Friday, October 07, 2005

Night Stinker

To: Frank Spotnitz, producer

Mr. Spotnitz:

Saw the second episode of your Night Stalker revival show... I missed the pilot, but did want to at least sample the show. I hate to add to the reams of mail you've gotten denouncing the show - but after seeing "The Five People You Meet In Hell", I have no other choice.

First of all - if you want to make an "X-Files" of your own, why didn't you just pay Chris Carter a fee and come up with a differently titled show? What I saw wasn't even in the spirit of "Night Stalker" - it was literally cobbled together from X-FILES leavings, from concept to scripted lines. If a blind person were listening to the show, they'd think they'd stumbled onto a syndicated rerun. For all the hype this past summer about 'reimaging' NIGHT STALKER, I would have hoped for something better than a show that blatantly uses concepts and character motivations from X-FILES, combined with the dark sensibility of MILLENNIUM, only to emerge as something much lesser than all those shows combined.

The maddening thing is, there appears to be a lot of talent involved (the sight of Darin Morgan's name as a Consulting Producer was welcome), and a lot of effort put into the show.... but the damn thing is BORING. There's no reason to care about these characters - at least no good reason given. And there's no good reason for this show being called NIGHT STALKER other than trying to grab an audience due to name recognition. Perhaps if it had been developed as something to stand on its own feet instead of being propped up by name branding and outright "homaging" of another show.

The one good thing to come of it is that it allowed the release of the original series with Darren McGavin onto DVD format, for the fans of the original series to enjoy and for newer audiences to discover.

I hope that the show lasts long enough to develop its own voice - hopefully one of Darin Morgan's scripts will be brillant enough to cut through the dross of this NIGHT STINKER. Maybe by then, I'll be interested in watching the show on a regular basis. But somehow, I doubt that day will come.

ADDENDUM - 10/10/05

I actually got a response to this as follows:

thank you for your letter i will certainly pass this along to mr. spotnitz. it's such a shame that judgement has been passed based on one episode. sad really. luckily we have been blessed with thousands of letters of support from people who love the show. maybe you'll change your mind at some later point. thanks again for writing.

night stalker staff

Kinda snarky, but only fair, since my mail was kinda snarky also - at least they're polite. And they are answering mail.

1 comment:

Ebonsun said...

Kudo's to them for responding, in non form-letterish prose even.

Snarky or not, I formed my opinion of the show having only seen the second episode as well. Would have been a great 4th season X-Files episode with that hint of revealing Mulder is secretly in love with Skully stuff.

But as a second episode, asking us to believe (or care) that charmless Townsend is in love with his coworker...? Erm... have they never heard of a "developing" story arc?

It was decently made and all that, but really all that episode did for me was make me miss Duchovny. That's it.

Now THAT guy was fun to watch. I actualy wanted to BE Mulder becuase of him.

Townsend... I'm simply glad I'm not him. Smug, brooding, as witty as a wet clam.

Anyway... thanks for sharing your correspondence.