I mentioned in my previous entry that Astro Ria starts airing the Dark City TV series tonight (or last night, by the time I post this). It has nothing to do with Dark City the book, and a favourite argument in relevant threads now is that the name “Dark City” have already been used by a movie so Xeus isn’t allowed to run around crying foul.
Go read up the following links and comments if you want the back story:
So watched the show earlier. I don’t watch TV on a general rule, and I know how to operate the DVD player better than I knew how to find Astro Ria. After about 5 minutes of scrolling through every channel on Astro, I found it just as it was starting.
“Death Row” (directed by Tony Pietra and written by Allan Koay) is about a sadistic prison warden who finds himself trying to one-up a death row inmate with tales of cruelty inflicted on other people. The warden’s stories are told in flashback. The death row inmate spends the duration of the episode bathed in eerie green light.
At some point, the warden opens the cell door and joins the green inmate inside the cell, where they spent a greater part of the episode posing artistically in the frame. I understand that him entering the cell is a key point in the plot, but I fail to identify which universe allows wardens to associate with death row prisoners in this way. Maybe that’s the whole point they are trying to convey. I probably missed something while I was clipping my nails.
I think the best part of the whole episode is when that cute warden’s expression when from wordless shocked to wordless outrage in about 5 seconds.
I won’t spoil the story for those of you who are planning to catch it on re-run, but I get this feeling that this story looked better on paper than it did on film. This is the genre I write in and the kind of twist I might have used myself; I just don’t fancy the execution. (Look, pun!)
The beginning dragged. If I didn’t deliberately sit down to watch this, I would have wandered off to another channel before anything more interesting happens. I’m annoyed by the prison bars, which is often in the way of what we should be focusing on. The warden’s bad teeth was an amusing touch but very distracting.
I also find it baffling that the title and episodes have English names but the show is in Malay.
I’m all for local filmmakers getting their work out. But if this is the kind of quality to expect from the Dark City series, uhm… let’s just say I won’t be bothered to put down whatever book I happened to be reading at the time to turn the TV on.
But don’t listen to me. Greater shows have tried and failed to keep me glued to the idiot box.