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TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES - THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON

 



Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - The Complete Second Season [Blu-Ray] (2009)
 

Actors: Thomas Dekker, Richard T. Jones, Brian Austin Green
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen
Language: English
Subtitles: Danish, Dutch, French, Japanese, Norwegian, Swedish
Region: 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Number of discs: 5
Studio: Warner
DVD Release Date: September 22, 2009
Run Time: 975 minutes
 

DVD and BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES:

  • The Continuing Chronicles featurettes
  • Terminated Scenes
  • Cameron vs. Rosie: Fight Rehearsal
  • The Storyboard Process: Cameron Goes Bad
  • Audio Commentary with Lena Headey, Thomas Dekker, Summer Glau and Shirley Manson and Executive Producers Josh Friedman, James Middleton and John Wirth
  • Gag Reel

BLU-RAY ONLY SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Collision with the Future: Deconstructing the HUNTER KILLER Attack
     

Movie:
Disc:

 

In ancient Greek mythology the gods punished Sisyphus for being an all-round jerk by having him roll a huge boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll down the other side and then roll it back up again - for all eternity. (Hence the term Sisyphean, which according to the American Heritage Dictionary means "endlessly laborious or futile.")

If the ancient Greek gods were around today they'd probably punish Sisyphus by making him a writer on a TV show such as Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles . . .

There is another Greek legend, this time of Cassandra, who could see the future but couldn't change it because no-one would believe her prophecies. In the Terminator movies Sarah Connor knows that an AI called SkyNet, built to handle North America's nuclear arsenal, would go rogue the very moment it is switched on and destroy most of humanity by causing World War III. She knows this because SkyNet sent a cyborg back in time to kill her before she could give birth to her son John Connor, who would one day lead the human resistance against SkyNet.

In this short-lived TV series Sarah Connor tries to get back at SkyNet by making sure that it never gets built in the first place. Only problem is that when one applies plot logic to it then one cannot change the past, something which SkyNet must have learned when all his efforts to kill John Connor in the past have failed. If you sent back a robot to kill your enemy before he is born and you succeed, then that means that you never sent back a robot in the first place, which means that he was never killed . . . and so on. This circular logic will make your head explode and therefore it is probably a good thing that time travel probably isn't possible.

In Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Sarah (played by a constipated-looking Lena Headey who is set to star in HBO's upcoming adaptation of George R.R. Martin's über A Game of Thrones fantasy novel) is both Cassandra and Sisyphus. All her efforts to change the future are futile and no one believes her story about a future war between man and killer machines because they think that she is nuts. The network writers are of course also Sisyphus: they have to expand the concept behind a tight 108 minute mid-'Eighties action movie into as god knows how many episodes - as with most TV shows they must churn out the scripts for as long as the ratings are good . . .

I mention all this because the second season of this highly publicized television series has a feeling of aimlessness hovering over it until about the halfway mark when things start to pick up. In the last handful of episodes things really start to pick up as the second season careens towards its inevitable season finale cliff-hanger. If the show were consistently as focused as it is during these episodes, then who knows? Sarah Connor Chronicles might have been renewed for a third season. Except it wasn't and viewers of the show will now never see things resolved, but neither would Sarah Connor because, you see, you can't change the future . . .

(To their credit the writers try to solve the "logically you can't change the past" dilemma by introducing the concept of alternative timelines or rather multiple worlds. You can change the timeline you're in right now and prevent the rise of the machines, but some other alternate universe version of you would be stuck in a hellhole run by malevolent AIs - but hey, as long as it's not you, right?)

WORTH IT? Sarah Connor Chronicles could easily have descended into a "terminator-of-the-week" type of show in the same way that Clark Kent has to face off against a different super-powered meteor freak each week in Smallville. Instead the producers opted for a more serialized approach. Sure, things feel a bit directionless at points (as TV shows are wont to do), but this shouldn't distract from the reality that Sarah Connor Chronicles is a well-written and intelligent show. Just because those network writers have to haul a giant boulder endlessly up and down a hill with each episode doesn't mean that they can't do a good job at it.

The acting is OK and the production values are decent too - for a TV show. Special effects have come a long way since that liquid metal man impressed audiences so back in Terminator 2: Judgment Day - every kid with a PC can do effects like that nowadays. But Cameron's movies still beat its various spin-offs and sequels hands down when it comes to sheer adrenaline-pumping action and spectacle. No giant trucks falling off bridges in Sarah Connor Chronicles!

RECOMMENDATION: Sarah Connor Chronicles is yet another sci-fi show sadly cancelled before it could satisfactorily finish its run. One can hope that maybe SyFy can pick up the series or something, but the odds are against it. Should you invest more than 42 dollars and 975 minutes of your life (there are 22 one-hour episodes spread over five discs in this set) into something with no resolution? That's up to you: if open-ended "conclusions" drive you nuts then give it a skip. If you're a science fiction fan then this particular ride has lots to offer. Pity, there's no end destination . . .


 



 

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