Saturday, 19 October 2013

Review: Atlantis 1.4: A Twist Of Fate

Topics inappropriate for younger readers, from the outset. And spoilers, if any of you actually care.

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The new sitcom from the guy who brought you a plotline
where a male character's dilemma was that someone had
used their magic superpower to steal his penis.
Howard Overman wrote a series in which one of the brick jokes was about using a Fisherman's Friend in order to enhance oral sex. In which one of the main characters had sex with a gorilla. In which an Immortal character set up a TV event in which he repeatedly shot himself in the head. And yet, despite that abject vulgarity, despite the silliness and over-the-top appeals to a Skins/Inbetweeners audience, it was still some of the most hilarious television of its time. It was a show that moved me, that created six well-developed, flawed yet likeable characters and had awesome sci-fi enriched plotlines. That series is called Misfits, and it is not the subject of this review.
      The subject of this review is of the most recent episode of Atlantis, a show which is Misfits' antithesis in every point I made above and yet, painfully, is written by the same person.
      This week saw Atlantis' take on the great drama of Oedipus, of course inserting its unlikely ensemble into the mix for reasons which are currently unknown to science. The three dumb heroes find a baby in the woods and Hercules (Mark Addy, the only member of the main cast worth talking about) grows attached to it, returning it to the city and having the other two help him take care of it. Turns out it's a visiting King's deliberately rejected son, who the asshole Oracle foretold would become Freud's wet dream by killing his dad and marrying his mother. The three, on behalf of the mother and of an awesome servant named Tiresias (Donald Sumpter, Game of Thrones and Being Human), smuggle the baby out. Medusa gives Hercules a peck on the cheek and Queen Pasiphae grows angrily like a hungry bear.
     I was ready to give up (as I always am with this show) when the lazy jokes aimed at "three men and a baby" humour turned up, and that thin sliver of plot took up the vast majority of the first half of the episode, only developing into something mildly juicy whenever Donald Sumpter's character arrived on the scene. He's the first character in four weeks that I've actually taken seriously, seeing as everyone else feels like they're in a poor Merlin spinoff show and are very aware of that fact. Mark Addy again got some of the little character development on offer, while Pythagoras and Jason are bostinate in their refusal to move from their positions as mildly amusing idiots. Which would be fine, if Mark Addy's character wasn't the simple comic relief who gets constantly belittled when, all things considered, he's the most rational and sympthasable one there.
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Maester Lewin is too good for this shit.
     We're settling into a nice little routine now, and I am somewhat used to watching a scene with a group of people, thinking "I Don't Care" and not having that opinion changed by the end of the episode. Ariadne, Pasiphae, Minos - I don't really care about anything they're doing or why they're doing it. Meanwhile, ignoring the main three, I'm wondering why Medusa is still here, especially as I was expecting her to be a momentary fascination and not, I am bewildered to say, Hercules' main love interest. Wowzers. This show might have some decent plot next.
     Ha. Fat chance.

Thanks.

NEXT WEEK: I was wrong! Well, maybe. Some plot might actually happen as long as Jason can tell some White Lies.

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