More On ReGenesis

I think I must’ve just caught this show as it was cycling back around to the first episode.  The marks of “buy me!” are all over tonight’s episode in a way I find slightly annoying, even if I do understand its necessity…we start in high-energy 24-style gear, then segue into a certain amount of shamefully-manipulative string-pulling as characters exposit their saddest secrets for us, before SLAMMO! back to the high-intensity stuff…

And yet, underneath all that, there’s something else going on, and despite the damn cookie-cutting, you can feel it.  I’ve spoken before about the way Canadian shows usually turn away from their high concepts, and ReGenesis seems no different, if you take the high-concept part to be the 24-type stuff with all the surging of the adrenaline and the unselfconscious hammering-out of the assembly-line character beats…hence, I’m happy to report that as this episode wore on, it got less and less knee-jerky and more and more interesting, until it almost looked like the relatively low-key program I liked so much last week.  Jeez, it’s a fast mover, this show!  Thank God.  And then by the time the sainted Chris Wiggins drops in as an ex-Soviet germlord turned painter, the assembly-line stuff looks a lot more like what it is:  a Trojan horse.

Now, if you happened to see the same episode as I did tonight, and if you’re as intolerant of current American TV drama tropes as I am, you probably had a powerful urge to flick away to something else.  Terrorism, espionage, governments pursuing a hidden agenda, two-part cliffhangers — oh no, not again.  Not still.  Hey, I wonder if Iron Chef’s on?  But, this is the very stuff that gets this show’s foot in the door, that gets it on TV in the first place, and it’d be unkind to blame it for doing what it has to do in order to move along to the real stories it wants to tell.  Little notes in the actors’ performances, and in the quality of the direction, indicate that this show has more in mind than just pitching sexy or thrillride at you:  rather than placing stock characters and dynamics in a futuristic setting — in other words, rather than merely using science-fictional elements in the crafting of a drama so as to better reflect the present day — I take ReGenesis to be a full-on science fiction program, with the same ultimate aim as any other full-on SF work.  Which is:  to show how people might live in the future, and not just how they will have to adapt to it.  An important distinction, I think!  In fact I’m tempted to elaborate on it a bit…

But I won’t.  At least, not right now.  Because all I mean to say at the moment is, I am not put off by the first-episode pitchability, here, and I’ll be watching this show again.

There.  That was pretty painless, wasn’t it?


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