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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Horror > TV > Surface – The Complete Series

Surface – The Complete Series

 

Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: C     Episodes: C+

 

 

How many times will producers (and NBC/Universal in particular) keep trying to revisit Spielberg’s Jaws (1975) without saying so?  The latest attempt is Surface, a 2005 series that was intended as the next hoped-for hit, but did not even last as long as SeaQuest DSV (reviewed elsewhere on this site) did, which failed despite being backed by the actual Steven Spielberg.  This one also has new lifeforms in a new race of creature that could be dangerous and that the government is trying to keep the lid on.

 

The twist here is that it is so oddball and the cast and makers think they are making a seriously scary Sci-Fi/Horror show when they have made a campy, silly, bad mess, it is one of those shows sooooo bad that it is a hoot to watch.  In between ripping off every great film in both genres shamelessly, twin brothers Jonas & Josh Pate have created a mosaic of what they love about such productions and pieced together a pastiche so unoriginal that it is jaw-dropping.  When it becomes digital of digital, particularly when the cast reacts like they are scared (very obviously reacting to nothing), it is a throwback to bad 1980s films and TV where the screams were at more entertaining latex!

 

So yes, the show is bad and with so much better product on the market in both genres, not worth going out of your way for.  However, if you need a good laugh, like old B-movies and want to see all the mistakes you can make across 15 episodes before getting cancelled, then check out Surface.  I hope The Pate Brothers get to do another project, because they are a riot and that is much better than most of their talentless contemporaries.

 

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is surprisingly weak, with detail issues, poor Video Black and a dull look too typical of bad, boring, flat genre productions we see too often on TV.  Add the digital degradation for effects and “atmospheric” adjustments, then you have seen this all before, even if you have never seen a frame of this show.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is unimaginative, typically dull and not very involving.  The music is forgettable.  Extras include deleted scenes that make no difference and a making of featurette with the startling revelation that at least some of this seems to have been shot on film.

 

 

-   Nicholas Sheffo


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