Posted by: Graeme McMillan on October 20, 2007
After finishing THE SWORD #1, there was something about it that I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. At first, I thought that it was something to do with the general feeling of unease I get from the Luna brothers for reasons, I admit, that I can’t really explain (It’s got something to do with the “girls are weird other” vibe that I got from Girls, I think, but I couldn’t tell you what, exactly); it definitely wasn’t that the book had particularly impressed me or disappointed me more than I’d expected, because there was nothing about this that was anything more than Eh. But, still, there was something that made the book stick in my head.
And then, out of nowhere, while I was making my disappointing Trader Joe’s feta-cheese-and-onion-somekindofpastries snack for lunch, it came to me.
The Sword is a NBC drama.
I’m not sure why I’m so convinced that it’d be an NBC show in particular – It shares the same sense of familiarity and lack of ambition that something like The Bionic Woman does (or even Heroes, for that matter, as much as I enjoy it), true, but there’s something more to it that that. You can almost imagine the deep voiceover in the trailer: “What would you do… If you lost everything… But had the chance for revenge? The Sword, Mondays at 8pm on NBC this fall.” But there is something uniquely television-budget about that way that it quickly (and somewhat carelessly) sets up a family/domestic dynamic that lacks warmth or individuality but projects enough familiarity for you to buy into it, before introducing a vague and mysterious threat who not only shake up, but destroy, the status quo and give both cheap emotional motivation to the protagonist and an out to lazy writers who didn’t want to deal with the ties that would come with having the protagonist’s family sticking around.
It’s all done well enough, and fast enough, to keep your attention, but there’s no heart there, nothing to really care about or engage your brain. It’s something that you’d watch – or read – if there’s nothing else to do and it’s available, but as something for people to pay $2.99 for? I can’t see the attraction.