Dark Angel

Dark Angel

Dark Angel had considerable promise, and proved to be popular for a couple of seasons, but ultimately I didn’t review it because there just wasn’t enough there … there. This funky future from James Cameron, rivaled only by Ridley Scott’s rainy, dystopian “Bladerunner”, was a little too bright, worked a little too well for a society allegedly flattened by electronic terrorism. If our computer-based technoworld was devastated by an electromagnetic pulse, as we are told, how come everything worked just as it does now: cell phones worked, computers worked (nice to see that Apple alone will survive the apocalypse), even cars worked up to a point. Coffee was still five bucks a pop, not unusual for Seattle.

Here’s my original intro to the show:

Sassy Max (Jessica Alba) needs to grow up. A little of the Lara Croft act goes a long, long way, and one soon begins to long for a bit of maturity and class from this allegedly superior being. It’s like spending time with a well-trained puppy. Her juvenile attitude matched to oddity of her chosen profession (burglary? If she’s so smart, why doesn’t she play the stock market?) makes sense only if one assumes that Max is designed to appeal only to the self-styled suburban mavericks who think video games are a test of manhood. There will have to be more to Max than Jessica Alba’s sultry sexuality; I have high hopes for the second season.

Logan Cale (Michael Wetherly) is still the only real character on this show. The rest, although delightful, are still only caricatures. Cale’s appeal is that he is wounded, hurting, and hiding it. Wetherly’s killer grin and bedroom eyes give him sex appeal equal to Alba’s, but it’s Cale’s intelligence which keep him from being the complete bimbob. In this respect, Cameron has modeled his leads after Mulder and Scully of The X-Files: she takes on a traditional “masculine” aspect (fighting) and he takes on the more passive, “feminine” aspects (communication). This reversal of expected role model behavior lends a thrill of the unexpected and an undertone of suspense not usually found in formla TV. Since they don’t exhibit the standard personalities, we are intrigued by the possibility that, like real people, they might surprise us. Look for some depth to be added to this character as he regains mobility in the second season.


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