Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Second star to the right and straight on til zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

I tried with this one guys, I really did. Although I'm not sure why; SyFy's previous miniseries events (Alice, Tin Man) impressed me so little with their promos that I didn't even bother watching them. Maybe it's because we're in the winter hiatus or because I needed something to write about here on the blog, but I gave Neverland a shot. And I sat through the whole thing so you can't say I didn't try.

I did not like it.

It wasn't all bad; I'd say as a whole the performances were enjoyable and it was nice to see Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill, HP: The Deathly Hallows) playing something other than a weird crazy dude. He was quite swashbuckling in this and more than a little scary. And I thought the best thing about the entire show was the kid who played Peter. He was adorable (and is going to be a real looker in a couple years) and practically oozes chemistry. I'm also kind of a sucker for Anna Friel (Chuck in Pushing Daisies) who was rocking an awesome version of her native British accent.

Seriously, this kid is totes cute.

But that's kind of where the good stuff ends for me. I think the biggest problem with the show was just that I found it boring. That's not to say that nothing happened, in fact, I think you could argue that too much happened--the plot was stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey. But Neverland is an origin story. And in almost all cases origin stories bore me. You know how everyone lost their minds when The Dark Knight came out and was agog over the origins of Batman? I thought that movie was ok, but nothing special.

I don't really care why the pirates, Indians (ahem, NATIVE AMERICANS), lost boys, and others ended up in Neverland. The cool thing about Neverland is that it was full of all this random shit for no real reason. Of COURSE there were a bunch of pirates there. It's all about the wonder of childhood and imagination and if you are a young boy pirates and Indians and hot fairies are way up there on the cool list.  I don't need to spend 4 hours learning all about the WHY of how these characters got there. In fact, the last 10 minutes or the show were the most interesting to me. At that point the characters had become the ones we know from Peter Pan and things were just about to kick into gear with the story and then... BAM. Show over. Dammit.

Another big problem I had with the production was the over-use of green screen background effects. I imagine it's cheaper to shoot on a soundstage with a couple of live props and then green screen in the rest of Neverland. But to me it's blatantly obvious green screen. I know it's television and I don't expect Avatar level special effects, but save it for a few shots and try to ground the show more in reality, you know? It looks flat and fake and makes it hard for me to get into the show. This is a chronic problem with SyFy miniseries and I hate to say it but it's something I can't really get over. It's just one of my pet peeves I suppose.

Another thing that distracted me was Rhys Ifans enormous head. I know he is like 7 feet tall, but DEAR GOD his noggin is huge.
I'm willing to bet if I was a kid I would have really dug Neverland. But as an just didn't do it for me. Now if they made a sequel with Peter, Wendy, et al I could really get into that. If you didn't tune in to Neverland when it aired, I suggest skipping your visit. For a show filled to the brim with fantasy, it didn't seem very magical to me.

No comments: