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Author Topic: SiB S4 Discussion  (Read 4492 times)

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Offline Tony Black

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SiB S4 Discussion
« on: Wed Mar 11 2009, 19:12 »
A place to discuss the fourth season of Somewhere InBetween!



Offline Michael Jay

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Re: SiB S4 Discussion
« Reply #1 on: Mon Jun 1 2009, 01:39 »
To Hell...

And I finally get around to one of my favorite series around. SiB tends to open with slower premieres than most shows, presumably because the finales are always balls out action and the premiere is a means to scale things back and get some perspective. There's really not much of that here as the festivities seem to kick off right after last year's finale, a very welcome change from the "some time later" settings of the last two season premieres. Oddly enough, given the high volume of characters that pass through the series, SiB works best when it stays more of a plot driven narrative and allows the characters to develop in the midst of all the madness. This episode highlights that approach. Chris wants to find a way into Hell to get Twist out. Period. No fooling around. No frothy speeches about how much she means to him. Just straightforward "this is the plan, so get in line, bitches" Chris Berkeley at his best. Danyael makes a big play (can you tell I've been watching football lately) bagging the daemon insect that provides Chris's way in. Unfortunately, Syren, Lyra gets very little to do here other than renaming herself. The guest character whose name escapes me continues the show's alarming recent trend of not killing Chris's buddies from around the globe.

Twist's whole ordeal isn't quite as interesting. The rip off homage to Beetlejuice in the representation of Hell is inspired, but we've already seen it once before (in Twist's half of the series premiere) and there's a lot more time spent there than necessary. The "appeal" in particular really felt like filler to space out Chris's attempts to break into the underworld.

Despite all that, a solid premiere. It's the first of a two parter and as such is your requisite set up for soon-to-be chaos, but Lee knows and writes these characters well enough to keep it interesting and the pacing, as with all of Lee's scripts except Syren's introduction when Chris wandered around the island from Lost for three acts, is lively and hardly dull.



Pretty by the numbers for a SiB episode, but as far as premieres go, it's second only to season three's, which had a damn awesome plot to it.

Offline Michael Jay

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Re: SiB S4 Discussion
« Reply #2 on: Mon Jun 1 2009, 01:40 »
... And Back

I'm in a conundrum. I tend to enjoy when SiB goes balls out action every now and then. Lee writes this stuff well. The truck/gas station scene from SiB s2 is still a top ten favorite for VS action scenes. This is more of the same, with Chris slinging the magic and blades around like a f'n machine. I felt a concerted effort to make breaking into Hell a near impossible task with all that Chris went through to get to Twist.

On the other end, it doesn't feel as earned as Chris's return last season, which took something like nine episodes. Where last episode, I felt like too much attention was paid to Twist, this week she doesn't feel nearly as tormented as the story would have me believe. This is Hell we're talking about here and Twist is in the worse part of it (other than the Bad Lands outside the city). A couple more scenes of Boyce driving her to the brink of madness would've played better.

I did love the explanation for why Hell looks like a normal city. From a logical statement (ignoring all the biblical blasphemy), it makes perfect sense. Who wants to hang out in all fire and brimstone for eternity?

I hated the Danyael/Lyra (god, I hate that name) scene. There were two scenes last season that seemed to openly acknowledge Chris and (then) Syren were together. This scene plays as of Danyael doesn't know and... I dunno, just came off awkward and tacked on.

Edit: Hit post and meant to hit preview...

So at the end of it all, Twist is back and Chris has signed over his soul to get her out, wagering it all on whether Twist can stay on the straight and narrow. It's so sweet my teeth started rotting.



I was gonna go in the middle, but the ending bumps this up.

TWOOK!! ;D

Offline Michael Jay

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Re: SiB S4 Discussion
« Reply #3 on: Mon Jun 1 2009, 01:40 »
Relocation

Leave it to Lee to take something I've waited on for two seasons (TWOOK!!) and make me hate it one episode later.

I expected this soppy, pussy type reaction from Danyael and Lee delivers in spades. My word how much did I want him to grow a sack in this episode.

I didn't particular like this outing, but it's odd b/c the episode has all the hallmarks of a good SiB episode. I think the placement is what I questioned most. Last episode was balls out action, but it had a purpose b/c Chris was tearing ass through Hell to get to Twist. The motivation behind the actions resonated more, so the action itself was more thrilling and intense.

This week, hardly any of that. The gang gets captured. Couple of holy sh1te moments, they escape and stupidly run headlong into another problem.

We know they'll get out b/c the good guys always do and this show generally does a good job of avoiding plots with zero suspense, and coming off the heels of last week's rampage, doing another mostly action episode where much less is at stake feels like a mistake. Not to mention Chris is captured and meets Parker while... Danyael & Twist are sitting around playing Days of Our Lives and... Lyra (urgh) is sitting in a posh suite listening to music. Again, big lack of suspense here. Lee's better than this.

I won't even mention Twist bringing up 'vombies' which conjures up memories of that god awful two parter from last season. Oh wait, I just did.

Parker returns in this one, having apparently pulled a Tony Stark and kept himself alive after a fatal gunshot wound (clumsily explained away by the also returning Vivian). I rarely talk about casting in my reviews, but it's unreal how much Parker just sounds like Brian Cox. It's rare when I can hear every word in my head, so kudos there. As for Vivian, I get the sense Lee has a thing for the character and wanted to redeem her. Taking a wait and see approach here.

As for the T-virus infested vampires, again wait and see. Couldn't have been anymore signposted that Vivian's gonna get infected if there were a neon sign pointing to her wound though. Totally oversold that plot point.



Feels like Lee and company needed a plot to reintroduce both Parker and Vivian, but didn't really put much thought to it. There's zero tension and atmosphere in this outing and despite an abundance of action, that makes the episode pretty dull to read. If this episode had two generic, new faces instead of Parker and Vivian, it would've been a thumbs down.

Offline Michael Jay

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Re: SiB S4 Discussion
« Reply #4 on: Mon Jun 1 2009, 01:40 »
Sunny Skies

Three big action eps in a row. Well, I think Lee's taken that "slow start" mentality and chucked it out the window.

Let me preface the following by saying that I generally don't pay attention to the writer's name until I'm done reading the episode. I couldn't help but notice Chris Haigh's name on this one and get a slight feeling of dread though. Not that he's a bad writer overall, but in terms of SiB, the last memory I have of Mr. Haigh is the R.I.P. two parter that was so full of logic gaps you'd think it was his first script.

So mercifully, thankfully, this was a whole hell of a lot better. There's one or two guffaws in the story, but nothing major. First, I'm presuming this episode took place in the U.S. of A. If so, that news report was laughably mistaken, since the reporter says 'forty degrees Celsius' and uh... we measure temperature in Farenheit. ;) Not only that, but 40C is only 102F and that's pretty par for the course in Miami. Hell, I live in Georgia and we clear the century mark routinely without too many heat strokes. Second, Haigh mixes city with state names, talking about Miami and Vermont as if they're in the same context. It's small, but it's noticeable to an American.  Lastly, you can't stick a pen drive (assuming that British for what we call flash drives over here) directly into a hard drive.

Other than that, this was pretty good. Avoids the mistake 4x03 made of trying to sell our regulars as being in major danger (especially this early in the season) and instead gives us a bunch of redshirts to worry about.

Lyra is, perhaps, a little too involved in this one. Her singing basically carries the entire episode and at one point, around when she's building herself staircases and holding off tornados with 'My Sharona' it gets to be a bit much. I'm also oh-so-bored with this "we have to keep our relationship secret" kick Chris is on. It's irritating and it slows the story down. Really now, is TWIST of all people gonna get upset that Chris and Lyra are together? Danyael? Arguably the only character that would've was killed last season. The hell's the point? Throw me a line already.

Clever, if somewhat convenient bit of plotting with a seemingly random woman being saved by Chris actually factoring pretty heavily into the plot. I don't really understand the significance of Susie being pregnant and her crush on Chris (since Lyra never makes a mention of it) other than to round the character out and I can't say it was necessary.

The pace here is tremendous though. Haigh doesn't fall into stopping the action for a one liner (not too often anyway) and it's nice to see Chris not pull the rabbit out of his hat on the first try. I'm hoping the show doesn't get too magic dependent though. This is three out of four episodes where Chris's magic has been the focal point of the narrative. I could do with some good old fashioned Duggan action or a sword fight.



There's not much to say. It's standard SiB standalone fare and Haigh does it much better here than his previous efforts. A good rebound from last week's outing.

Offline Michael Jay

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Re: SiB S4 Discussion
« Reply #5 on: Thu Sep 24 2009, 21:38 »
Sanctuary

Felt like an old throwback season one episode. Random city. Random faces. Some poor sap-of-the-week dies a noble death at the end. If these were rebel-vamp friends of Danyael or some friends of Chris from way back, the correlation would be complete. Having said that, I think it was a good idea to slow the series down after more or less four straight balls out action episodes. There was the requisite violence, but it wasn't really the climax of the story.

A couple of niggles. First, if the freaks of the weeks' skin was so tough and granite like, I found it a little "throw me a line"-ish that Vivian draws blood from them with no problem. Second, and this is really atypical of a Lee Chrimes script, but the family wasn't properly introduced at all. We get "a family cowering" then the names are fired off by one of them, but it took a few pages for me to catch up to who the parents/kids/whatever were. Lee's normally better about this, especially on this show where we're dealing with a few guest faces every episode.

I got a slight feeling of dread with Parker's involvement in the plot without actually being involved. SiB tends to do this too often for my liking. Malkuth's presence was in every episode of season one and he'd just pop in at the end and twirl the moustache. Manon in season two, well there was a lot of time spent talking about evil he was, but he himself never showed it. The Trinity were better, but MAN did they drag in the middle of season three. I'm a little worried that Parker's presence this early, if he's to be a mainstay bad guy for the year, means his name's going to come up in random cities and "experiments" and whatnot all over the season until the inevitable showdown at the end. It's just a slight fear though. Still early in the season.

The big worry though, is Chris's magic. I really hope this is an ongoing story b/c he's been slinging magic like a Hogwarts' graduate and the show's getting to be a little blase about it. I can't buy that he's suddenly feeling at ease with it b/c the guy's been using magic more or less since he became a vampire, so to go from barely managing to trap that creature in the season premiere to now just levitating and moving shit around like a Jedi Knight is just... I dunno. I'm iffy on it. Like I said, I hope it's the start of a developing arc for him.

As for the story, I love the idea of a nonhuman's blood being toxic to humans. So much that it was actually being planned for Connor season three! I hate you, Lee. Now I have to read the rest of the season before I finish my own plotting to make sure I'm not inadvertently ripping you off. Other than that, it's pretty run of the mill. This is standard for early SiB stuff, but it felt a bit too... easy after the frenetic pace of Sunny Skies. Little too been there, done that. Four years into the show, I'm a bit more accepting of formulaic stuff though, especially this early in the year.



Nothing spectacular, but does it's job well enough and Lee's trademark excellent pace props it up. In another writer's hands, this would've been a lot worse. Points off for Lyra's illness though. I REALLY don't like her, so don't tease me like that. At least she's actually IN some danger though. It got a little grating when the others would be locked up in dungeons and she'd be sitting in front of a grand piano. That's a BIT too Mary Sue for my tastes.

Have I mentioned I don't like her?

Offline Michael Jay

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Re: SiB S4 Discussion
« Reply #6 on: Wed Jan 6 2010, 06:45 »
Random question: What the hell is a "roundhouse slam?"

Offline Tony Black

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Re: SiB S4 Discussion
« Reply #7 on: Wed Jan 6 2010, 11:04 »
Question: where the Hell are the reviews you keep promising, Jay?  ;)

Offline el Monstruo-0

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Re: SiB S4 Discussion
« Reply #8 on: Wed Jan 6 2010, 20:17 »
Random question: What the hell is a "roundhouse slam?"

Probably something like grabbing your opponent and flipping them round as you slam them down. Kind of like a hip toss, by the sounds of it. i don't know. Did I write that one?

Offline Michael Jay

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Re: SiB S4 Discussion
« Reply #9 on: Thu Jan 7 2010, 14:16 »
Chris Haigh wrote that one. There's also a dropkick followed by a headbutt that anatomically is just impossible to do. My inner fight choreographer wants to make Haigh my apprentice for a year.

Responding to Tony: They're not in-depth b/c I wanted to get caught up as quickly as possible. I'm thinking Sunday, seeing as how I'm down to the last two eps now.

Offline ChrisH

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Re: SiB S4 Discussion
« Reply #10 on: Thu Jan 7 2010, 18:00 »
Chris Haigh wrote that one. There's also a dropkick followed by a headbutt that anatomically is just impossible to do. My inner fight choreographer wants to make Haigh my apprentice for a year.

Responding to Tony: They're not in-depth b/c I wanted to get caught up as quickly as possible. I'm thinking Sunday, seeing as how I'm down to the last two eps now.

 :D

What I had envisioned was the character giving their enemy (because it's so long since I wrote it that I can't remember!) a drop kick, knocking 'em to the ground and then cracking 'em one on the head whilst both on the ground. My bad.

And a 'roundhouse slam' is - as far as I'm aware - a move whereby an attacker spins on their heel, grabs the waist of the other and uses their weight against them to 'slam' them down into the ground whilst maintaining control.

Offline Tony Black

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Re: SiB S4 Discussion
« Reply #11 on: Thu Jan 7 2010, 18:02 »
Responding to Tony: They're not in-depth b/c I wanted to get caught up as quickly as possible. I'm thinking Sunday, seeing as how I'm down to the last two eps now.

Good lad - been looking forward to reading them.

Offline Michael Jay

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Re: SiB S4 Discussion
« Reply #12 on: Thu Jan 7 2010, 23:04 »
Quote
What I had envisioned was the character giving their enemy (because it's so long since I wrote it that I can't remember!) a drop kick, knocking 'em to the ground and then cracking 'em one on the head whilst both on the ground. My bad.

But then the two land face to feet in that instance, so the person who got hit would actually have to fall forward so they land face to face.

I know I'm nitpicking, but 4x20 was pretty much one extended battle sequence, so when that's all I get to read, the little things in the fights REALLY stand out.

And Haigh, I swear I'm going to beat the quip-aholic out of you if it kills me!

Offline Michael Jay

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Re: SiB S4 Discussion
« Reply #13 on: Fri Jan 8 2010, 21:45 »
4x06
Seems like things are slowing down after the breakneck pace of the openers and what we end up with here isn't necessarily a badly WRITTEN episode (Amy's always a solid scribe), just a fairly boring one. I've been pretty open about my dislike for Lyra and her one big episode last season was a letdown where all we really got was... her real name. So doing a standalone where she gets a pretty rushed gambling addiction, but STILL tries to play the Mary Sue and be all "it's for the greater good" is just... guh. I was also getting really fed up with Chris hiding their relationship all this time and while I guess this episode was meant to deal with that (Lyra certainly threw enough tantrums about it), I just wasn't a fan. It's a problem I mentioned in an earlier review. It's really hard to believably put these characters in any sort of danger b/c they've gotten in and out of it so often and it's been established that Chris can waltz into hell should any of them die, given he's done it once and almost did it previously before he was forcibly stopped (Julie). Also, these guys have dealt with elementals, vampires, all matter of demons, hell beasts... it's a hard sell to get me to buy that some goodfellas are a threat to them. So yeah, for what it is, the writing's fine. I just didn't like the actual story and the plotting decisions. Thumbs in the middle.

4x07
This one felt... incomplete. Definitely one of Dino's best scripts (I'd say his best SiB to date), but it really felt like things were just getting going and then... it's over. I'm really hoping we get to see Boyce in the flesh again. Twist has been forced to relive this at least three times that I can recall over the course of the series and I know Lee well enough to know he wouldn't keep beating that dead horse unless he planned to address it directly. Danyael and Naomi... well I guess it needed to happen, but Naomi was a pretty weak villain (I'm tired of the "feel bad for me" villains), so revisiting that and Danyael's feelings about it, meh. Much like Chris & Lyra, I'm really just ready for Twook to go full bore. This unresolved feelings stuff has been going on for two seasons now. Lyra's stuff, man I swear Lee's dragging out her backstory. She gets by FAR the least number of hallucinations though hers would've been the most interesting to delve into. I'm a pretty big "backstory does not equal character" pusher, but Lyra's been such a dull, uninteresting, plot device of a character for me that maybe a little history would spice her up. So it's not surprising that she gets the least number of visions, but it's a little frustrating.

Anyhoo, so everyone's tripping on acid and Chris is barely holding it together... then it's over. Twist talks Vivian down and that's it. Felt like there was an act of "let's find who did this and kick his ass" missing. Yeah, it was the comet, blah blah blah, but if that's all it was, I'm feeling more disappointment that the season's lagging with stuff like this. If it was meant to be a turning point for Vivian, probably would've been better if she was the only one flipping out. Thumbs in the middle.

4x08
I love SiB, but it never does two parters well. Lee Chrimes is a master of pace, but it seems that mastery goes away when things are being stretched across two episodes. The problem is that the structure of the show, especially later in the season, is that the main plot bleeds across several episodes in one continuous story, but every episode packs a lot into it b/c they have their own little stories. The difference between that and a straight two parter like this is this feels like a one episode story being stretched across two episodes. So this one drags and doesn't really hit the 'story' part of the plot until mid act three. The first half is introducing the werewolves, then a prolonged hunt and chase until things finally get interesting. For Marcus to be the episode ending cliffhanger, that would've helped if we'd known who Marcus was, say, several episodes ago. It's hard to end on a moment like that when the person we're supposed to be all OMIGAWD about is someone we've just gotten the name of who isn't even connected to any of our regulars. They know less about him than we do. There's no emotional connection there to keep me hooked up.

I have to admit a small bias here, since I've been using werewolves on Connor since the show started, so I was jazzed to see them get the spotlight here, but this is our regulars shoehorning themselves into a situation (investigating the murders) as opposed to say, one of them getting nabbed by the Gray Furs. SiB rarely does a straight two parter that ties into the main plot b/c well, the whole second half of the season takes care of that, so it's a bit tough to get into them emotionally. I just met all these werewolves and I've never known Marcus until Act Four of this episode. It's a little much to ask me to invest. Thumbs in the middle.

4x09
Hey look it's Dr. Malkuth, I mean Parker. Ah, the good ol' days of season one when the main villain would just turn up at the end of episodes. As a bit of a werewolf elitist (as mentioned in part one's review), it irks me that 'pack' and 'clan' were used interchangeably as the same term. And Lee, buddy, friend, NON-SOUTHERN AMERICANS DO NOT SAY THE WORD RECKON! I find it pretty hilarious that in all the slips of this jargon, it's always Americans when Chris, a born Brit, speaks more American slang than the rest of the cast. Pretty underwhelming second half. Again, this felt like one great episode stretched into two and what we end up with two pretty slow moving eps. This is the second time this season it's been "okay we got out of trouble, let's go get ourselves kidnapped and escape again." That lack of any real sense of danger (even Owen flat out says he's only there to rough up Vivian before interrogation; not potentially kill her) sucks all the fun out of it. It didn't feel like the conclusion of a two parter so much as the proper introduction for an arc for the rest of the season, but every season before this did this sort of set up much better spreading things across two or more separate plots. This very much felt like a single story broken in half, but the two halves weren't entertaining enough on their own. A lot could've been cut from both to merge into one hell of an exciting episode. The one big saving grace is that we met nearly a dozen new names to keep track of, so having them spread across two helped for recognition purposes. Connall, Dermot, Rosheen, Marcus, Torin, Keegan, Reagan, Owen, Siobhan, Bevin, jumping jimmety jillickers that's a lot of people all at once. I kept them all straight and having two episodes to "meet" them was key in that.

However, a big two parter like this in a show like this, I'd like to see it more tied to a main character instead of them just jumping headfirst into someone else's conflict. It's better than that cringeworthy 'R.I.P.' two-parter, but still not SiB at its best. Thumbs in the middle.

Offline Michael Jay

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Re: SiB S4 Discussion
« Reply #14 on: Fri Jan 8 2010, 21:48 »
4x10
Writing pet peeve: Don't use pop culture characters as a shortcut to describe a guest star. That's just incredibly lazy. It's especially surprising coming from Tony Black, who's a pretty big purist for preserving believability in scriptwriting. On top of that, using your own VS's characters (I caught the DSR link with 'Lupans' a couple of eps ago, but SiB and DSR readers aren't one in the same) is just cringeworthy.

Moving on...

This is one of those episodes where it seemed like a plot point needed to happened, namely Vivian going vombie, and the whole episode was built around that, but that's about the only interesting thing that happened. Tony's also got a bad habit of characters being stupid for the sake of dramatic effect, something that occasionally pops up on DSR. Like why "Mr. I Love You" STOPPED running when he could've slid under. This is a throw-me-a-line moment. The writing says he just stopped... not that the stone wall of a door had fallen too far for him to make it. There's also a hokey moment where the first redshirt chick falls in the hole, there's enough time for the others to turn around, say two lines, THEN someone dives and catches her arm. Laws of physics be damned, we've got drama to write! Ergh.

Back to Vivian going vombie, the whole episode felt like a vehicle to push that specific moment. It really does feel like another throwback season 1 episode where one interesting thing happens, but you don't remember anything about the rest of the episode. Now we've been building to Vivian's turning for awhile and that's well-written, but the rest of it, including the eye-rolling resolution with Twist just talking Billy Badass into giving up the cure, left a lot to be desired. A little didn't really go a long way here and SiB's getting into that annoying habit of waiting way too long to get into it.

One more thing to note. Lyra's abilities are getting ridiculous. I've hesitated to call her a Mary Sue before, but this woman has no discernible weaknesses, to the point where even in this episode she's REACTING when Twist glares at her... like she saw it with her own two eyes. I'm getting the sinking feeling that the concept for the character was created before a solid PURPOSE for her was. One of those "wouldn't-it-be-cool" trains of thought that plagued one of Lee's other shows, Slayer Academy. She just breaks out her powers whenever the story necessitates it and it's really irritating.

I know this seemed pretty negative, but it's not a terrible read. Just a completely forgettable outing. One I'm not likely to remember when the season's over and that's a slight pet peeve of mine when it comes to plotting. Vivian's turning was so disconnected and inconsequential to the plot that it seems like it could've happened in any episode. Another well-written, questionably plotted episode. Thumbs in the middle.

4x11
Feels like we're moving into season-arc territory. It's around this time each season that SiB kicks into gear. Not sure how I feel about breaking into Parker's lab since we've been to this well earlier this season (and it wasn't fun then). My suspicions are confirmed when once again, Chris is captured and on a gurney being taunted by Parker and the ep goes out on that. Elsewhere, Marcus (who feels like a poor man's Diego right now...), Twist, and Danyael get caught up in Parker's war on non-humans. Feels like we're treading familiar ground here, but that's not a fair assessment b/c I'm saying that in reference to another of Lee's shows (Faith) that just went through this sort of storyline. One point I need to make here is I'm noticing the language has fouled up a bit more. We weren't getting "shit" and "god damn" in the last three seasons, so it's a bit jarring to see it here. Overall, bit of a transitory outing to get things going. I've never been a huge Parker fan to begin with and this didn't add much more menace to him than he had back in season two. Thumbs in the middle.

4x12
Points for the first true "f**k yeah!" moment of the season: a black magic fueled Chris bursting through a wall and facing off with Conall. Lyra... still grates. She hovers between a shoddily written damsel in distress (most of the last act is about getting her to safety) and a Mary Sue whose voice gets the gang out of virtually any situation. I did like the ending, with her unique body chemistry not letting her be around Chris b/c of the black magic. Chris borderline snapping was a tad predictable, but everyone being wary of him is believable and well done. Twist manipulating the two guards dragged a bit and it felt flat that after all that build and those guys trashing the lab, we just see them dead at the end. Truly the epitome of plot devices. Marcus still feels like an extra body at this point and I'm wondering why he got inserted except to get a werewolf in the gang. Vivian going vombie (still hate that word) feels too soon after her first shift and more like a reason to get Lyra alone and in trouble with Conall, but it sets up the aforementioned f**k YEAH moment, so while a bit contrived, I can't complain TOO much. Thumbs in the middle.

Offline Michael Jay

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Re: SiB S4 Discussion
« Reply #15 on: Fri Jan 8 2010, 21:52 »
4x13
Good little outing for Dino Leone. I should mention that I can't stand Twist when anyone other than Lee is writing her b/c all the other writers tend to over-quip with her and this was no exception, but I'm used to it by now. One bit of "ugh, really?" was the gang rushing headlong into ANOTHER Parker lab and wrecking havoc. We've just been through two episodes of this with much bigger stakes (Chris's black magic, et. al) and much like 4x03, there's a certain gravity lost in this episode b/c it removes the focus OFF getting Vivian help and into "let's just wreck shit." So it's some fine action (Dino's actually pretty good at writing action heavy sequences), but a tad predictable and Lyra's still in that damsel mode. She feels like Mary Jane from the three Spiderman movies, only there to either provide romantic tension for the lead or get trapped/kidnapped and in need of saving. Thumbs in the middle.

4x14
What a massive letdown. I like the twist of Twist's sister being taken in by Boyce, but we've been waiting to see this guy again for YEARS (and the show continually brought him up), so what should've been some serious trauma for Twist is over and done with inside an act and suddenly he's a good guy in need of help? SiB's never done personal stories all that well and this continues that trend of not really knowing how to do a character story in the middle of all this carnage. Twist remains firmly in character and what's there is presented well enough, but this could've been a season's worth of emotional trauma for Twist and instead inside one act, Boyce is suddenly a nice guy and the three of them are on the lamb from Boyce's gang. The others are relegated to tracking Twist down and are left out of it enough to where this REALLY could've been milked for more than it was. Thumbs in the middle.

4x15
*sigh* Chris Haigh's writing is hit or miss for me. This is a miss. Haigh's a noted quip-aholic and REALLY needed to be reigned in here. Twist, I get and accept, but everyone was tossing one liners and that just sucked all the energy and dramatic tension out of it. Lyra, LYRA was cracking jokes in the middle of the action. On top of that, everything's so terribly predictable. You knew Boyce was gonna die the second Twist and Sophia started bonding. There's also a noted lack of attention to details, like the fact that Lyra reacts to a hand signal Vivian gives her (AHEM! SHE'S BLIND) and a few other body movements not even her Mary Sue Senses could've noticed. Just like last year's R.I.P. two parter, the gang seeks refuge in a place with no way out (characters being stupid for the sake of the story). There's no actual line saying that Chris's shield dropped, so how'd that Molotov cocktail get in there? Lyra's powers AGAIN are used as an all too convenient out for the gang and that's REALLY starting to annoy me. And the fight scene fan in me was SCREAMING at the CAPS LOCK being USED every third WORD. Plus... dude, learn a new kick. Every single fight scene had at least six flips and ten roundhouse kicks. Not to mention there's about a million different way to throw a roundhouse and all of them look different. And to end it all... we've got a moppet on the show now. Lyra's still a boring Mary Sue. Marcus is only there to keep Twist & Danyael apart, filling Diego's role from last season. I can go on and on. This season's dragging ass and after four seasons of build, Boyce's usage here and in the last episode was a big big disappointment. In the end, the biggest demon in Twist's past is left to be a simple plot device to get a 7 year old on the show. Season as a whole has been underwhelming and this episode highlights here. Thumbs down.

Offline Michael Jay

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Re: SiB S4 Discussion
« Reply #16 on: Fri Jan 8 2010, 21:57 »
4x16
Whoever named this episode needs to be shot. Let's tick off the reasons I didn't like this episode. First, Lyra's uber powers of awesome save the day AGAIN. Jesus Christ, I miss Julie, who at least had SOME weaknesses and character flaws to play on. The gang races headlong into another precarious situation and get caught in a crossfire between two sides.  Sophia, well, exists. Tony Black REALLY can't write quip-lash dialogue (and giving LYRA more one-liners accentuates that fact). Just, yeah, again the writing holds up, I'm just question "why?" ya know? I'm chalking it up to the fact that Parker's really not a physical match for anyone on the team, so instead we go through these pretty damn repetitive scenes of gunfire, werewolf action, Chris's magic, and Lyra's singing bailing them out of every bad situation they get into. Literally, like episode after episode, that's what the show's been this season, but unlike season three's "search for Chris," there's no real hook for our team on that emotional level, so I as a reader, well I'm not investing at all. Just... yeah... yawn. It's loud, intense, well paced action, but it's quite hollow, like a Roland Emmerich movie. Tony Black himself has said he's grown tired of action in VS without any sort of emotional hook. So was this one ghost-written by someone else, because that's precisely what it is. Aside from this Gabriel guy, there's nothing to take away from this other than Lyra Morley is practically perfect in every way. I'm waiting for her to float down from a chimney using an umbrella while singing "a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down." Thumbs in the middle.

4x17
I feel like I'm saying the same things over and over again coming down the stretch. It almost feels like a werewolf show with our regular cast being recurring characters instead of the other way around. The Twist/Danyael stuff is just plain out bad now. I'd welcome a Spook/Vivian hook at the moment.  Anything to break up the monotony. We open with a teaser without a single regular in it. Then proceed through two acts of Marcus (a guest character) grieving his family. Still looking for a point to Sophia since the gang has pawned her off on someone else by the end of act one in the last three episodes. Just... yeah. I have a real problem with main cast members not being treated like main cast members. Really, the most telling line of this episode comes in Act Four when Marcus says "there's always too many of them." It's not a good feeling when a fight from a previous episode could've been copied verbatim into this without too much consequence to the story. And ending the episode on Lyra missing, when the whole cast has really been a non-factor all season. I dunno. Feels like too little, too late. Thumbs in the middle.

4x18
Oh no. Oh no no no! Parker's been a pretty blah villain from day one, so connecting him to Lyra and attempting to paint him in a sympathetic light? Ugh. Why can't bad guys be bad just because they're bad? I miss Manon. So Parker's dying and I'm supposed to care? Really? Really?!? We finally get some insight into Lyra, that actually pays off the bizarre "clone Lyras" from season three, so points for that. Still points off on season three for dropping that into an episode with zero context whatever in s3 and then miraculously bringing it back into the fold here.

However, in a season ripe with new names and faces to remember (I actually forgot who Siobhan & Dermot were last episode and had to double back), we get Lyra's sister. Then more senseless action and Lyra reaffirms my abject hatred for the character by staying behind, for no real emotional reason. Just that the story demanded it. And this Parker shit really sucks. The act three "I'm dying" cliffhanger just killed the episode for me. Thumbs down.

Offline Michael Jay

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Re: SiB S4 Discussion
« Reply #17 on: Fri Jan 8 2010, 21:58 »
Last four coming soon. I'm in the middle of the finale. Fair warning: 4x21 eliciting a round of smashing my head against a wall b/c of a plot hole so glaring I swear Lee didn't proof the episode.

Edit: 'Roundhouse slam' has now been topped by the ever popular 'karate slam.' Dude, seriously?
« Last Edit: Fri Jan 8 2010, 22:27 by Mike »

Offline Michael Jay

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Re: SiB S4 Discussion
« Reply #18 on: Sat Jan 9 2010, 00:12 »
4x19
So Marcus and Rosheen are an item. Two questions come to mind. Who was blind enough to NOT see that coming? And, just like Parker last episode, why should I care? One more question. PLEASE explain why Sophia's on the show. Six episodes running, she's out of the story before the end of act one. And by the end of act two, we're back to mindless, hollow action for the sake of mindless, hollow action. We get some character work here, but it's all boring crap with Lyra and a piano interspersed with a bunch of revelations about all these werewolves I'm struggling to keep straight. I'm guessing Conall being Keegan's son is supposed to be some big OMFG moment since it ends the episode, but I can't be asked to care. Not when Chris & Vivian are the only regulars in the last 15 pages (go back and check) and even then, they're not in the last 5. Struggling to maintain interest now. I want to scream "take care of your regulars first!" to this writing staff. I don't even feel like I'm reading Somewhere InBetween anymore. More like a Michael Bay knock-off of it. Thumbs down.

4x20
Quip. Fight. Quip. Fight. Quip. Fight. Welcome to life in a Chris Haigh penned episode. What the hell is a roundhouse slam? Why is the whole teaser (which doesn't feature a single regular cast member) a putrid exercise in "characters restating the blatantly obvious for the benefit of the reader" especially when we just learned this stuff last episode! Then an extended flashback (about a f**king recurring character no less)... Marcus getting a tender moment with Twist that REALLY should've been Chris or Danyael's scene. More names to keep up with in these rebel vamps that are probably just here for cannon fodder. At least Lyra returns from the land of the retarded, but that's about the only thing that interested me in this outing. I love how the grand plan is "Okay guys, we've been getting our asses kicked for about a dozen episodes now. So even though we haven't been able to beat either side of this evil tandem, let's split up and attack them both head-on." f**king brilliant. Really. Sad to say, I'm just reading to get to the end of the season now. And Chris Haigh needs to read some Afterlife and watch a bunch of martial arts flicks. None of his fights in this episode make any sense, anatomically speaking. I suppose I should mention Shona's death.
.
.
.
There, I mentioned it. Thumbs in the middle. I'm not questioning the plotting decisions in this episode like the last two, hence no thumbs down, but I'm intensely bored with all this werewolf drama and desperately want all of these werewolves off the show. I miss when this was Chris's journey. I feel like I'm reading the tail end of SpiderMan: G&C. Like I'm reading, well, all but about six episodes of the first three seasons of Slayer Academy. Like I'm reading most of The Company season two. Who are the main cast members again?

4x21
Hey, does anyone remember the two part premiere where Chris tore ass through Hell to get Twist back and he wagered his immortal soul that Twist could stay on the straight and narrow? Given that was in the season premiere, you'd think that was actually, ya know, setting up a story for the season. Twenty episodes later, you're wondering why that opener gave our gang so much attention and a juicy plot when it was going to be summarily ignored later. Lord, has this show ever lost the plot. Damn you, Haigh! Impending doom coming in and Twist, Vivian, and Danyael are cracking jokes and laughing. Stop. Doing. That. I'm not going to take things seriously if the characters won't and damn it four years into the series, it's hard enough to sell the idea of a lead character biting it for good (even with Julie's death last season). It's like bad Joss Whedon fanfic, or, perhaps more relevant, last year's R.I.P. two parter. I should also mention at this point that it's been irritating me that the ONLY way we know they're werewolves is b/c we're told in the description (referring to them as 'furs' instead of humans), but there's been zero in the way of describing your typical werewolf such that I'd know (birth mark, unibrow, whatever). That's a pet peeve of mine. The werewolves were never distinct enough. Did Marcus really just rip a werewolf in two? Like it was a piece of paper? And stop with the drop kicks. Really.

And now, this review is over and getting THUMBS DOWN right now because Conall killed Tyler on page 11 and on page 20, Tyler is ALIVE and fighting Danyael. Seriously. Thumbs down. Unforgivable plot hole. Completely inexcusable. This show's better than this. And Lee as a showrunner is better than this.

Note: I did finish reading the episode. Lyra swooping in and saving the day by singing the dam back together... how is this woman NOT a Mary Sue?

4x22
There's a funny typo at the beginning of act one where 'Twist' is 'Twit.' That got a chuckle out of me. This episode, despite being the finale, feels like a total afterthought b/c the werewolf storyline has dominated the season. It's like "oh yeah... we still have Parker on the docket." I might be wrong here, but there's another pretty shitty plot hole where Lyra tells Chris that Shona's dead and Chris reacts as if he already knew who Shona was. When did that conversation happen? Especially when there was a point made of "we don't care what happened when you were with Parker. We're just glad you back" earlier. So... how does Chris know Shona?
Then Twist pulls another IDIOT move alerting the rhino-mutants, once again reaffirming my hatred for her.

In a lot of ways, this doesn't feel like a finale at all. It's more like a season premiere. Hell, not even that. More like a mid-season episode. Parker, the black magic, all of this has been such an afterthought throughout the season that it feels like a completely new season... which is affirmed by the absolutely RIDICULOUS cliffhanger at the end, but more on that in a second.

First, the second we saw the mutants and Lyra starts mumbling about feeling Parker, but different, Super-Parker was horribly obvious. A blatant plot twist this show is better than, but I think it typifies how abysmal the last two-thirds of this season has been. And once again, some random character drives the entire plot, with Edgar being a walking piece of exposition until he meets his (again, blatantly obvious) end. Even the pace wasn't one past SiB finales. There's so much story to dive into that with 21 episodes before this, we really could've been learning about the inner workings of Parker's labs instead of "oh, let's run into a fight for no f**king reason other than the show need some action scenes." There's a few good moments of Twist/Chris rapport (another thing that's been sorely lacking this season), but other than that, we've been ignoring and dodging the part of the season arc that actually deals with our regulars so long (Parker) that it was very tough to get into this.

And then there's the ending. First off, it ends on a supposed "OMG" moment... for a supporting cast member. Chris has been criminally ignored this season, even the black magic was brushed off with 'oh, I can handle it' so I'm left feeling pretty flat about the season as a whole. Second, this Lyra clone stuff... honestly I just don't care anymore. Suffice to say I hated it. Thumbs down

Overall, season four starts out okay and takes a massive nose dive when the werewolves showed up and just take over the show. From that point forward, it wasn't SiB anymore. Boyce was a letdown and terribly handled. There's a moppet on the show now that literally got pawned off to a babysitter in every single episode. Chris's arc, the LEADING CHARACTER'S STORYLINE, was shoved in the background and only trotted out when the plot needed it. Lyra continues to be the worse Mary Sue this side of BtVS's Jackson Shaw and this season's attempt to flesh out was just laughable. Parker, who's been a pretty meh villain, suddenly get a sympathy treatment and then he's transformed into a monster and... yeah. Just bad bad stuff.

And worse yet, going into the final season, we've got to spend some time wrapping up this crap ass cliffhanger that felt more like the end of an act two of a midseason episode. Just not a fan at all. Wall to wall action doesn't mean shit when there's no emotional tie to it. No investment in the characters. Just... nothing.

This season reads like a bunch of ideas were written down and written into the show with absolutely no clue of what to do after they were introduced. Boyce, Sophia, Chris's black magic problem, everything seems like it has the best of intentions, but the follow up felt more "flying by the seat of our pants" than the staff actually having it all planned from the beginning. This show lost the plot and it was really tough to read the last few episodes. SiB's set a much higher standard than this and I hope season five returns to that gold standard.
« Last Edit: Sat Jan 9 2010, 00:13 by Mike »

Offline Tony Black

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Re: SiB S4 Discussion
« Reply #19 on: Sat Jan 9 2010, 00:24 »
Well... that sound you just heard was Chrimes putting his head in a vat of acid.

Great thoughts, though. Lots for us to think about in planning S5.

Offline Michael Jay

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Re: SiB S4 Discussion
« Reply #20 on: Sat Jan 9 2010, 00:29 »
The plot hole in 4x21 shocked me. I went back and quintuple checked.

Honestly though, remember how you and I both felt about season two of The Company? Especially towards the end? I had that same feeling of dread here. Just call Marcus 'Kou' and we're off and running.

And I'm still depressed about Boyce. I've been waiting for that for years. To have it tossed away in two episodes, but we got 12 episodes of werewolf soap opera... it just felt wrong. Twist as a character deserved better than that.

And to not even mention Chris's deal with Satan nor have Twist go through any sort of PTS after her second trip to hell... yeah. I'm just disappointed. Season started ripe with promise and proceeded to ignore everything set up that was actually good.

This might hurt Lee's feelings, but I felt like I was reading Slayer Academy again.

Offline Tony Black

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Re: SiB S4 Discussion
« Reply #21 on: Sat Jan 9 2010, 00:32 »
Hmmm.

Classic case here of us not maybe seeing things that stare a reader like you smack in the face.

Offline el Monstruo-0

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Re: SiB S4 Discussion
« Reply #22 on: Sat Jan 9 2010, 10:13 »
Have to agree with a lot of the points raised here. I mean, you can't stand Lyra and that's partly you just not liking her and partly some rather fuzzy plotting decisions on my part, but I know personally I feel S4 is our weakest. We end up doing the same thing several times, the werewolves take over the show more than I think they should have, and there's not enough character development for anybody except Lyra.

Season Five, you'll be glad to know, after a long time in development will be a return to form. It's all about the vampires again ^_^