Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Clip Shows...yay! ...yay ? YAY !

I just finished watching Stargate SG 1 episode 15 of season 8, "Citizen Joe". How? I use bittorrent - see below. But my point in telling you this is that "Citizen Joe underscores the writing powerhouse that is Stargate. This week's episode is "Full Alert", so "Citizen Joe" will air in the US in three weeks.

I will post no spoilers here save one - "Citizen Joe" is a clip show. For those of you who don't speak TV addict, a "clip show" is an episode comprised in whole or in part of clips from previous episodes. They exist either to save money or bring an audience up to speed on a complex storyline. "Citizen Joe" does both.

The difference here is that "Citizen Joe" is a Stargate clip show which, while recapping important plot points nicely also manages to tell an engrossing and amusing story which has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with the clips themselves. Also, it is NOT a retrospective. The story is entirely new and introduces new and engaging characters.

So now you ask, "How can a clip show (which is shot on the cheap) not be a retrospective?" My only answer is this is Stargate SG 1 baby! These writers know how to take a convention and turn it on its ear. The show is hilarious, touching, original and takes ugly potshots at itself in the manner of "Wormhole Extreme" and "Window Of Opportunity" (the ground hog's day episode).

"Citizen Joe" stands on the writing (and of course the acting) alone and manages to be one of the best episodes of the season. All this from a clip show. Writers of American television, take note, THIS is what lies at the essence of storytelling: three dimensional characters and story driven conflict. In a story devoid of most of the flashy trappings that the networks BELIEVE attract viewers, I was glued to my seat fro 48 minutes (no commercials, you see).

So enjoy "Full Alert" (it opens with ten of the funniest minutes of Stargate - ever) but DO NOT MISS "Citizen Joe". And unless I miss my guess, we may have a new continuing character -