Friday, November 17, 2006

DAY BREAK: decisions... consequences...

Just watched the pilot of DAY BREAK, the new bit of prime time fantastical fiction looking to benefit from a bait-n-switch with Wednesday's LOST.

Taye Diggs's GROUNDHOG DAY. Or 24, but inside-out. Or maybe more like MEMENTO, flipped on its head.

However you want to boil it down, so far, I LIKE it =)

Diggs has always impressed me on screen, and is probably most memorable for me in GO and EQUINOX. I'm glad to see that he's more gritty than pretty boy in this as officer Hopper. Good to see The Man They Call Jane getting some work now. Mitch MODELS INC (okay, "Skinner") Pileggi, too. Even if he does have to start out as a jerkass. Nurse Rita really started out as quite expendable in my eyes, but she's growing on me. I like the change-ups from daybreak to daybreak in pace and tone.

Daybreak 3 had some pretty solid standalone film-worthy action and drama in it, and for some reason reminded me of the more cloak-and-daggery MILLENIUM episodes. Strange association, but if you watched any of MILLENIUM, you might know what I mean. Conspiracy theories tinted with a bit of the supernatural, y'know? And some cool and smart tactics and gunplay.

I'm a sucker for the guy in the middle of the road with a pistol facing down a pursuing car of gunmen.

In spite of TANGO AND CASH. Heh.

And stakeout time in daybreak 4 let Hopper slip up and admit that their first date was actually a stakeout. Surprisingly acceptable mushy relationship development.

The first couple of times the OBVIOUS unwitting meta-dialogue came up, I winced. But after the first hour I could roll with it. It's exactly what the show is about. The writers would have to work hard to avoid everyday phrases, or the occasional intentional dramatic turn, that also work as GROUNDHOG DAY-type double entendres, y'know?

Innocent, well, innocent-ish, phrases you hear everyday become ways for fate to instruct Hopper on the rules of this rerun game, and for the show to clue in the viewer as well.

"Sorry, we're going to have to try it again..."

"Anyone's capable of anything..."

"For every decision, there's a consequence..."

"What if I pull the wrong block?" "Then we start the game over..."

"You believe in second chances...?"

"This day is over... You gotta worry about tomorrow..."

It'll be fun to hear the same line delivered by every character in different daybreaks, donchathink?

I wonder if we'll get 5 minutes of a daybreak where Diggs is just Sick Of It All and goes around knocking everyone out or even off. =)

I like the extra long pause on crazy guy. We see him in the first daybreak at the station when Hopper's being booked. Then, in the second daybreak, Hopper's already booked and gets his phone call. He gets to the phone and we get to see crazy guy nearby, apparently staring right at him. I so want to believe he's not some kind of red herring. =)

That this guy is swept up in the same replay somehow. Or has been reliving the day for longer than Hopper and has noticed that Hopper has done something or shown up somewhere that he never has in HIS previous daybreaks.

That's like a bit of one of my favoritest X-FILES ever. It's a GROUNDHOG DAY scenario involving a desperate bank robber (played by the kid from NORTHERN EXPOSURE), and his girlfriend, who is apparently doomed to live it over and over again. Only on the nth time around, for some odd reason, she notices that Mulder shows up when/where he's never shown before, acts and reacts differently to events around him. It's SUCH a genius idea and brilliant writing, cuz the "odd reason" turns out to be a leak in his waterbed. A waterbed that was purchased and moved into his apartment by Michael McKean's Maverick Area 51 type guy when he switched minds/bodies with Mulder in a localized alternate timeline. It is an awesome episode for Mulder character development and reflection. =)

It's hard to describe without basically retelling the whole story. If you've seen it, you'll remember it. If you want to know more about it, leave me a comment and I'll try to piece it together better in an next entry.

Interesting, altho potentially damn unfair, rule—having anything that happens to Hopper's physical body (at least, any damage, for certain) in one daybreak be carried into the next (and every one after that?). I mean, there's that classic bit of joke dialogue, "One day you're gonna wake up and find yourself dead!" Well, with this rule in effect, that could basically actually happen to our man Hopper.

Of course, he could also use it to his advantage. Maybe get a tattoo with a message or image that he could use to convince his nurse, partner, nurse's ex, or pursuing detectives, that his situation is very unusual, help convince them to help hiim figure his daybreaks out without having to spend hours explaining and winning them over. I mean, tattoos of the detective's names—Spivak and Choi—wouldn't seeing their names on Hopper clue them in that there's more going on than they know?

The bullet was removed, but the wound remained. If it hadn't been removed, would it have appeared in the wound the next day? If the daybreak restart ejects foreign objects from his body, that might include ink. Bleah.

Still, a tattoo without ink would leave the punctures and scars, right?

If foreign objects aren't rejected, he could *ick* y'know, swallow stuff. Important keys, maybe?

Boy, wouldn't it be great and harsh if they pulled a BSG and fast forwarded a year of daybreaks? Hopper maybe grows a beard. Or spends four months of relived time just working out at a gym. Or taking Muay Thai or Taekwondo.

Cosmetic surgery and get a new face? Change his fingerprints?

Allright, enough crazy talk. I ended up dropping THE NINE after three episodes, but I'm gonna keep DAYBREAK. So far it's been two TV hours of fun.

Keep on keepin on~

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