12 Monkeys premiered and I watched it

monkeys312 Monkeys recently premiered on the Sci-Fi channel and it looked pretty good to me, but is missing something, in my opinion.  It’s essentially a retelling of the Terry Gilliam movie in television form, a move that other television shows have done, so that must be the in-thing now.  Of course, the creators of 12 Monkeys the television show invite comparisons by doing that.  I guess it’s an instant ratings boost, at least for a while, so this whole thing could push the show toward success or sink it like a bottomless boat.

monkeys2Director Terry Gilliams movie is pretty darn good.  I like 12 Monkeys, from 1995, but the television show has a lot of differences from the movie.  This is a good decision, because the movie is surreal, funny, abstract, and has an awesome score.  The pilot episode of doesn’t have any of those things.  What it doesn’t have in surreal realism, it makes up for in drama and tension.

monkeys1The series stars Aaron Stanford, the guy I remember as Pyro from the X-Men movies.  He carries the show and delivers as a crazy guy as best he can.  It’s pretty much the same performance as Bruce Willis, except without Brad Pitt to help him out.  Stanford has the gorgeous Amanda Schull to help him out instead and she’ll do fine, thank you.  She reminded me of Amy Adams for some reason.

monkeys4As for the episode itself, it was not surprising.  It involved time travel, a virus, a twist ending, and Cole uncovered the Army of the 12 Monkeys.  I like it though, despite its predictable plot.  I like that it had style, and kept things simple.  Nobody rattled on and on about time travel and nobody was the de facto exposition character.  We’re just thrown into it.  It works.

All in all, I think I’ll give this show a chance.  It has way better acting than I thought, but the Friday night timeslot is a bad place for this show.  There is a well-known rumor that Friday night shows are doomed to fail.  There are some exceptions hwoever, like The X-Files, but even that show was moved to Sundays.  The show also needs a little more advertising and some buzz, but hopefully they’ll get all that if the show is good.