Wednesday, March 5, 2008

New Amsterdam - discuss amongst yourselves

Just when I was deciding that the Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles was worth its spot in the barren wasteland that is my DVR these days, Fox goes and yanks it off the schedule. In its place: New Amsterdam. I just finished the first episode and, I must admit, it's pretty good. It's about this detective who is under a spell cast by a ethnic wise-woman which makes him youthful and immortal, so for the last 400 years or so he's been trying to become human again, but he solves crimes and helps people in the meantime.

Wait. Haven't I seen this before? Don't I own all five seasons on DVD? No, sillies: this detective is not a vampire - he's human; he's a real cop, not an unlicensed PI; he lives in NYC, not LA; the wise-woman was a Native American whose life he saved, not a gypsy he murdered; and to become human he must find his heart's true love. I repeat - it's really pretty good. It's a fantastical drama with more drama than fantasy. The writing is well above average (ahem, crapass Moonlight) and there are some clever lines. The acting is solid; there's actually character development for the majority of the cast, including secondary roles. The lead guy, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, is pretty but not unrealistically so and he does a very good American accent for a Dane. (Not that I know what a Danish accent sounds like, of course.) I hope New Amsterdam has some legs on it - I'd like to see where it goes.

Side-note with respect to the Terminator t.v. show: Summer Glau had better watch it as she's clearly being typecast. This is the third show she's been on where they've showcased her dancing ability: first she was a ballerina ghost in a stand-alone Angel episode; then she did a joyful folk dance in an episode of Firefly; and most recently she got to be a ballerina again in Terminator - or at least a robot imitating a ballerina. What's next if Terminator gets cancelled - a gender-bending Leroy in Fame: The Next Generation? I shudder to think (and so should her agent).

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