Friday, September 17, 2010

What I'm Watching: The Gates

In a lot of ways, I've insulated myself from "live" TV. I'd say that a solid 80% of the time, if I'm watching something, it's an old something... which I either recorded a while ago, and watched episodes back-to-back-to-back of, or something that I'm just now catching up with on DVD.

Sometimes, I'll catch up with something, and then make an effort to stay current.

But in the case of "The Gates," well... we just ran out of stuff to watch.

Summer in my house is all about the catch-up. Last year, we watched all of Roswell over the summer months, one or two episodes a night until we got to the end. This last year, it's been all about The Big Bang Theory, and Modern Family, and V, and a collection of FAR too many movies we borrowed from friends and need to return, and...

Then we came to the end.

And there was still a month of summer.

Somewhere-or-another, I had caught wind of a new vampires-and-werewolves series called The Gates, and I had set up the DVR to grab it, and here we were, with nothing left to watch.

(Well, that's not true. Now that Lost is finally over we intend to get through the last four seasons of that. But having finally watched with first two eps of season three, I'm remembering why we didn't think much of the show: It kind of sucks, and it kind of doesn't go anywhere for really, really, really long stretches of time. But that's for another day.)

If you don't know the setup, it's this: You've got a gated community with a new sheriff in town. He's got a dark past, and a family. Inside the community are werewolves, vampires, witches, and a succubus.

What goes on from week to week is, there's some kind of dark mystery, which may or may not be supernatural. Despite the fact that this is supposed to be a lovely, quiet town, a lot of people are getting killed or doing horrible things.

It's a little Degrassi, a little Desperate Housewives, and a little Twilight, and...

It's not bad.

That's really all I can say for it. My wife and I zipped through ten recorded episodes in a little over a week, and at the end, we were mildly entertained. The mystery solutions were fairly well handled, a lot of the drama was well spaced out, and the repurcussions of various people's actions appear again and again, which is always something that I dig, but...

I dunno. For some reason, I could just never invest.

A lot of shows take a while to find their feet, and I guess that could be why neighter my wife nor myself have managed to invest in this one fully. It's only got two episodes to go, and given the fact that the ratings have been sub-CW levels, I heartily doubt the show is going to return.

And yet...

In some ways, I hold out hope. There are good ideas here, and solid character dynamics, and somewhere in my subconcious, I feel like this show could be the next Supernatural - but it needs to get away from weekly mysteries and into something more serious and season-long, to really work.

I gotta admit, I'm kind of dying to see the end-game on this one. A lot of the time, shows up their final stakes, just to remind you to come back. There might be no "Next time on The Gates" after this Sunday, but I'm looking forward to what might happen when the writers get into a room and decide to bring their A game.

Farewell, The Gates. You held my interest, and got me into next week, when all the shows I dig will return. Good work.

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