‘Tis the TV Season: Marcia, Mars and Miniseries

Six reasons why this season kicks all available kinds of ass.

By Sarah Kuhn
October 21, 2004

Going in, an inevitable cloud of melancholy hung over the 2004 fall TV season. No Buffy, no Angel, no Whedon love, period. No Alias ’til ’05. Wonderfalls was cancelled, The Simpsons kind of sucks now and that adorable Jake 2.0 is stuck on something called Medical Investigation.

So how is it that this season is, you know…awesome? Let’s take a look…

The Resurrection of Marcia Cross: Has there ever been a greater small screen crazy than Cross’ scar-headed, multiple personality-ed Kimberly on Melrose Place? In Desperate Housewives, the divine Ms. Cross returns as Bree, the tightly-wound Martha Stewart-esque control freak of the bunch, and the role fits like a perfectly-pressed sweater set. And DH is lovely and addictive, a spectacularly sudsy series that had me from the first minute. Who would have thought I’d find Teri Hatcher so likeable after all those Radio Shack commercials?

Erica Durance on Smallville: Casting an iconic character is always a dicey proposition. How do you find an actor who’s going to embody all the key qualities, satisfy persnickety fans and be unique enough that he or she makes said icon feel shiny and new? I sure as hell don’t know, but I hope that the Smallville powers-that-be hold onto their Lois Lane with all their producerly might. Durance’s Lois is tough, snappy and has great bangs. Clark’s chemistry with Lex Luthor is still #1, but his rapport with Lois feels unforced and believable and not like something that’s being crammed down our collective throat. Plus, she and Cousin Chloe are cute together. Did I mention the bangs?

The Farscape Miniseries: This is the ending I was waiting for: note perfect, beautifully-filmed and bursting at the seams with delicious plot. I cried at least three times in the last hour. If there’s any doubt in your mind that Aeryn Sun (Claudia Black) is one of television’s toughest cookies, check out the scene where she shoots at the bad guys with one hand and totes her baby son in the other…five minutes after GIVING BIRTH.

Getting Lost: I don’t think I can say much about this gorgeously-filmed blockbuster hit that hasn’t been said already. Y’all probably know by now that it’s sweeping and cool and stuffed with genre vets like Terry O’Quinn, Dominic Monaghan and Daniel Dae Kim. And that it juggles its huge cast of characters effortlessly. And that Tess from Roswell is soooo much better here than she was on that show. And that I want more and hate that I can only have one hour each week.

The Ongoing Mystery of Veronica Mars: Dude! What’s up with Veronica’s mom? Who killed her best friend? How is Kyle Secor old enough to play someone’s dad? This show is wonderful and twisty and gets better every week. I know some have cowered in fear at the sudden appearance of Paula “Show Killer” Marshall, but we can only hope that this is the series that breaks her streak. Be strong, my fellow Marsheads.

Arrested Development Wins the Emmy!: Please say this means that this sublime sitcom won’t get junked by Fox. And please find a way to use Judy Greer again.