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My 2 Cents on Supernova
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Bilbo67
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 Posted: Tue Oct 31st, 2006 09:50 pm

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My 2 Cents on Episode 1.2: Supernova
(5/20/03)



Well, last Thursday we were treated to the second installment of an obscure little made for cable miniseries, oddly titled Tales From A Parallel Universe here in the States, which would ultimately go on to shake the foundation of science fiction, and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the advertising execs at Sci-Fi—who in all likelihood have to drop trou just to count past 10—have about as much common sense as a manically depressed chimp on a steady diet of ludes who has been given a boxful of sharp objects to play with. Man alive that was a long sentence. I should concede, before pushing on, that I actually watched Supernova before I caught IWHS (Dgre, your tape came on time, but freeing up the time to watch it became a chore), though for the sake of continuity, I decided to review them in order. So, now that I have the unnecessarily long disclaimer out of the way, let’s get to it.

It is with Supernova that we come to a fork in the road (2 eps and already Lexxians were split into two camps...that must be some sort of record). Though there are some exceptions, it seems to me that most Lexxians view SN and Eating Pattern as the lesser of the four films. I can certainly understand where they are coming from, as, in the greater scheme of things, they are stand-alone eps that have next to nothing to do with the HDS/Cluster/Prophecy storyline. Whether they are up to snuff story-wise is entirely a matter of personal preference. Personally, after having seen IWHS, I can state without hesitation that nothing short of The Game or Brigadoom can approach its kickassedness (that’s a word...I coined it...and God help me I plan to introduce it into the Oxford English Dictionary, and eventually into everyday speech), so I’m biased. However, SN and EP, aside from being entertaining in their own right, introduce us to another side of Lexx: the wacky, sexy, outlandish side. This in turn paved the way for such classics as Wake the Dead, Lafftrack, The Trip, and Prime Ridge (not perfect, but I liked it). So, if nothing else, Supernova is Lexx’s first step beyond the dark, visceral HDS saga, toward the direction it would eventually embrace.

On to the episode itself (finally). From the get go it is clear that this will be a more lighthearted adventure (notwithstanding the dismemberment, the razor ride, the room full of brains, Giggy biting off pieces of...well everything), as we are treated to the Lexxian answer to the Man From Nantucket saga: 790’s love poetry. As it’s been a while since I saw it, I can’t really quote any of the stanzas verbatim, but needless to say, none of them contained the phrase “Zev, I realize beauty is only skin deep, and I respect you for your mind, sparkling personality, and the fact that your dental hygine and posture are second to none despite the fact that you grew up in a box and now live inside a big bug that looks like a terminal ‘after picture’ from one of those STD slide shows.” Lord have mercy did I go off on a tangent there. BTW, while 790 was scanning the Dark Zone in search of Brunnis, I swear up and down that for a brief second he scrolled up what appeared to be the Earth and its moon. I know I’m not the only one who saw this. Perhaps the revelation that Earth is in the Dark Zone (it’s only natural) was always in the back of the Beans’ minds (right along side some stuff that would make Freud and de Sade scratch their heads). After all, I’ve always said that Lexx is a show that rewards paying attention.

Next comes a moment that will be forever enshrined in cinematic history, right along side “Luke I am your father” and “I know it was you Fredo” (had to slip that in...Pacino rules)...Zev’s shower scene. Given the fact that the higher ups at Sci-Fi are about as prudish as a bunch of castrated Mennonites, they naturally edited the living hell out of it, to the point where it’s nigh impossible to tell what is going on. Still, it’s not all bad, as I’ve been blessed with a pretty active imagination. As for the...ahem...shape of the showerhead...I think Sadgeezer said just about everything that needs to be said about that one. I suppose I could pose the $66,000,000 question and ask WHY His Shadow, for whom the Lexx was built, would have needed a shower in the first place, and why it ended up looking the way it did. (That brings up the even more revolting issue of whether or not that apparatus is supposed to be a showerhead at all...). Second of all, since I’m a sick evil bastard, I’ll dispense with beating around the bush as ask if there is a similar shower head designed for the opposite sex (think about the walls in Boomtown here). Anyhoo, that’s one for the back of our collective gourd. The more pressing issue here is that yet again, the Sci-Fi hacks, who clearly share a communal brain stem, have once again given Lexx the Lizzie Borden treatment. From what I’ve read, there is a lengthy, innuendo-laden discourse between Zev and Stan, in which she shoots him down (for the first in what will come to be about eight thousand times), prompting Stan to decide to throw himself off the bridge. Without that, Stan’s suicide attempt doesn’t make a LICK OF FRIGGIN’ SENSE! Honestly, what the hell were they thinking here!? This is just further proof that those monoxide sucking human hairpieces don’t even watch the damn show.

Still, as mutilated as this segment was, you gotta love 790’s “He’s taking all day” comment. One has to imagine that if his hatred for Stan were as fleshed out as it would eventually become, he wouldn’t have hesitated to throw the little cart into overdrive.

Now, ol’ Bilbo is an unattractive schmuck, so it should come as no surprise that I’ve never had all that much luck with the ladies (perhaps my being a Stan fan has deeper psychological connotations than I thought). That said, was that not the most pathetic looking kiss that Stan planted on Zev? Granted, he was probably excited (I half expected to see the Lexx key go shooting out of his hand when he actually made contact), but even I would have been able to maintain a modicum of cool. BTW, while we’re on that subject, major kudos to Zev on her upper body strength. She didn’t seem to have all that much trouble dangling Stan over the edge of the bridge (although, Brian Downey was a lot skinnier back then). Who’d have thought that someone living in a box could develop such tremendous slow-twitch power. I’ll chock this up to one of two possibilities: either it has something to do with her cluster lizard transformation, or Zev did a whole helluva lot of isometric exercises during her 20+ years in a box and wasn’t fat, but rather, thickly muscled like an Olympic weight lifter. I’m open to either option (although, to be perfectly honest, the thought of Zev being able to toss me through a wall makes me feel like less of a man...must be the Stan in me).

You’ve got to love those long shots of the Brunnis surface. The intentionally conflicting designs were a nice touch, as they make the architecture appear radically advanced, as well as extremely ancient. Kudos also to the Beans for uncharacteristically taking the high ground, and not making the stabilization towers look too phallic (trust me, it would have been sooooo easy for them to do so).

In my IWHS review, I mentioned how the special effects were a bit rough around the edges. While this is still clear here (a few obvious model shots), the Lexx’s takeoff and landing sequence more than atones for any glitches. Those shots were amazing, and it surprises me that they never integrated this feature into the TV show. I suppose this has something to do with the fact that Lexx did a substantial amount of growing, and by the time the show progressed, it was too big to set down on the surface of a planet. Either that, or I’m overanalyzing things, and the producers simply didn’t feel like doing it. As always, I’m open to either possibility.

Ah, Tim Curry. It’s only fitting that the main player from the Rocky Horror Show should cross paths with Lexx. Not only that, but this celebrated star of stage and screen holds the dubious distinction of being one of the few actors who has ever scared the everloving shit out of me (Pennywise ring a bell?), so I was quite interested to see just what kind of a character Poetman was. You know, the phrase “biggest pain in the ass in the two universes” gets thrown around a lot these days, but it’s more than applicable here. This guy could not shut up for 5 seconds (he is, after all, a hologram, and thus, doesn’t need to stop talking in order to inhale again, but that’s just me nitpicking...again). It’s no damn wonder they left him behind...hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if the “I got drunk” story was a cop out...some fed up B-G probably took it upon himself to slip Poetman a mickey in order to ensure that he was left behind. BTW, this brings up an interesting point: apparently, Poetman was not only an annoying windbag, but he was also chronically lazy. You can’t expect me to believe that the Brunnen-G took every single one of their spacecraft with them (although, if he’s that annoying, then they may very well have gone to this extreme). For my money, he probably looked around for 5-10 minutes, then said the hell with it.

Could Giggerotta’s restraints have been any more useless? I’d have either frozen her, jettisoned her into space, dropped her off in one of Lexx’s stomachs, or at the very least, tied her up a little better. I realize this falls under the celebrated “Bilbo, you dolt...” category, but I must call them like I sees them.

Ah yes, the memory catacombs, and the forbidden doors of mystery. I’ll get to Zev and Kai’s toxic superfreakout in a second, but I’d like first to concentrate on Stan. Since the machine on the wall identified him as female, we must naturally assume that it was broken. This makes perfect sense, given the fact that it is thousands upon thousands of years old and, let’s face it, the Brunnen-G, while noble, graceful, and handy with a curling iron, were also just a tad nuts. However, I think there’s more to it than that. Obviously we know Stan is a man, as he eventually persuades a few women to scale Tweedle’s Titanic Tower of Tantalizing Titillation, so that theory is out the window. Perhaps it has something to do with that uniform. Can we say “unnecessary crotch support?” Perhaps eight agonizing years of wearing the same uniform, complete with the silver bike short-esque drawers that the producers just had to show us a time or two, had a sumo wrestler like effect on Stan’s biological weapons of mass destruction. I could go a lot farther with this theory, but I think I’ve dwelled on Brian Downey’s nether regions enough for one evening.

Zev’s flashback is heartbreaking, as we get yet another glimpse of the squalid conditions in which she was raised. But, as is always the case with Lexx, the tension was assuaged by some bizarre humor...in this case, Zev and Kai singing. It seemed a tad out of place to me; notwithstanding Mike McM’s excellent singing voice. Eva’s vocals were so-so. I thought Xenia’s performance in season 2 was better, but once again that has to do with her German accent not being as thick. If anything, this sequence played like a warm up act for Brigadoom.

Well, Stan’s day couldn’t possibly get any worse. First he wanders into John Travolta’s dream house circa 1977, then he is strapped into a twisted dentist’s chair that would make Sharon Stone roll her eyes and told that he will bare Poetman’s...um...seed. I won’t make any lowbrow jokes about the needle, the phallic design of the instrument, or the fact that only a select minority of sleazy, drugged out Hollywood hosebags could possibly derive any pleasure from an apparatus such as that. In fact, I won’t even harp for too long on the contents of said needle (though I wish to God the syringe weren’t transparent...come on Paul/Jeff/Lex, we have imaginations). I will simply offer the following: Ahem...Brunnis has been abandoned for a long time...longer than the whole history of the Divine Order...so it goes without saying that the flesh and blood Poetman made his little...offering...thousands of years ago. Now, I’m not a forensic scientist or anything, but it would seem to me that after all that time, Poetman’s um...DNA evidence (to use a presidential euphemism) would have either dried up, or spoiled (like milk). Ponder this notion while I attempt to purge my mind of these revolting thoughts.

Ah, the burst of life...apparently low quality camcorders just didn’t cut it when it came to recording precious memories on Brunnis. So, they took the next logical step: running people through a giant deli slicer, crotch first (a theme in the Lexx universe[s]). What I want to know is why getting sliced in half seemed to have utterly disabled Kai. After all, Thodin diced him up good, and the pieces kept on fighting. Perhaps this machine succeeded in stripping him of some essence of life that was inaccessible to HDS? BTW, for those with keen eyes, did you notice that all of the areas in Kai’s body that should have been occupied by organs were hollow? Definitely a cool visual.

Stan, for all his whining and complaining, and the fact that his foibles blow his few redeeming qualities out of the water, is never one to turn his back on his friends. The stand he makes against Giggerotta is noble...at the cost of his hand. Now, this sequence made me think quite a bit. First of all, it’s nice to see the producers take the anti-Star Wars approach to severed limbs: there are buckets of blood, and Stan is in obvious pain (as opposed to Luke/Anakin, who don’t seem the least bit troubled by shock-inducing trauma). But more importantly, what the hell is up with Giggy’s tongue? I always thought she was human! If she is, she is apparently some kind of mutant monstrosity. While the appearance of her tongue has supplied me with no less than a half dozen lowbrow cunnilingus jokes, I’ll keep those in my pocket for a rainy day, and simply say that Giggy looks like the bastard love child of Toad from the X-Men, and Giger’s Alien.

The storage facility in the memory catacombs looked like a meat locker in Jeffrey Dahmer’s basement. I firmly believe that the gross out visuals (largely absent from the syndicated show) were what turned a good many people off of this series. But, since I’m already a fully indoctrinated Lexxian, I pressed on. You know, if I were the BG whose session with the Time Prophet was interrupted by something that occurred 5,000 years after my death, I’d be discouraged at first. Then, after realizing what had just happened, I would probably buy a lottery ticket, and touch every one of the files in the memory catacombs (yeah, that joke sucked, but it’s late).

The eerie blue light regenerating Kai was, let’s face it, a bit of a Deus ex Machina (Latin for cop out). Perhaps if they had actually explained what the Blue Star was, it would have made more sense. I’ll just save myself the migraine by assuming it has something to do with the cycles of time (which, btw, I also believe to be responsible for Prince’s very existence). While I wondered for a second if the missing slice of flesh would affect Kai at all, it’s probably safe to assume that the magic blue light fixed that too.

Apparently, the Lexx needs only to hear its captain’s voice in order to respond. While I maintain that the key was still in Stan (I refute the “the Beans changed their minds” theory, as it is never indicated that the key resided in Stan’s severed hand), there’s apparently a way to circumvent this. You’ve got to hand it to those predecessors. Then again, considering that they are brains, and that they contain all the knowledge of the past thousands of years, I think I will retract my previous statement and declare that their plan was hackneyed (don’t know if I spelled that right...don’t care).

Kai seems to be pretty confident that the supernova will kill him. This must fall into “hard to destroy but not indestructible” territory. Either that, or Kai simply wasn’t aware of just how much punishment he could take. In yet another glimpse of Kai’s repressed humanity, he expresses his desire to watch the supernova with his friends. Apparently the dead do not not want after all (though they seem to give up easily...I’d have scrambled for a last minute escape attempt).

Yes, Brunnis Sun and Blue Star must have something to do with the cycles of time. I’m almost tempted to compare them to the Fates in Greek mythology. For the cycles to properly repeat, Kai cannot die here, and come hell or high water, regardless of how many laws of physics and nature are outright mangled, he’s getting out of there in one piece. Personally, I always thought that given their coloration, they represented Kai and Zev...call them kindred spirits, soul mates, etc. Definitely something to ponder during one of those 4 in the morning bathroom breaks.

Did anyone else get a kick out of the “flying meat” laughing at Giggy when it abandoned her?

In a feat of human speed that would make Jim Ryan’s jaw drop (he’s from my state...I’ve met him…I’m told that he often speaks in tongues, and for reasons I’m not able to fully comprehend, he scared the hell out of me), our heroes haul ass back to the Lexx just in time...leaving Giggy to be utterly eviscerated (always loved that clip during the opening credits). While I would think it would be utterly impossible for any manmade craft to outrun an exploding star, apparently the Lexx can. End of story…choke on that laws of thermodynamics!

As was the case with the missing testicle scenario from IWHS, a long running series featuring Stan with an out of whack hand would have been gold...but unfortunately, the special effects budget at the time would not permit it. Ah the road not taken. Speaking of which, what in the blue hell was that magic solution Stan dipped his hand into? Whatever it is, it apparently works wonders, and I would be interested to know if it could be used to enlarge certain body parts. (Whatever you’re thinking about ol’ Bilbo, STOP RIGHT NOW...I was referring to my calves—one of the hardest muscles to develop—and the fact that they are a tad smaller than I’d like them to be...you people make me sick).

All in all, Supernova was a good romp. It doesn’t stack up to IWHS, but few things do. Still, it’s Lexx, and as I mentioned before, it offers glimpses into the future in more than one way. Well, this review took a little longer than I’d expected to write (my schedule sucks), but I will get all 4 knocked out. While I haven’t watched Eating Pattern yet, I did tape it, and plan to give it a thorough looksee when time permits. Good night, God bless, and may you cling tenaciously to your loved ones like the mighty Hat of Tweedle.

Cheery bye. 



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mayaXXX
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 Posted: Wed Nov 1st, 2006 09:35 pm

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I loved the Brunnen G back-story from this movie, it would have been better though, if Tim Curry (Poetman) had been dressed Brunnen Style instead of a lounge singer.

Again, remarkable review, Bilbo, I'm drooling as we speak.

:OliveDrink:



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 Posted: Wed Nov 1st, 2006 10:14 pm

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You're reviews are so awesome and entertaining, and damnit right on the money too!



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Shenandora
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 Posted: Fri Nov 3rd, 2006 04:45 pm

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...now I'm really excited to read more...

jerhume
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 Posted: Thu Dec 14th, 2006 03:39 am

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I treated myself & watched SN again last night & found myself going " yes, yes, yes!" reading this 2 cents, like that daft woman in the herbal esences advert... BTW, am I the only one who had a fleeting, if rather unsavoury thought about the last existing - er - sample of Brunnen G DNA?

PeridotEyes
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 Posted: Sun Jul 15th, 2007 09:20 pm

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I so enjoyed your rereading review.  It's been so long since it was like I was reading it anew.

I do take issue with your claim that Kai was hollow when divided.  His slice showed organs sliced apart as anyone would.  His body also contained organs, as one can tell quite easily when he flops onto the floor from the table.  Of course, here I am working from the POV of my DVDs and not the edited versions from cable or satellite.

It's possible that might make a difference. 

I assure you, though, that Kai always had guts. ;-)   Until K-Town, that is.

Last edited on Sun Jul 15th, 2007 09:22 pm by PeridotEyes



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 Posted: Thu Oct 16th, 2008 11:41 pm

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Great review. One thing though, I don't see any reason the Lexx would have trouble outrunning a supernova. The explosion would be traveling at only a fraction the speed of light while the Lexx is capable of superluminal travel. I didn't much care for the talking stars though.



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 Posted: Fri Oct 17th, 2008 12:05 am

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Well as the famed director, Franz Lieber said..."That"s why it's Science Fiction, not Science Fact".   hehe..

(Franz is a fictional director in a Salter Street show called 'the Industry', where he's making a Scifi movie actually based on Lexx)

:eek:



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