Thursday, November 29, 2007

A tale of two shows

Remember when Bionic Woman was supposed to carry the NBC load for Wednesday nights this season? 'Bionic Wednesday' was the tagline, and it was predicted by many to be a 'no duh' hit out of the blocks, and serve as a good lead in for the harder to market Life. Since that time, BW has gone through a couple overhauls, is on it's third showrunner, and has only eight episodes (that are all over the place) to show for it. Last night was most likely the last episode you'll see of the expensive, scattershot series, as NBC/Universal is almost surely going to pull the plug if and when production resumes. Which is probably fine with scene-stealer Katee Sackhoff, who's diminished role on the show might be a sore spot. Or not, depending on who you believe. Either way, the point is now probably mute.

Meanwhile, Life was allowed to take it's time to let the quirky Charlie Crews character develop and is just hitting it's stride, and has been rewarded for it with a full-season pickup. It's a show that started slow out of the blocks, but is the tortoise to BW's hare, steady and true to the finish line. It's been a favorite of mine if only for the fact that it features actors from other favorite shows like Deadwood (Robin Weigert) and Mad Men (Christina Hendricks, and guesting last night, Michael Gladis) along with the esteemable Adam Arkin. It's like a more serious Monk, substituting Crews' Zen and a convict's insight for Monk's OCD as the quirk that helps solve crimes.

Last night's BW music choices were worth mentioning, especially opening with Two Gallants' "Lady" to back the makeshift wake for Isaiah Washington's Antonio. No doubt some of former showrunner stand-in Jason Katim's musical influence at work there. After that sister Becca's watching a My Chemical Romance video for "Teenagers," which makes me like her even less for some reason. The one-dimensional angry teen depiction is part of the reason we never cared about the Summer sisters relationship. The other part is Michelle Ryan's rather stiff work in the starring role. Hey, at least now she'll have more time to date Owen Wilson.

On Life, the murder they solve leads to discovery that a teen (Nate) questioned in the crime was actually abducted as a toddler, and the music choices point were spot on. During drive to nab the abductor, The Raconteurs' "Broken Boy Soldier" plays, and then as Nate discovers his life has been a lie, we hear Beth Orton's cover of the 70's classic "Ooh Child." Next week, we get a two-parter as Life gets the benefit of a Heroes first half finale lead-in, following it up with the second hour Wednesday night. Hopefully, it will get even more traction from the placement. No offense to Journeyman, but a Chuck-Heroes-Life Monday night might be just the thing the peacock needs.

Playlist: NBC Wednesday Night - 11.28.07
1. "Lady" - Two Gallants - Bionic Woman Ep108
2. "Teenagers" - My Chemical Romance - Bionic Woman Ep108
3. "First Cool Hive" - Moby - Bionic Woman Ep108
4. "Where Are You Going" - Dave Matthews Band (YouTube) - Bionic Woman Ep108
5. "This Voiceless Cry" - Harri Lake (Last.FM) - Life Ep109
6. "Broken Boy Soldier" - The Raconteurs - Life Ep109
7. "Ooh Child" - Beth Orton - Life Ep109

Previously: Bionic Birdhouse (BW Episode 1.05)

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have a question, since you seem to know quite a bit about the music that is played throughout the shows, in Bionic Woman, episode 108, Do Not Disturb, there was a song playing when Jamie and her sister were driving TO the resort. Kind of dancy, and it sounds like they are saying "A Woman.. She's so beautiful.. "garbled because Jamie keeps turning it down".. She's running". No one seems to know who this is, and I would love it if you were privvy to this information. Any clues??

drake leLane said...

That is the third song I have on the list there, "First Cool Hive" by Moby

Anonymous said...

Actually, that isn't the song.. That song sucks, and certainly isn't dancy Unless there is some strange dance mix of it that I have never heard of and where they add lyrics..

drake leLane said...

I think you're probably referring to the NBC Rewind or downloadable version. NBC often has different music for these.

"First Cool Hive" (2 minutes into it) is what I (and others) have heard in the on-air version.

Anonymous said...

If you watch the show from http://www.nbc.com/Bionic_Woman/video/episodes.shtml, Episode 8, it is on the episode 8, chapter 2, (yeah, had to watch it to get the times,and 2-3 minutes is the Moby song, but it is after this, and it was the same on the TV version)it is 7 minutes and 42 seconds in. I don't think it was credited, but if there is anyone you know who can find the name of it, I would be forever greatful, because it is driving me out of my everloving mind.

drake leLane said...

Ok, I watched it online and it is completely different than what was aired. I get the feeling that this NBC Rewind version is just purchased from a music licensing company (titled something like 'Techno #8') as filler to use until they could get the rights to the music they really wanted.

Anonymous said...

But it isn't differen't from what I watched (I still have it on the Tivo, and it is the same song), that is what drew me to it. And it is just killing me.. UGH, I have to find it.. I am going to go mad I tell ya.. LOL.. UGH.. I sent a request to a DJ friend of mine to see if he knows what it is, but any assistance you may have, would keep me from the looney bin.. :-)