Misfits TV: ‘Supernatural’, ‘Life on Mars’, ‘Stargate Atlantis’ & more

As 2008 comes to an end, we have some great stuff to look forward to next year. Before some favorites return with new seasons (like Kyle XY and Reaper), continue on where they left off (like Battlestar Galactica), or even debut (Dollhouse!!!), let’s take a moment to reflect on Fall TV and how some of the Misfit-friendly shows Ryan didn’t cover fared.

Supernatural
Current Grade: A

I’m tempted to give it an A+ but I’m going to hold on to a modicum of decorum here. While many were disappointed with last season (not me), this year they’ve really hit it out of the park. Every episode has been solid and you can just feel the runaway train-like momentum speeding the Winchesters to an undoubtedly huge finale. While Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki have been doing a great job as always, what’s really making the season for me is the presence of Misha Collins as the angel Castiel. He’s fantastic in a part that could easily go bad in the wrong hands.

Sanctuary
Current Grade: B+
Amanda Tapping’s Stargate SG-1 follow-up started as a web series utilizing green screen for the majority of their sets and, after some heavy 2007 San Diego Comic Con buzz, was picked up by the SciFi Channel. And it was a smart acquisition. While some of the offerings are uneven, they’re doing a good job of using the Monster-of-the-Week format to establish and advance both the world the stories take place in and the relationships and backgrounds of the people in it. The show is well cast (full of familiar faces if anyone’s ever watched any of the Stargates) and I dig how trigger-happy the daughter of Tapping’s Dr. Helen Magnus, Ashley Magnus (played by Emilie Ullerup), is. There’s a bright future for the series.

My Own Worst Enemy
Current Grade: B+
I’m holding out on the hope that NBC will order more episodes because, while I might have been skeptical that they could sustain the fritzing chip based plot at first, by the fourth episode it really didn’t matter. They told compelling stories, had funny moments and were graced with one of the best overall casts on television. Christian Slater and Mike O’Malley should especially be recognized for doing such a great job with their dual roles. Oh NBC, you’ve turned into FOX.

Life on Mars
Current Grade: B+

It’s no secret this is based on a British show. As I’ve seen it, getting through the pilot of the American version proved a little difficult since I found the original to be a downer and I really didn’t want to go through that again. However, once I just kind of let go I really dug the show. It’s a hard-boiled 70’s cop show made in the present time with mysterious, mystical elements. What’s not to like? Jason O’Mara does a great job as Sam Tyler and Harvey Keitel is especially enjoyable as Lt. Gene Hunt, a genius casting move. Also, the Fall finale made me certain of one thing: Being lead to a mysterious cabin in the middle of nowhere and receiving a distorted phone call urging you to check the basement is hella creepy.

Stargate Atlantis
Current Grade: B+
While the Atlantis crew will soon be shuffling off to straight-to-DVD adventures, at least they’re going out on a consistent and relatively high note. I’ve liked some episodes more than others but overall any season featuring Bill Nye the Science Guy in an episode gets my stamp of approval. There still wasn’t enough Ronon (played so skillfully by Jason Momoa) for my taste but, well, I think it’d only be enough for me if he had his own show.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Current Grade: B/B-
The premiere featured Yoda kicking the crap out of an army of droids, a recent two-parter had a droid on droid fight between R2-D2 and an double agent R3 unit, and we even got an episode written by Paul Dini. What pushes it off the rails is the fact that we have to deal with Anakin (who’s more tolerable animated than in live action, but that’s not saying a whole lot) and they had the nerve to have a Jar-Jar Binks-centric ep. Really? I like that we get to delve into under-used or new characters but let’s leave the unloved ones out of it, hmmm?

Batman: The Brave & The Bold
Current Grade: A-

First, you have to remember that this animated Bats is the most kid-friendly he’s been since the Superfriends. But don’t let that dissuade you. This incarnation is a mix of Adam West’s take and the slightly lighter DCU version from Justice League Unlimited in uneven parts (it leans more to the JLU). Each episode has Batman teaming with a different hero to fight the villain du jour, most delightfully obscure. The highlight episode so far has been the one with Aquaman. Voiced by John DiMaggio (mostly famously known as Bender from Futurama), Aquaman is a square-jawed, beared Dudley-Do-Right type with a big hardy laugh and a penchant for constantly telling stories of his various adventures. There’s only been a handful of episodes aired but so far, so good.

Your thoughts on these shows? Agree, disagree?

About Tamara Brooks

A few things I wondered about as a kid: Why didn't Wonder Woman punch more bad guys in the face on the tv show?; How does Superman flying around the Earth turn back time?; Could someone really catch bullets with their teeth?; Why didn't the liquid bits of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man cause 3rd degree burns on whoever it landed on? Because melted marshmallow is up there with molten hot lava.