Space Ramblings

Joseph Michael Straczynski’s Jeremiah

Okay so I sat through the pilot for Joseph Michael Straczynski’s Jeremiah. Or at least I tried to. I couldn’t manage it past the point where the crazy black girl began dancing around like mad while Jeremiah and Malcolm Jamal Warner or Crudy or whatever stupid name he was called, bonded. I expected different things from this. I expected it to be tedious and pompous, the way Babylon 5 was. I expected grandiloquent speeches and cheesy makeup. What I didn’t expect was that the whole thing would prove to be a lame B-Movie.

We do begin with a grandiloquent speechprophecy aimed at Jeremiah. A prophecy full of words that laughably fall flat. It’s only the beginning of a vast tin eared collection of dialogue that fills Jeremiah. The dialogue is rarely grandiloquent. It’s mostly stupid.

In a way the setting of Babylon 5 and the scope of a space opera enabled viewers to overlook the cheesy mismanagement of the characters and the lame scenes that passed for comedy or character development. Consider the motorcycle or the Bugs Bunny picture or Dr. Franklin’s addiction or the alien ultimate fighting match. Also Babylon 5 was generally stacked with good actors. Jeremiah was most decidedly not. Toupee guy from Beverly Hills 90210 (Dylan?) I honestly don’t even care about looking up the names– gets by as simply mediocre. Malcolm Jamal Warner is completely out of place. The low point has him explaining that his name is Crudy and how his name was made fun in a bit that runs for like 10 awful seconds “Nerdy Crudy” “Stupid Crudy” and it just never seems to end.

It can be hard to do a credible post-apocalyptic series without stumbling into well worn B-Movie territory. Jeremiah isn’t simply bad. It dives right into being a bad B-Movie. The costumes, the overacting, the sets– all scream it. The pointless nudity. The premise. Jeremiah gives nothing to really distinguish it from a B Movie and that’s because there isn’t anything. Not one thing.

It doesn’t entirely sink in until you meet black girl who somehow rules a town by being a complete crazy person. Her name may be Tovah or Tonah or Toner. I have no idea and couldn’t care less. She doesn’t simply overact. She has spastic fits. She dances around shaking like a crackhead. And then I simply decided to go do something else.

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