such complex plotting, it’s amazing how many details they remember. Of course, they made movie 3 obsolete, but no one saw that one anyway, right? And it supposedly sucked (though I actually never saw it, so I can’t say). But, since this is a time travel concept, even rewriting history (or, perhaps future history?) makes sense in the ‘verse.
Second, this series has great characters, and, to me, characters are the most important part of any story. I suppose, on a basic level, the SCC characters are basic sci-fi trope. We have a robot struggling with what it means to be human. There’s an angsty teen who is supposed to grow up to be the “chosen one” (though, not a mystical choosing, like with Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Harry Potter). There’s a lioness mother struggling to protect her cub, a law enforcement agent who is against us right now but might become our friend in the end, and an embittered soldier in mourning for a lost loved one.
But SCC takes these standard characters and gives them all a fresh feel. Sarah kicks butt and takes names, which is awesome, and yet, she doesn’t like to kill. Derek has a grudge against terminators and possibly a death wish, but there’s a surprising soft side. He’s had some great moments with John, and when he teared up watching Cameron dance… great acting! Cameron has more depth than either Data or the Voyager holographic doctor had at the beginning of the series. She is a strange combination of mystery (what is she doing? whose side is she on?), humanity (feeling like making conversation is the thing to do, appreciating ballet), and machine (killing or allowing humans to die). And John, while he has those whiney teenaged moments, he often surpases them, and that future greatness glimmers underneath all the while.
These characters really do make SCC a great show. Anyone can take an element and tell a story about it — the thing is to give those elements their own skins, their own personalities. It’s the trappings that make a story unique, because there are only so many plots out there in the world. It’s a testiment to the series that it’s this good and, really, it has nearly the same plot (at least at a concept level) as the second movie!
And, of course, I love a show where female characters get to be strong fighters. That always rocks! If you haven’t watched this show yet, if you can get your hands on the DVDs, you should definitely give it a try. The first season was only nine episodes thanks to the writers’ strike, so you can even watch it now and be done in time for the 9/9/08 premier of season two!