One of the ideas I liked best about the first Terminator movie is that Sarah Connor was up against the inevitable, yet she fought anyway. We feared the seemingly unstoppable machine would find her and kill her, and even if she didn’t die, her world would be destroyed in a nuclear conflagration and her son would lead humanity in a brutal and likely futile struggle to overthrow the machines. That’s nihilism. But that doesn’t work for TV.
So, in the new series, the writers threw out the past. They brought allies for Sarah and John back in time to stand with them. They jumped the principals ahead seven years to cover the unfortunate cancer death of Sarah prior to T3. They gave the heroes better odds.
And unfortunately, by ridding themselves of the sense of impending doom that permeated the first two movies (must admit to never seeing the third) they’ve left themselves with a TV show that just doesn’t feel right. There is plenty of action, but even when the butt-kicking isn’t being dished out by the unnaturally cool Cameron (Summer Glau), it seems lifeless. If Sarah Connor now has time to cook pancakes and insist on eating meals at the table, I’m just not as interested. No matter what “Terminator of the Week” shows up, they’ll deal with it. And John will still have time to do his homework before bed.