Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Unit, part 2

get your head out of the gutter.

Well, I finished watching the series (it's amazing how fast something goes when you watch one episode a night before going to bed). Overall, I thought it was well done, aside from some weirdness in the middle which I think is what ended up getting the show cancelled in the long run. I get the feeling the writers were trying to capture some of the Lost/Alias weird metaphysical angle, but they failed utterly. First was the introduction of a psychic, which was actually kinda cool, since her character was greeted by "aren't you one of those people that studied people staring at goats?". Nice reference.

However, rather than play with that, somewhere the writers got even weirder, and had an episode centered around the Spear of Longinus, and the next episode was some weird acid trip by one of the main characters. Combined, I think it was these two episodes which just killed it. The show was already suffering from a poor attempt to move from an episodic to a story-arc season, and the clunkiness of that poor execution combined with the insanity of mystical monks and swordfighting was the deathblow. It was kind of a shame, I think there was one more season in it, if nothing else than just to resolve a few of the smaller things floating in the background (rich people conspiracy theories that overlaid most of the show I would have liked to have seen completed).

I think, like many things, one of the big problems was the inability of the founder to step away from the project. Again, I like Mamet, but he is absolutely not suited to directing or writing for television.

Mamet hanger on count for The Unit:

Rebecca Pidgeon
Ricki Jay
Max Martini (iffy, but he was in Redbelt)
William Macy
Bai Ling

A welcome recurring role from Summer Glau, though, didn't even know she was in the show (and in a bikini...)

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