Thoughts on Dark Angel
I’m not sure what grabbed ahold of me recently but I had an urge and had to make it happen. The show had been on Netflix at one point but I can’t remember much of it and I don’t even remember if I had seen all the episodes when it was available. You would think that this would tell me that I shouldn’t watch it again, since it wasn’t memorable enough. Maybe it didn’t leave a strong enough impression to make it worth my time. Of course, when you look at it from this angle, it would seem that maybe it is worth revisiting the series to see if maybe something has changed in my perception and maybe I missed something within the show.
And I bet you are wondering right now what the hell I am talking about…
Yeah, I didn’t really approach this from an angle that sets you up for where I am going with it. And I am still ignoring the most pressing question at hand. But I dare say that there is something here that has bothered me and I am going to get to a point before we know it. See for the past week I have had an issue with the word angel. I keep switching where I put the l. So when I write out the words Dark Angel, I always end up having to switch the final two letters around. Cause Dark Angle means absolutely nothing. Or something…
Anyway, so here it all goes. What I am working up to right now is a show that came out at the turn of the century (2000-2002) called Dark Angel. Created by James Cameron and starring Jessica Alba. My mind keeps pushing this to back in the 90s but that is probably just me thinking it is super old and so everything must have happened before the turn of the century. But I digress.
If you are unfamiliar with the show, the idea is pretty simple. A group of kids were experimented on by the government and turned into super soldiers, they escaped and are trying to live their lives as normal people now that they are all grown up. The story itself focuses on Max Guevara (Jessica Alba) and her life as a courier by day and a thief by night. Keep in mind that this all takes place after a electromagnetic pulse wiped out technology and we are now living in a post apocalyptic world. The whole thing takes place in Seattle and technology is actually about late 90s to early 00s level, though the story itself is taking place around 2020.
And yes the whole aspect of technology is weird in the story. They use the idea of the reset as a story element to explain why they are still using pagers and crappy cell phones and computers aren’t all that sophisticated. Seems cheap but from the stand point of creating new props, they actually made things easier on themselves.
Which brings us to another point that I find interesting in the show. Because of how the whole thing is set up, they are pretty much able to show shots of the streets and the people interacting through normal life and it works with the story. When they need to focus on odd things they don’t have to do quite as much to make those odd things work.
This is also another aspect of the show that I really like. The street scenes show that the world is inhabited by more than just the characters within the story. There are people around them living their lives. These people are not living in a vacuum. This makes it stand out even more when they show the police check points and other moments when law enforcement comes into play. Because the life changing moment also brought about a fascist style of governance to overcome the post apocalyptic change in the world.
Of course, there are moments within the story that don’t translate well into the world we live in now. By that I mean, some of the special effects are pretty horrible by today’s standards. Granted I love the aspect of the super soldier aspect of Alba’s character. This is a logical explanation for a number of superhuman fetes she displays. But there is a failing. Certain aspects of the fight scenes tend to look staged and choppy. There are moments when it is pretty obvious they are using wires to swing the characters into maneuvers and positions that no human could possibly accomplish. It kicks you out of the moment a little but for the most part these instances play a minor role in the story as a whole.
And this is because they strength and combat readiness of the characters tends to only be a minor part of the whole story. More often than not the stories revolve around the characters and their everyday lives. It is a decent mix of life in the post-apocalyptic world and the strange happenings that make their lives so much more than ordinary.
It kinda makes you wonder, when the walls come down, are we still going to be looking for a date? Or is that just a problem for a more civilized society?
If you enjoy these stories, consider leaving some coffee money in the jar or you could buy a book or two. Either way helps keep the stories flowing.