Saturday, March 26, 2011

Underappreciated Gems: The Invisible Man

Underappreciated Gems: The Invisible ManI'm trying something a little different here today on the ole blog. Usually I limit myself to recaps and reviews of TV shows currently on air. But today I'm going to tell you about a little show that was one of the first that I could be said to have become obsessed with. An underappreciated gem that only lasted for two seasons, starting back in the year 2000. A little show called The Invisible Man.

Now, I would not be surprised if most of you have never heard of this show. It aired on the SciFi Channel before it became Syfy and was among equally great company with Farscape on SciFi Fridays. Ah, those were the days.

So why did it only last for two seasons? It was, after all, the second highest rated show on the network at the time.

One word: money. It was an expensive show to produce, and I guess the expenses did not outweigh the gains. I am still saddened by this fact any time I rewatch the show.


Underappreciated Gems: The Invisible Man
The main cast: Paul Ben-Victor, Shannon Kenny, Vincent Ventresca, & Eddie Jones
Why do I still have such love for this show so many years later? Because it was great. It combined many of my favorite things about television. The characters were engaging, I wanted to know more about them. The stories were usually inventive and, oftentimes, fun. It had a sense of humor about itself, and the cast's great chemistry only helped solidify what could've been a hard to balance tone. Sure, there are some episodes that I generally never watch when I've found myself sucked into marathoning it, but hey. All shows are like that. And I can still recite the monologue over the opening credits. Which is either awesome or sad or a combination of the two.

Now that I've waxed on about why it was great, I'll tell you some more details about the show itself. It was about a small time thief named Darien Fawkes (catchphrase: "Aw, crap."). He got into a spot of trouble and was facing life in prison. His brother Kevin came to the rescue with a crazy plan. He'd become a human experiment for Kevin's quicksilver gland - a gland that produces a substance called quicksilver that can bend light, therefore making Darien an invisible man.
Underappreciated Gems: The Invisible Man
This is Darien, played by Vincent Ventresca. Darien/Vincent always had the best hair. It eventually became kind of a running joke on the show too, that Darien was obsessed with his hair.
Underappreciated Gems: The Invisible Man
Fawkes & Hobbes
The thing was, there was a traitor in the midst of the quicksilver project team named Arnaud that engineered a sort of defect in the gland, making the quicksilver act as a disinhibitor of some kind that would, after a certain amount of time, make Darien go basically nutso. The more he uses the stuff, the faster he can go off the deep end. The only way to stop it is with a chemical counteragent that flushes the quicksilver out of his system. You following me? It sounds confusing, but it makes sense in context.

Darien ends up having to work for The Agency, a secret and terminally underfunded government organization, in order to get the shots and stay sane. He gets teamed up with Bobby Hobbes, and a bromance for the ages is born. These two had a great rapport that only got better with time.

Now that I've gotten you excited, or at least semi-interested, about this underappreciated show, I'm going to run down some of the best episodes, in airdate order.

Some Top Episodes (linked to each episode on Hulu):

Pilot (1x01)
Money for Nothing Pt. 1 & Pt. 2 (1x21 &1x22)

Of course, if you're just going to watch the show for the first time and only want to watch a few to see if you'd be into it, I'd recommend:

Pilot (1x01)
Ralph (1x03)
Reunion (1x12)

You can watch both seasons for free on Hulu, and can get season one on DVD. Alas, they do not currently have the second season on DVD. But, one can hope. Maybe. Someday. If we get lucky.

I think I may make this a recurring type post. Next up on the underappreciated gems list: Dark Angel

2 comments:

  1. Awesome show! I got to see most of it while it was in syndication at a WB station back in 2001-2002

    I'd love to see a season 2 dvd set someday too.

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  2. Fingers crossed for a 2nd season dvd set!!

    ReplyDelete