Did you have a skeevy uncle when you were a kid? One who hung around the house way too much, drank all your parents' beer and shouted random obscenities at your boyfriends or girlfriends? Did you ever wish you could watch a whole TV show about that uncle, plus maybe a skanky stepdad for good measure? Well, then Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Brian Austin Green are in your corner! Here's Unka Brian, freaking out on John Connor's kitchen table and having acid flashbacks to the time he got naked with a bunch of his buddies.
We liked Sarah Connor a lot more when it was about the female-bonding between Sarah and Cameron, the Terminator played by Summer Glau. When the two of them went around tag-teaming evil robots and nursemaiding their baby rebel leader of the future, it was a pretty great show. Now, all of a sudden, it's a show about random dudes who hang around and talk about how teenage girls are "pretty as a picture" except for their scary insides. (We had a clip of that horrendous moment in yesterday's TV roundup.) When it's not the skancle, it's the whiny stepdad. And that's interspersed with clips of Brian Austin Green and a bunch of other nondescript dudes having male-bonding in the future.
Speaking of which, only Skynet knows what those flash-forwards were actually about. What was in the scary room with the classical music? Glenn Gould? Maybe an evil cyborg version of Glenn Gould? First BAG is hanging out with his future buddies, and they're all teasing Kyle incredibly lamely about how many work slaughterhouses he got John Connor out of. And then they're running around, and there's a big cannon thingy, and then the Terminators nab his friends... and BAG ends up in a prison with the scary room, but he escapes somehow, and then there's more running around. Oh, and the annoying chess guy is there, and he says he built Skynet. The biggest problem with all the future sequences is that the men all look kind of the same and it seems like we're supposed to be able to tell them apart or something.
It really seemed as though the show was trying hard to live up to the "chronic" in its title. We kept rewinding to try and figure out what just happened, and it got more and more mystifying. Also, the subplot about whether Summer Glau is evil is really not promising. Come on, it's Summer Glau. She's on all the posters and stuff. She's not evil, at least not in television terms.
I had some misgivings about whether the Terminator concept could sustain a weekly show, with developing plotlines and ongoing intrigues and stuff. And last night's episode is the second in a row that makes me start thinking my fears were more than justified. And with lukewarm third-place ratings, we may never get to know exactly where Summer Glau falls on the lawful-good-to-chaotic-evil scale.