thoughts on pop culture

Crusoe Hours 1-3

I went into this one with extremely low expectations.  That is my personal rule for any show that is a period piece with expensive sets, effects, and a Friday night time slot.  It also explains why I didn’t make a point to watch this one right away.

Crusoe’s first two hours serve as the premiere episode, so I expected an action-packed thrill ride that felt more like a movie than a tv show.  Unfortunately it felt more like a one hour premiere that was artificially stretched to two hours to fill an open time slot.  The show has its moments and the gadget-geek in me loves some of the bamboo and hemp inventions, but it definitely moved way too slow.

The flashbacks are also extremely annoying.  Just when the pace seems to be picking up, we get an overly cliched flashback complete with hazy video and echoey audio.  Others blame Lost for the insistence on using flashbacks rather than a standard narrative, and I can’t disagree.  The creators could have told the majority of the back story in an introductory narrative taking 30-40 minutes of the first episode, then used some flashbacks later on to fill in the gaps in the story.  I think this would have given a much more coherent premiere than we got.

My biggest concern about the long term health of the show was how expensive it looked.  This told me that it would be on a very short leash, and we all now that Friday night is not a slot where good ratings are easy to come by.  I have since found out that Crusoe is actually a joint venture between NBC and a British production company called Power.  NBC only spent $10 million for a full 13 episode run, so this one is a done deal.

Knowing what I know now, I have a totally different outlook.  Crusoe isn’t really a new series, it’s a 13 hour tv movie that NBC bought the rights to show in the US.  If you’re in the mood for an hour of escapism each Friday night through the end of the year, I think you should check it out.  The vistas are amazing, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering it was shot on location in Canada, the UK, and South Africa.  Don’t worry about catching up if you missed out on the first three hours, I think you’ll figure it out pretty quick.


October 26, 2008 - Posted by | Drama, New Series, Television | , , , , ,

1 Comment

  1. I like to watch Crusoe too. I think it’s a great show with mixture of adventure, action, drama, friendship, and more. Yeah, I don’t really care about the flashbacks, but I love to see their treehouse.

    Comment by Peter | November 8, 2008

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