Episode three and we’re past the pilot now so let’s see how they rise up in the latest episode of ….
I’ve just finished the episode at the time of writing this. At least I’m fairly certain I have but in truth it feels like waking from a dream where I can recall snatches and glimpses but the meat of the thing has faded away. Heck maybe the whole show was just a bad dream? That would be nice wouldn’t it.
I have tried to give the show a fair shake but this episode felt so shallow and flat that I can’t even be angry at it. The cast are good actors but nobody seems to be given anything to work with and it does feel like more than once we went with the first take for fear of burning the dwarven fat. A good example of one of these issues I’ve discussed before shows up again here so let’s focus on that for now while my mind trys to dreg up any more of the episode for me to recall. Vimes is stuck under psychic attack and as he tries to fight it off we get glimpses of his future with Sybill. Now I’m not sure if this is supposed to be the actual future or just a wish of his to give him strength. Now the two actors have decent enough chemistry together but once again we seem to be racing to the end. Even the alcoholism seems to have been dropped as our one flaw in this group and you have to then question why they weren’t going round arresting tax evaders before because Carrot’s stirring little speech was not enough to kick a horse with ginger up it’s bottom into action. It’s as though the show said we wanted under dogs but try not to make them too dirty as we want to sell a calendar for Christmas.
Speaking of dirty I have to say for those who hasn’t watched this weeks episode that this is the one where the officers form a band as seen in the trailer. They are a punk rock band because of course they are. They don’t take any of the puns from Soul Music and I should be glad as it means we might still see Buddy one day. The reason I bring this up as we’ve already used Indigo Skinner though I don’t think it precludes him working for the government in the future. The pun of the band name might work, the what instead of the who, but again the scene falls flat in part due to the choppy editing and scene cuts. You can see a good take in there but just as some movies are found in the editing you can see that this show was lost in it’s own. Anyway the reason I bring this up is because as they go undercover as a punk band you question why they bothered getting dressed up considering how they normally look. Cheery gets some heels on and Vimes goes round his eye liner with an extra layer of eye liner. It’s like if Bard, in the hobbit went under cover as a pirate.
Anyway they’re doing this as it’s apparently the easiest way to sneak into the Assassin’s Guild. This doesn’t really make much sense but there is a fair bit of that going on in this episode. It’s like they had a few good gags worked out and then just tried to figure out how to link them up in under an hour. Why are the two buildings linked, because the head of the Assassin’s guild likes Karaoke apparently. Why don’t the assassin’s kill them in the end because guilds can’t attack guilds and they’re now licenced musicians. Heck this even extends to Sybil who isn’t a licenced musician but the watch now have the power to recruit on the spot apparently. Like I get I’m over thinking a joke but it’s not a very good joke and the episode is bending all out of shape to get to it. You can make a joke out of a straight laced boy swearing but the episode allowing Carrot to flip someone off is not the way to do it. It feels a little juvenile. Like a posh boy playing at punk. Just like it feels like an idiot playing in Pratchett’s sandpit.
Oh why wasn’t Sybil in the audition. Because she was busy getting some backstory. A tragic dark backstory because of course it is. Again I’m not complaining that it’s not the same as the books but the short run time really doesn’t help this brooding angle she has. Her parents were killed by an assassin. The watch did nothing for this child as the receipt was left, paid and covered, so now she hunts down killers as this bad ass vigilante. This promptly ties up any questions you might have about her and allows her to join this new heroic watch; catching crims and locking them up. It’s such a boiled down, simplistic character and I feel for her and bearing in mind that I first saw her fighting Nazi lizard men on the moon because there she had more to work with. Again the editing and pacing don’t help.
And to round out this review I found there was something I quite liked in the past few episodes and that was the Goblins. But they’re not in this one.
People said the series was finding it’s feet with episode two and I agree with them but if that’s true then those feet have just got lost in a bucket of quick set cement dangerously close to the sea.