A TALE OF TWO TV SHOWS
Wondering how the new queerish sci-fi TV shows Painkiller Jane and Blood Ties are doing? The NY Post calls Blood Ties, which is based on a series of novels written by out lesbian Tanya Huff, "the ultimate in guilty-pleasure TV," and I have to agree. I did a marathon viewing this week to catch up, and there were a few questionable episodes (the one about the stuffed animal turning into a monster was a low point), but the writers really seem to be on an upswing in the last few. The dialogue is getting snappier by the week, and the tone is getting darker and funnier at the same time.
I also love that Vicki (who is bisexual, although that won’t be explored until later, possibly even next season) spends half the time with her hair pulled back in a ponytail. With the exception of Grey’s Anatomy and My Boys — two of my favorite shows, and both created by women, I might add — you almost never see that on TV, because it’s not considered sexy by prevailing straight-male standards of sexiness.
But I beg to differ. A ponytail, turtleneck and glasses can be sexy as hell on the right person, especially when paired with a leather jacket. And Christina Cox is definitely the right person:
I’m also enjoying Vicki’s assistant/sidekick, whom I call Goth Girl. She’s got a totally different look working for her:
No ratings info is available for Blood Ties, but overall, Lifetime’s ratings are on the upswing. The show’s future is still in jeopardy, though, at least in the U.S. Although Canada’s City TV ordered 22 episodes of the series (to premiere in August), Lifetime only bought the rights to air the first 13 episodes and didn’t mention the series when they presented their 2007 programming slate to ad buyers this week.
But there’s good news for those of you who live overseas: the show is scheduled to start airing on the Living channel in the U.K. this summer, and it has been sold to France, Germany and Israel, according to a Blood Ties fan site.
Sci Fi channel’s Painkiller Jane, on the other hand — which stars out bisexual actress Kristanna Loken — started off OK, but is fading fast. Ratings for the second episode were down 26 percent from the premiere, and worse, the quality of the show is down, too, with a silly story line in Episode 2 about a kid who uses mind control to create his own army of dead soldiers. Loken’s acting is fine, but the dialogue is fairly clunky and heavy-handed, from Jane’s ponderous voice-overs to sidekick Maureen randomly blurting out during a meeting that she likes football players — the writers’ not-so-subtle attempt to let us know she’s heterosexual (in the comic, Maureen and Jane were romantically involved, but both characters are straight on the show).
On the plus side, it’s much easier — and a lot more fun — for Karman to recap the show when it’s suckier.
Will I keep watching it? Yeah, probably, at least for a few more episodes, in the hopes that it’ll turn around. The eye candy doesn’t hurt, either.
Look for a new episode tonight at 10 p.m. on the Sci Fi channel.