Saturday, June 27, 2009

Virtuality on Hulu

The pilot of Virtuality is now on Hulu and on Fox On Demand.

Watch it! Virtuality was one of the best pilots I've seen in a while, written with deep intelligence and given depth with engaging characters. I found it gripping from the start all through the end. The characters are all interesting and mysterious -- you can see that there is more going on with them behind their eyes, in their inner lives.

Perfectly cast, a brilliant music score, and great direction from Peter Berg, the show was engaging all the way through.

So, check it out.


Budo said...

Seen it and loved it... I still can't get over Coster-Waldau and his thick accent, but I didn't mind him as much as in New Amsterdam... some of the sci-fi elements were hokey (the whole airlock sequence, for example), but overall it was rather enjoyable and intriguing. Unfortunatelly, the ratings were horrendous, so that would pretty much be it...

D said...

Does anyone know the name of the song they played when the pulse drive was initiated?

Brendan said...

Am I the only one who thought it was awful? The characters' struggles seemed obviously contrived just to get people to bicker at the dinner table to make it seem more like a Big Brother reality show. The only redeeming parts of the entire pilot were the first and last 2 minutes.

muldfeld said...

D, my closed captioning (because I had to use it to understand the dialogue) said it was by The Chemical Brothers, I think.

I enjoyed it much more upon second viewing. I think the dialogue and texture are actually even better than the Caprica pilot. The rape discussion was very well handled as were many other scenes. Some of the characters weren't dealt with, but that's kinda inevitable with such a short amount of time.

I think this would have been the best Fox show since The X-Files. Easily.

I really loved the criticism of corporatization of our culture into the most important decisions of society. It's already occurring. I just saw a documentary called "Food Inc." and what the meat industry gets away with in being able to sue people into silence when they haven't done anything wrong is frightening.

The only thing that bugged me was the soundtrack and the reality show thing, but I learned to accept it.

Still no BSG miniseries (which was the best pilot of anything ever), but it was really well acted.

D said...

muldfeld, you rock. I originally watched this on Hulu because I didn't want to go downstairs and watch it (that's the short version, it's not that I'm lazy) so I didn't have the CC. I just went and looked up that scene on the DVR and turned on the CC: the song is "Alive Alone" by The Chemical Brothers. Thank you SO MUCH!

D said...

BTW, Brendan, I liked the show. I don't think it was the best but if they made this into a series I'd come back and give it a few more episodes. I've felt the same about pretty much everything RDM does: the pilot isn't great but good enough to get me to come back for a little more. I was hooked after the first BSG episode.

Orodromeus said...

I agree with you muldfeld - Virtuality has the potential to be the best thing on Fox since the X-Files. And I liked the Virtuality pilot way better than the Caprica pilot.

This is a show that can work on so many levels -- psychological drama with 12 people forced to live and survive together, criticism on consumer culture/corporate dominionship/voyeurism, hard SF with realistic space travelling (finally!), cyberpunk, and with VR modules you can go anywhere...

Word of mouth! Use it!

kelly said...


muldfeld said...

No problem, D. I'm glad you found it!

Orodromeus, what I really liked was the texture. I loved how the 2nd in command huffed and did little things. Personally, I'd rather Ron Moore write for Caprica (because I'm more excited about that show's potential), but I thought that pilot wasn't as great as it could have been if, say, Michael Rymer did it. If you listen to the audio commentary, David Eick is rightly disappointed in the director for cutting down the shooting schedule on certain days to watch football. Still, I'm excited if "Virtuality" goes on. Michael Taylor deserves it. My fear is that even if "Virtuality" survived, it would constantly be under pressure from Fox, compared to the gutsy Sci Fi Channel.

If you liked The X-Files, you've gotta check out Millennium Season 1. As good as the best X-Files seasons. It was too bad that Fox dumbed it down in Seasons 2 and 3 by demanding it be made more like The X-Files and had Morgan and Wong ruin it. Even Chris Carter hasn't watched all the Season 2 episodes to this day!

Have you folks checked out Sci Fi Wire? They're all trying to prove how omniscient they are in pronouncing the show dead and hurting any possibility that the show could continue with their cocky commentary. Also, they love censoring my comments, when I tried to answer them back. The mods there are really intolerant.

Orodromeus said...

I guess they brought the Virtuality and Caprica directors from Saturday Night Lights, I haven't watched that show. Virtuality was more a plot-based story, the director did his job but not much more; I guess he could have used some more inspiration from Boyle's Sunshine. I'd like to see some BSG directors in Virtuallity/Caprica, like Rymer or Nankin or Alcala. But the plot was like a hard SF/Arthur C Clarke fan wet dream!

SciFiWire: Well, what would you expect from a competing channel's news service? Haha (?)

As for XF/MM: good thing you love MillenniuM, it's an often unknown gem! I don't think Morgan & Wong ruined it, season 2 was very different but great nevertheless. Speaking of virtual reality, Chris Carter had tried to launch the excellent Harsh Realm, but he had been faced with a similar lack of promotion on FOX's behalf, it only lasted 3 aired episodes. FYI, two sites:

muldfeld said...

Hey, Orodromeus, my problem with Sci Fi Wire is that they're very arrogant in their editorials. They even accused me of hating the site and then blocked any response that would have clarified my points. And they've never said that to many posters who complain about the site, while I've complimented it. That's what shocked me; my sense is that people like Mark Stern and other folks at Sci Fi wouldn't think like this and would even be interested in buying Virtuality if it didn't cost so much to make.

Good to hear a fellow Millennium fan who agrees on Season 2 being worse. When I was in high school, I actually thought Season 2 was better, but now I realize how melodramatic it was and how subtle Season 1 was with a completely different set of themes.

I also watched "Harsh Realm" and even the 9 episodes that were aired afterward on "Space". Although I think it was copying certain themes from The X-Files, especially the syropy relationship between the lead and his girlfriend, it was getting a lot better. I really liked the character Pinochio. Too bad it was cancelled by a slimy Fox network.

Come to think of it, we were so lucky we even got something as challenging as Millennium Season 1!

You know, the soundtrack for Millennium (limited to 2000 units) is for sale on and not anywhere else.

bombsonengland said...

I personally thought it was a little on the weak side. For a RDM piece, it had a shocking lack of tension. With most of his stuff, you can cut it with a knife. In Virtuality, I feel like there was maybe 5 minutes of tension in the whole 2 hours.

I hate to say it, but I feel like it is no great loss that Virtuality is going to get the axe. With any luck, it will prompt RDM to spend more time with Caprica, which I thought was significantly better.

Justin Van Alstyne said...

Agree @bombs, this show was poorly written and I never found myself interested in any of the characters. No resolution, no explanation, just all teasers with nothing to make me feel a sense of completion or investment in the show. Obviously not the worst thing I've ever seen, but I certainly wouldn't watch it again.

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