"There's an old saying; just because you're paranoid, that doesn't mean they're not out to get you. I have my own variation: just because you're insane that doesn't mean that things aren't slipping in unnoticed through dimensional gateways..." ~ Christopher Knowles (h/t to The Daily Grail for quote.)
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Woo TV: NUMB3RS
I've been a fan of the CBS program NUMB3RS since the beginning. It's one of my favorite programs. I enjoy the crime/detective action, combined with the family and personal relationships, and, the math. I'm math phobic myself, and yet I love watching the characters explain theories and try to solve crimes using esoteric (well, to me anyway) math type stuff. It often verges on the mystical, and indeed, one of the characters -- a math genius professor/mentor played by Peter MacNicol in the role of Dr. Larry Fleinhardt-- is pretty mystical himself. One season had him going off to a monastery for awhile, and he's always grappling with musings about our purpose in the Universe that no doubt annoy uber-skeptics.
But last night's episode really disappointed me. While this season the character of Don Epps has been wrestling with spiritual matters, making visits to his rabbi, etc. they seem to not want to go too far off the deep end. Having a tension between Epps and his lover on his religious search is fine, though typically hackneyed. Having the kind of program they had on last night was mega-hackneyed,lazy and cheap.
One of the characters was a computer conspiracy geek. The character was over the top, a cartoon character that was overweight,wore glasses,dressed like a slob, and a conspiracy buff so off the wall bordering on mentally challenged it was laughable. Every word out of his mouth had something to do with some kind of conspiracy, from 9/11 to Roswell to JFK to. . .you name it. It's as if the writers were short handed or out of inspiration and did an all nighter on the internet looking for conspiracy sites, blended them all together in one big silly scenario, and there was their script.
A nod to more tension and giving voice to differing views; one of the FBI agents was well informed about the JFK assassination, believing it to have been the work of many, the other agent, also well informed, vehemently disagreed. For every point the first agent made, the other disputed. I suppose that was their way of balancing things.
In another scene, Epps' girlfriend comments that she might have "pissed him off" with her mocking attitude about his spiritual search. Then she quotes something about not being "afraid of God." Who said Epps was "afraid" of God -- that's more a goy thing anyway. Sheesh. Her way of making it up to him is to later buy two tickets to a lecture at the Temple between a lawyer/skeptic and a rabbi.
The main thing that irritated me about last night's program was the lazy, cheap caricature of the conspiracy geek. NUMB3RS can do better. Even their nod to UFOs a few seasons ago didn't tick me off so much. (In that episode, someone mentions the UFO that was seen in the L.A. area -- Epps replies with "We don't know what a UFO looks like, so how do we know it's a UFO" or something to that effect.)