TV REVIEW: The Dresden Files
Sci-Fi Channel Sundays at 9PM
Sci-Fi Executives: "That Supernatural show on CW is doing pretty well. Maybe we need our own supernatural detective show."
Yes man: "Excellent idea sir, I'll start throwing one together!"
And thus the new Sci-fi channel original series, The Dresden Files, begins. Much like almost everything Sci-Fi does this thing stinks like a big Z-grade turd. Here's the premise: Supernatural Detective/wizard investigates and battles dark and powerful forces with the help of his ghostly dead wizard friend that lives inside a skull and pops out occasionally for comedic relief. He also gets a little help from a friend that's a local detective on the police force. The Dresden Files just feels like a knock off of something much better which is why I'm going to make some comparisons to other shows here.
Harry Dresden is a wizard and a detective. The premiere episode finds him trying to help a kid with monsters in his closet. To boot the kid is also followed by crows and ravens everywhere he goes. Still with me? Ok good. So Dresden gets embroiled in this plot to steal this kid because he has powers and along the way we find out that Dresden was in much the same position as a child. Dresden found out at an early age that he had powers and apparently he too had things after him for that power. But back to the kid in this episode. The kid is being stalked by a skin walker that can take the skin from others and wear it to impersonate them. However Ol' Dresden doesn't realize this really until after the kid is kidnapped by a clan of Raven people that can fly and dress like bad goth music fans from the 80's.
When the episode finally gets to its conclusion you'll either be asleep or have shut the TV off by now. The Dresden Files is a mediocre and typical Sci-Fi channel show that really is nothing new. The characters are one dimensional and the subject matter really just comes across as corny. They've taken the idea of a show like Supernatural on the CW and pushed it into the b-grade campy world of something like Buffy. However it doesn't even succeed on that level because the show, the characters and concepts are played so straight that the show had a couple unintentionally funny moments.
I compare the show to Supernatural because it feels kinda like they watched that show and decided to take a more adult approach to it with older characters, much more magic and demonic silliness, and a serious tone. It just falls flat on its face. The reason a show like Supernatural works is because the stories don't insult the viewers intelligence and the characters are very well written and acted, so much so that its hard not to identify with at least one of them. The show also balances the seriousness of the concept well with the comedic relief of the brothers interactions. The shows never get too weighed down by the subject matter whereas the Dresden Files practically comes to a screeching halt because of it. The Dresden Files by comparison is just a poor imitator that just doesn't get it.
1 out of 5 Bloody Axes