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December 22, 2014

4400

Ten unfinished sci fi/fantasy series ... and I'm dying for resolution

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 12th 2008 11:01AM
VSure Lost is a bona fide hit, but who remembers Invasion? In fact, none of the sci fi series premiering that year (Surface and Threshold) made it beyond a single season. And yet, as Brad reported, ABC is developing The Return, a series focusing on how the world handles an "alien landing." You know, like the classic V mini-series of the '80s. In fact, the last episode of V: The Series was called "The Return." Maybe this is a secret code name for the long teased V return!

But that announcement got me thinking about all those sci fi and fantasy shows that never finish on television. It's a phenomenon us long-time science fiction/fantasy fans have learned to live with. We jump on any new genre show on television hoping against hope that the ratings will be strong enough that we'll get the whole story. Alas, we know that more often than not the plug will be pulled mid-stream and we'll be left wanting. And for every Joss Whedon who continues Buffy and Angel in comics, there are tons more who don't.

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The 4400: Ghost in the Machine

by Jen Creer, posted Aug 27th 2007 7:40AM
shawn farrell(S04E11) Even though I thought this episode was more of a filler episode than anything else, it was still a solid episode with solid performances, particularly, once again from Joel Gretsch (Tom Baldwin). It also certainly laid the scene for a promising season finale (to come in two weeks, after the US Open). It was great to see more of Maia in this episode, though it is startling to see how grownup she is now. Last season, we had more Diana storylines, with her sister and then her romance with Ben. This season hasn't given her very much to do, but Jacqueline McKenzie maintains her role with stalwart integrity. We also get the distinct impression that her relationship with Ben is now dead in the water.

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The 4400: Daddy's Little Girl

by Jen Creer, posted Aug 13th 2007 12:28AM
kevin and tess(S04E09) Have you ever wondered what ability you might have if you took the shot? I think I would be curious enough to think about taking it, but chicken enough not to take it. Maybe if I didn't have kids. We saw some seriously cool abilities in this episode (some of which we have seen before), and some of them seemed pretty great. For instance, one of my favorite lines of the whole episode was when Tess said, "Not if I don't want them to," in reference to people remembering dancing in a diner. Wow, it would be pretty cool to be able to compel people to do what you want them to do.

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The 4400: Till We Have Built Jerusalem

by Jen Creer, posted Jul 30th 2007 1:43AM
diana skouris(S04E07) If you ask me, this season is what Season Three should have been. In Season Two, Maia had visions about a war, about something coming, and then Season Three was a fundamental disappointment. However, it seems that Season Four is going to deliver. Juicy Tidbit: The title of this episode comes from William Blake's poem "Jerusalem." See what you can do with your English degree?

" And did the Countenance Divine/Shine forth upon our clouded hills?/And was Jerusalem builded here/Among these dark Satanic mills?" Very nice tie-in to the episode. Poetic even.

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The 4400: Try the Pie

by Jen Creer, posted Jul 16th 2007 12:29AM
Shawn Ferrell(S04E05) (Author note: Sorry about the wrong title initially-- I was working quickly last night and trying to get ready for a six-day trip, and I missed that. I am sitting in the airport right now, correcting it. Thanks for the comments!) I was amazed by how quickly this episode moved things in the series forward. However, even saying that, I have mixed feelings about it. Taken by itself, all alone, the episode was simultaneously enjoyable to watch and also a little creepy. I was creeped out because a basic undergraduate education tells us that Utopias do not work. They just don't. They never have. Ultimately, they are not what people want.

Also, despite the fact that Utopias don't work, they are rather rampant lately, and I couldn't watch this episode without thinking about all of the other Utopian societies this episode conjured. The first one I thought of was Ayn Rand's secret society created by John Galt in Atlas Shrugged. The fact that all of the people in Evanston have abilities also made it very Rand-esque.

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The 4400: The Truth and Nothing but the Truth

by Jen Creer, posted Jul 9th 2007 1:16AM
april 4400(S04E04) I'm sorry I wasn't here to review last week's episode, but I was in a minivan driving to Indiana when the episode aired, and I didn't get to see it until today. But that episode and tonight's confirmed something for me: This season started out well and has continued so far. Even though two of my favorite characters weren't on this episode, I still thought this episode was strong.

Tonight's episode was a great blend of the comic and the serious. I was a little disappointed that they resolved the April storyline so quickly, though I am hopeful that maybe Natasha Gregson Wagner may become a more regular feature of the show. With her ability, they could practically build an entire show around her. They could call it The Closer. Oh, wait...

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What's On Tonight: 60 Minutes, The Loop, The 4400, Bridezillas

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 24th 2007 5:05PM
  • John From CincinnatiAt 7, CBS has a new 60 Minutes.
  • NBC has a new, two-hour Dateline at 7.
  • At 7:30, FOX has a new episode of The Loop (another new episode airs at 8:30 and the series finale airs at 9:30).
  • At 9, Disney has a new Hannah Montana.
  • Kelly Clarkson and Reba McEntire perform together on a new Crossroads, on CMT at 9.
  • HBO has a new John From Cincinnati at 9, then new episodes of Entourage and Flight of the Conchords.
  • USA has a new episode of The 4400 at 9, followed by a new Dead Zone.
  • At 10 there's a new Next Food Network Star on...well, you know.
  • Lifetime has a new Army Wives at 10.
  • Showtime has a new Meadowlands at 10.
  • Also at 10: WE has a new Bridezillas.
  • At 10:30, TCM has Martin and Lewis in At War With The Army.
  • At midnight, Cartoon Network has new eps of Saul of the Mole Men and Moral Orel.

Check your local TV listings for more.

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The 4400: Fifty Fifty (season finale)

by Jen Creer, posted Aug 28th 2006 10:42AM
4400 Season Finale(S03E13) Okay, that was a pretty cool season finale -- with one caveat. I hate it when TV shows (and movies for that matter) use plot devices simply for the purpose of setting things up for the next season (or movie). What if the series gets canceled? No closure. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

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The 4400: Let's get caught up for the finale, eh?

by Jen Creer, posted Aug 23rd 2006 11:06PM
The Cast of the 4400The 4400 has certainly evolved as a show. The first season was just cool because it introduced a new concept. But it kind of had that Star Trek Freak-of-the-Week thing going for it. The second season became more intense and started to further the plot. Unlike The Dead Zone, which I also review, there are few episodes of The 4400 that don't somehow have a point and drive the series toward the promised apocalypse. The third season has become darker, more sinister in ways, and more intense, like Lost.

Let's see what has happened since "Blink."

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The 4400: The Home Front

by Sarah Gilbert, posted Jul 17th 2006 1:14PM

4400 -- the switch(S03E07) After Dennis Ryland's several near-death experiences in the third season premiere, and the peaks we see into Isabelle's cooperation with him in this episode, I'll admit I was beginning to feel hopeless. Ryland seemed all-powerful, able to fend off any manner of 4400 attacks and unstoppably diabolical. The perfect enemy and doppelganger archfiend for Tom.

That feeling kept cropping up throughout the episode, sometimes dully thudding as an undercurrent, sometimes spiking into a painful crescendo. Tom and Alanna were spinning out of control. First she was accused of being a Nova Group member, then we learned she had betrayed Tom's trust (but we all knew she was doing good the whole time, right?). Then it seemed she was headed for several years behind bars ... and Tom and Diana, how would they live with themselves if they gave up Gary Navarro to Mr. Perfect Evil himself?

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The 4400: Graduation Day

by Sarah Gilbert, posted Jul 10th 2006 1:18PM

isabelle the avenging angel(S03E06) Last week there were arguments. I said the wrapup was too neat. Some of you said no, I just didn't get it -- there was complexity. Things might not be as they seemed. And I'm happy to ring the bell of correct-ness. Ding ding ding! az1324 called it: Matthew was sent back from the future to work for the "other side." Whatever the other side, is.

Indeed, much to my delight we're given ever more conundrums in The 4400. It does seem as if Isabelle has redressed her "angel of death" moniker, although she is causing quite a bit of murder and mayhem as she turns the gifts of the Nova Group members against them. Perhaps we should replace the "of death" in her title, in fact, with "avenging."

Add Alana -- who through her work with students in the 4400 school, finds the man who killed her first husband and son -- to the list of AA members. And when we're talking 4400, AA stands for Avenging Angel.

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The 4400: Gone, part II

by Sarah Gilbert, posted Jul 3rd 2006 3:15PM

the 4400 -- tom and 'sarah'(S03E05) As if the writers were pumping promicin themselves and reading the viewers' minds, Maia is neither gone nor forgotten in the second part of "Gone." And she comes back with explosive force, erupting into Tom and Alanna's fantasy worlds, radiating through Diana's frantic subconscious. I'm rapt as I watch Diana making a frightening collage of little girls' faces, as I see her sink into desperation when she learns that Maia has been sent back to the 1800s -- and died, at 25, only having left diaries behind as she expired on the Oregon Trail.

While I'm rapt by Tom and Diana emerging from the distinct wooden quality of the past several episodes, I'm thrown by the seemingly random details skittering about the edges of the plot. The 4400 we meet this week, an investment banker, can smell pheremones. It's a cool party trick and, you'd think, useful in the plot of a drama starring Alicia Silverstone. But it's a sideshow, just like the valiant efforts made (and subsequently erased) in the far past by the other children: synthetic fuel, colonies on the moon. Lovely, but ... why do these very interesting details feel as if they were picked out of a science fiction grab bag?

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The 4400: Gone (part one)

by Sarah Gilbert, posted Jun 26th 2006 12:48PM

maia and diana -- gone and forgotten?(S03E04) 'Gone' is an appropriate title for last night's episode. Gone is Lily, dead at the feet of her gorgeous and precocious (in sex, and in everything) daughter. Gone is Jordan Collier (even though he is tantalizingly alive according to last season's finale). Gone -- from the storyine line this season so far -- are Kyle and any number of tantalizing minor characters. Gone are Shawn's confidence, Matthew Ross' wisdom and principles, Diana's interestingness, Tom's keen relevance to the plot, all Diana's good dialogue.

And, at the end of the episode, gone is Maia, at least in the incarnation we know. Certainly, she'll be back, but not as Diana's daughter.Her absence creates a huge hole, most notably in Diana's deep connection to the 4400 through their close relationship.

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The 4400: The New World (season premiere)

by Sarah Gilbert, posted Jun 13th 2006 1:47PM

isabelle(S03E01/S03E02) I had so many questions in the weeks leading up to last night's third season premiere of The 4400. Two, however, were keenest: Jordan Collier is alive!?! And, Isabelle went from baby to young woman in the space of a minute? (and, did she do it on purpose? and, is she really evil?)

Surprisingly, we saw absolutely nothing of Jordan Collier (not even a hint, really). Instead, the episode was largely centered on Isabelle's instant aging which was, literally, sapping the lifeblood of her mother, and on the rise of a dark subset of the 4400 who were using their powers for a bloody fight against evil: evil, that is, as personified by the NTAC elite whose fear of those very powers led to so much illness and death at the end of season two.

Chief among their targets is E-vil himself, Dennis Ryland. When he proves to be indestructible (just how many times can one man escape death, anyway? Does he have special powers we don't know about yet?), the Nova Group announces their plans to show the world their true power, on October 19.

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Sneak peek at NBC's Heroes

by Annie Wu, posted Jun 12th 2006 8:33AM
HeroesNBC.com has a four-minute "First Look" of the upcoming drama, Heroes. The show revolves around the stories of multiple people around the world that suddenly realize they have special powers, ranging from teleportation to immediate tissue regeneration. If X-Men: The Last Stand didn't just come out and The 4400 wasn't about to kick off a new season, I'm sure the story would sound a lot more exciting. But, I'm a sucker for these kinds of stories and the preview looks decent... I'm probably going to tune in for at least the first two episodes.

Beware: There's a bit of shoulder-popping and gore in the preview.

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