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Thursday, May 8, 2014

From Dusk Till Dawn, The Series

From Dusk Till Dawn The Series | Intrigued me early on, hooked me to a few characters, like Zane Holts' version of Ritchie Gecko and of course Don Johnson's Earl Mcgraw. However, a good portion of the story has become so ridiculous I wonder if Rodriguez truly wrote this recently and not when he was five years old. The dialogue is so atrocious I am starting to wonder if El Rey Network is using subliminal messaging to keep me coming back. Don't get me wrong, the concept and idea for this series is there and is extremely interesting; however has come together in a fashion that is absolutely childish and immature. 

I too wanted a more elaborate explanation of the Aztec Ziggurat, which kept irking Rodriguez to create this series. It was one of the coolest surprises at the end of the 1996 film. However, horrific performances by Jake Busey (among others); D.J. Cotrona unable to add a fresh approach to his role (instead) poorly attempting to channel a George Clooney impersonation has nearly started to upset my stomach. At this point, if the show is still maintaining an audience, Rodriguez should start merchandising D.J. Cotrona bobble-heads from the oft misinterpreted, overacted and poorly copied Clooney mannerisms.

The series does have sparks of imaginative and creative freshness but is peppered with stupid moments that burn away any good creativity; like reprising the stupid penis gun (Cock Cannon) that seems to appear in all of Rodriguez' films (which is idiotic and no one really cares). Seeing Jake Busey in a character that was interesting (originally) to watch Tom Savini play, now watching Busey thrusting that stupid gun, is just painful.

The vampire concept...The weird (yet awesome) and interesting version created in the film has pretty much been ignored and thrown away here in the series. These can walk in the sunlight and are not really vampires anymore, they're Were-Cobras...The term vampire shouldn't apply anymore...Some of the episode prologues are great and attempt to give interesting background on these "vampires" but what comes after is a mish-mash of failing upward story telling that is a 'greatness-steak' wrapped in 'putrefying bacon' - You may think its great at first...but then you start taking bites.

I had high hopes for this series. I normally love Rodriguez' work and I love the original film. I'm at a total loss for what is being delivered to the small screen. I can easily guess because El Rey is his network, he can do whatever he wants and continue to make these episodes until the inevitable, realizing the series needs to go, an overhaul or simply runs out of money. I like old school flicks and El Rey has a ton of them to boot, for this general reason I like the network. It's an interesting collection of old school, cult classics, Kung Fu movies and guilty pleasure films for guys (Did I just describe Netflix?) This series is Rodriguez' flag ship and perhaps he needs to understand that he is too close to the series. If he can make it out of this season without to much flack I'd suggest (quite possibly many of you the same) bringing on new writers that can carry the show into new territory and better flesh out and expand existing characters. Rodriguez may need to step out of the writers chair and remain comfortably in the Directors seat while wearing a producers hat, writing notes on a network executives notepad.

I'm still quite curious about other characters, the awkward direction this whole series is taking, making the ranger some sort of anti-were-cobra savior (i'm not calling them vampires anymore...) While I may still watch the series to its first seasons completion, i'm not expecting any real vindicating episodes or scenes to cause me to rethink my position. I'm simply a purist that prefers a complete view. If this past episode is any indication of what is to come, I weep for Rodriguez' bygone creative ability and wonder where the hell it went. A sword fighting scene against a fireman's axe...really? Is this what it boils down to? I imagine El Rey Network has marketing people that do research and demographics. Somewhere in those offices someone said in cliche fashion, in some random conference room with awkward hopeful smiles, praying whoever is sitting in the bosses chair likes their idea - "We'll use swords! We haven't used them at all for this entire season...but we will now! We'll introduce Carlos as a Conquistador and showcase his sword in that shot." BAM! The sword is in the episode, add an old school stand off with really bad stage combat training and there you have it...

Am I close? Someone (if not many) agreed that this scene was going to be a great one, or would set the stage...Just as much as someone agreed that the cock cannon + Jake Busey thrusts was cool...

Perhaps there are people (I imagine there would) that love this series as it is and to each his own. I'm genuinely hoping there might be some semblance of hope for the show. Because I do like Rodriguez and I want him to succeed, so he can get back to making really good movies.

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