Now that Torchwood has started up again on the Beeb (and will reach us plebeians in the colonies in just another few days, OMG), I suppose it might benefit my vast quantity of readers (ha!) if I sum up what I thought of the first series before making comments on the second.
It took me some time to get around to actually watching Torchwood. I saw the first two episodes, and didn’t care one way or another about it. I found Captain Jack to have the wrong sort of stick up his bum, and none of the other characters really interested me. (And, really, euuuuu, why were girlies so hot to get into Owen’s undies? It’s not like he’s even good-looking!) Judging by both my lj flist and the ex-OG reaction, Torchwood was certainly a series you would either either really love or really hate. Going by the first two and last two episodes (I watched the last two only to know where/what Jack was coming from prior to popping up in “Utopia”), it was pretty much splunge for me. Yanno, might have been good but perhaps not, I’m not being indecisive.
Since I had several looooong plane rides coming up in early August of last year, though, I gave my CPU a workout and converted the entire series 1 to iPod format for viewing on the plane. (And a good thing I did, too, since it took an extra 7 hours to get back home from California….) So, I came to the par-tay late, as it were— just as well, because I didn’t really remember the specifics of what everyone else liked/loathed about the series. Here’s what I’ve concluded about the first series:
It’s pretty much the randy Welsh cousin of The X-Files, without the Conspiracy Crap. This is not a bad thing.
It’s sad, though, that I kinda rolled my eyes and tuned out whenever Sex reared its ugly head (heh heh heh heh). I feel that whatever naughtiness that went on was simply because the p.roducers went “OMG! We’re On Past Watershed! We Must Have Hotttt Sexxxx In Every Episode!!!!!!!!!” Not a good reason to have it, IMHO. Nevertheless, it’s What’s Expected These Days, isn’t it?
Somehow, “adult” television (and film) has degenerated from “being stories about adults” to “being stories about Hot Sexxxxx.” In part, this degeneration comes from society’s degeneration. Oh, I’m sorry, that’s actually “overt sexualization.” Current Society encourages children (especially girls) to be all about Hot Sexxx and The Advertising Thereof from the age of 4, and equates “being adult” with “wearing very little and humping others in full view of the general public.” Not exactly an adult view, it’s more like Society is completely stuck in adolescent mode– yanno, where it’s phat (or dope or cool or bad-meaning-good or whatever the hell word the youngsters are using this month to mean “groovy”) to talk about sex, look like you’ve just had sex, go on and on about people having sex (especially if it’s you, no matter how much you’re making up about it)… Society is a high school locker room, and it’s not pleasant.
(Prude? Me? Apparently. In some circles.)
As far as storytelling is concerned, this adolescent mentality means that if you’re calling your show or film or book or story “adult” (or, even, PG-13), all your main characters have to get laid in public. (“Public” in this case means “in graphic detail on the screen or page.”) Thus, Owen getting laid all the time and Gwen and Rhys snogging and Captain Jack willing to drop trou for anything with a pulse took up a good percentage of the running time. *sigh* I found the stories adult enough in the concepts dealt with and the depiction of violence that all the sexxxx made things seem less mature. Torchwood Series 1 was trying too hard to be adult.
Still, sex is the last taboo, isn’t it? We’ve all been so numbed by the amount of violence that happens in the average drama (or Very Special Episode of a comedy) that to get our attention, we must watch rabbits rabbiting to be convinced of the Adult Nature of what we’re watching. And, since most people are sheep, “sex” has to equal “adult” since “mature concepts” can’t (or won’t) be understood. (Why think when you can shag? Really! Don’t make me work here!)
I dread to think what will pass as “adult” once we all become as numb to graphic displays of sex as we are graphic displays of violence.
And on that note, I’m back to reading some Georgette Heyer and watching some old b&w films on TCM….