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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The Glitter For Brains TeleMarathon: Alias Season Four!

Warning: Contains Spoilers!
Only a day late - we're having a heatwave over in London at the moment, and Gay Brains tend to melt in anything above the temperature that Cosmopolitans start to bubble. So we stayed in and did jigsaws instead. But now, we've been on a WigWatch for the fourth year running - here's what we thought of Alias this year!

We're following 'Lost'? Better throw out the daffy plot arc that even we can't understand! Still no Lena Olin? Eep! Make up another evil sister!

Ah, something Alias never skimps on! This year, we're thrown lovely old Sophia, a black-laced homely woman who used to run an orphanage. And if the fact that she's frumpy and used to run an orphanage didn't tip you off she was ultimately out to destroy the world then you don't know this show at all. Merely a few episodes later, she's head to foot in black leather and commanding a crack team of flesh-eating zombies out to destroy downtown Russia! Brilliant!

What do you do when an actress integral to your plot arc decides she's had enough of silly wig-related antics? Something we personally we can't even come near to comprehending, but there you go. No, dear Lena Olin, the noted screen actress who played Sydney's Machiavellian murderess mother decided she wasn't coming back for Season Three, leaving the production crew to fill the hole she'd left by having her played by a MSN chatroom, a couple of letters, and a hilarious pair of beeping earrings.

And after a year of trying to get her back and being firmly told 'No!' by her agent, they decide to do the noble thing and kill her off-screen at the hands of Syd's very own father, meaning most of this year was about Sydney getting over losing her mother again in that manner that only Syd can: by sobbing in a bubbly-bath to a soft-rock montage because She's All Woman (tm). Bless. But then, as the fourth year came to a close, Lena changed her agent! So:

"Syd... it's your mother... She's alive!"
Oh for goodness' sake.

Though coming a close second is the moment when you realise that all the AWOL arc plots have finally shuffled in eight episodes late and looking rather sheepish, clutching a Starbucks coffee and muttering something about the trains being delayed. Which then proceeds to phone its friend in Finance for an hour going "Oooh, I know..."

Rattling in a solid third is the show's cliffhanger final moment. After plumbing the depths of Syd's character, having her father being evil/not evil at the toss of a coin, the script writers turn their attention to the only other character they haven't messed with yet. So: 'Syd... My name's not really Michael Vaughn' indeed. Arf!
We bet he tells her it's really Michael Vartan and he's an actor on a TV show, and then it all goes weird.

Not the 'most annoying' par se, Eric Weiss still troubles us as he's so obviously and madly in love with Vaughn. Call us cynical, but it looks like Weiss is only staying over with Nadia so he may get a glimpse of Vaughn dashing to the shower in a towel in the morning.
Still, we'd be the same in retrospect.

Selling advertising space on Jack Bristow's huge left ear. Have you seen it? Once you notice it, you'll never stop looking.

'Dear Michael Vaughn,

If that really isn't your real name, why on earth did you spend half of this season looking for your father Bill Vaughn? If there's a scene next season when you go, 'You know, if I'd really wanted to find my father, maybe I should have used his real name' there will be the most trouble.
Because, most probably, everyone will be going, 'Oh, Mr Kindle, yes, I knew him well. He lives over there in the fortified nuclear fallout shelter. Why didn't you say the first time?' Tsk, sir!

Love, the Gays. xx
PS - walk past the bedroom in that towel again, would you?'

Last year, we prematurely said that 'Alias had jumped the shark'. Well, this year proves that they merely tripped over it - Season Four is hilarious nonsense that proves you don't need huge arcs about Your Evil Family to keep it going. It's even easier to watch these days and can be expressed by this formula:

Syd (plus) wig need 'ITEM X' which is stored in a) compound or b) a nightclub. Syd (plus) 'ITEM X' escape through bizarre means which (multiply) ratings. Sloane (equals) secretly evil.

And poor Syd - last time someone proposed to her, he ended up in the bath with his guts hanging out. This time, Vaughn presents a ring and the next second they're in a car crash! The poor woman's cursed! Oh yes, roll on Season Five for more hilarious 'I'm secretly evil, me!' shenanigans!

Next: Ooh! Tune in for Doctor Who Season One!


Wyndham said...

I must confess I gave up Alias at the end of season two on hearing that season three was cack but if it's on form again I may have to shell out for S3 at the shops. Now that I've watched nearly all of Lost, and Jack Bauer has nearly finished his latest day of fighting terrorism in the most-incompetent way possible, it looks like I'm going to have to pick up where I left off. I hope Jennifer still has got rid of that fringe by now though.



Rob said...

You know, I'm still not totally sure what "Jumping the Shark" actually means.

Sounds bloody dangerous to me.

Lee said...

Ah. Then here's a lesson for you. I think it was saccarine Show In Eternum 'Happy Days' that had an episode where the was Fonz waterskiing. Cue comedy rubber shark - which he leapt over in an 'amazing' jump. People think that this very incident was the point at which the show just got stupid and lost any credibility. Hence: 'jumping the shark'.

Vampire Librarian said...

For more info regarding "Jumping the Shark", please see:

Rob said...

Ah... now I see. Thank you Professor.

Although I'm now struggling with the idea that Happy Days was ever not stupid and had any credibility to lose.

But hey. Diff'rent Strokes, I guess.

Lee said...

What yo' talkin' about, Willis?

Erinna said...

Lee, you are utterly fabulous. ;)

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