Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Underappreciated Gems: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008-2009)

Underappreciated Gems: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles by freshfromthe.comI will be the first to admit that this show wasn't perfect. First and foremost, it should've just been called Terminator: The Connor Chronicles. Placing all of the emphasis on Sarah Connor and not also her son John was, in my opinion, a misstep. There were also some downright ridiculous plots (like that door shadow killer that was unceremoniously dropped) and boring side stories, but the overall arc of the show was really engaging.

I will warn you, however, that the second season finale of the show, which ended up being the series finale, ends on an epic cliffhanger that will drive you nuts. So I understand if you don't want to watch something you know won't have a satisfying ending.

All of that being said, you'd be missing out. Especially if you are a fan of the Terminator series in general. Though if you liked Terminator: Salvation, I'm not sure I trust your judgment one bit. You would think the acting combo of Christian Bale, Sam Worthington and Anton Yelchin would be promising, but you would be mistaken.

Anyway, let's not get bogged down in that, we're supposed to be talking about good things! What was fun about T:SCC, as the fans came to call it, was that while it was obviously part of the Terminator mythology, it also diverged in new and interesting ways, particularly thanks to the addition of some new characters. Summer Glau starred as Cameron (nod to James Cameron!), the latest terminator incarnation sent back to protect John. They had a somewhat kinky relationship thanks to her being modeled after someone future John would come to know, which is cool because John is supposed to be the one to take out all of the machines, yet he probably has the closest emotional connection to them too. Complicated!

But my personal favorite new addition to it all came in the form of Derek Reese. Played by Brian Austin Green (or BAG for shortsies), Derek Reese came back from the future to help John. And if that name is sounding familiar, it should, because it turns out he's the brother of Kyle Reese, who you'll recall is John's father. One of my absolute favorite moments in the show, ever, was when Derek took John to see the kid versions of himself and Kyle playing baseball. John obviously never knew his dad, so it was a particularly touching moment. D'aww. But also, he lent an authoritative male presence, one who had seen the war with the machines firsthand.

Overall, the show had some great ideas. Perhaps not always executed as best as they could be, sure, but no show is perfect. If you like yourself some scifi drama and can handle a couple eh episodes in the first season, you'll definitely get swept up in the second season as it picks up the pace and starts getting more serialized. I am really holding myself back from talking about the ending, but if you've seen it and want to chat in the comments, please bring it up!

The show used to be available on Netflix, but I'm afraid those days seem to be over for now. It seems like it's available to stream of IMDb TV, and of course there's always DVD.

Top Episodes:

  • 1x01 "Pilot"
  • 1x06 "Dungeons and Dragons"
  • 1x09 "What He Beheld"
  • 2x01 "Samson and Delilah"
  • 2x06 "The Tower is Tall but the Fall is Short"
  • 2x08 "Mr. Ferguson is Ill Today"
  • 2x21 "Born to Run"

And, one last random aside, I actually attended a fan event for this show before the second season started. We got to meet the stars, have them sign some stuff, and watch the season two opening episode. It consisted of a lot of waiting in line, and a rather disappointing bit where we got shunned outdoors and had to watch the live Q&A from outside, even though people behind us in line got to stay in, the bastards. No, I'm not bitter at all! Ah well, it was still a good time.


  1. I really like this post! Underrated indeed. And now that I see that you also like Dark Angel, Reaper, SPN, and Chuck, plus baking, I am memming this site :)

    1. Thanks for reading! Looks like you've found a TV kindred spirit :)

  2. Um, it was never said that John was in love with Allison (the girl Cameron was modeled after). In fact, the writers have said multiple times that Future John never met Allison Young. Josh Friedman even said this on the commentary for the Allison from Palmdale episode.