I tried this earlier, but WordPress ate them. So, this is, you know, somewhat more substantive.
I don’t envy the person who tries to get into the show at this point. “Burke and Vicky inspect real estate as Barnabas looks on suspiciously,” is one description of an episode. That’s typical at this point. It feels like a very mechanical way to resolve the consequences of the Maggie-as-captive storyline, while awkwardly shifting the focus of the show onto Vicky and Burke. If I see Barnabas sneak into Vicky’s room and just stand there… one… more… time…
Oh wait. He’s doing it, now. He’s like the Tooth Fairy who keeps checking on the wrong kid.
Considering how tight and intense the story had been previously, and how wild things will get, this section is arguably lacking. The writers feel lost, and the sense of stakes to the story are pretty much gone. The one thread that they’d pick up on and continue is Dr. Julia Hoffman. She has yet to be swooning. Instead, she’s canny, powerful, and razor-sharp. I very much enjoyed her opening salvo to Barnabas. It’s once of the first — and only cases of a scientist so focused on understanding vampirism. It’s a perfect meld of science and the supernatural, and one worthy of Quatermass. In fact, she’s already begun the injections.
I have to wonder if my restlessness with the plot is a restlessness with the project. But that’s something I predicted. A three-day break begins tomorrow, and that might perk me up.
Even as I’ve written this, Barnabas is contemplating what freedom from vampirism might do. Now this is interesting! And Julia’s jealousy is beginning to simmer. Enough ruminating. The story’s picking up.
End of day musings…
Boy, are they lost. This is one of the least compelling sections of my favorite show. Barnabas vies with Burke for Vicky because the the writers seemingly had nothing else for them to do. There are moments of real zinger dialogue and every Julia Hoffman moment is a winner, but, well. Um, yeah. It’s transitional. They didn’t feel confident about transforming Barnabas into an hero. Maggie is between amnesia and sanity. The addition of color is a bit shocking. What’s interesting, though, is to watch Curtis and his team experiment with what works and what doesn’t. They’ll eventually get it, but now, after having gone far from the soap model, they seem to dive right in. Only Julia’s scenes really salvage it. Well, that and some incredibly choice moments from Barnabas (such as his verbal duel with Burke and some hilariously un-PC misogyny).
It all drives home a feeling I’ve gained from watching in this concentrated way. Both the monotony is amplified and the stand-out moments are amplified. Seeing just twenty minutes a day, I think both can get diluted.
Speaking of the wonderful Burke/Barnabas sparring, enjoy….