Millenium is a show that is a lot like Carnival, and Twin Peaks. It was something diffrent, interesting, and it had the potential to really go somewhere and shake up the hum drum world that most TV shows serve only to propigate. However, like both Carnival and Twin Peaks tiny flaws within the show ate away at its core leaving the creative team with a sort of "now what the hell do we do situations" which they can never live up to.
Twin Peaks couldn't keep up with the increadbly complex imagry Lynch left them with, Canrival degenerated into "freak of the week" story telling as it switched into hyper gear so that it could tell as much of itself before the producers pulled the plug, and Millenium tipped way to much of its hand to soon.
Millenium was done by the same guy who did the X-Files. He wanted the X-Files only darker which is something he got in SPADES. Darkest shit ever. The thing is though is that when he made the X-files he made a deal. No aliens until the third season. He pulled a jaws approche to the show where we never see the shark until the end of the movie. To be sure the aliens were more than hinted at, but not hide nor hair of them were seen until the third season.
Had he done something similar with Millenium things may of been diffrent. Instead the first season featured a brilliantly, multilayered show that had all sorts of mysteries begging to be revealed. There was debate as to if Frank's powers were real, what the fuck Lucy Butler was, what were the group's true goals, et cetera. The second season stepped in and more or less revealed all. Of the three I'll admit my favorite is the second season. It features one of my favorite all time tv episodes which shares the title of this blog post.
The demon in the first season, Lucy, showed up once for a two part episode and she was scary as fucking hell. The demons in the second season were far less scary, threatening, or unknowable. More than once Frank was confronted directly by the dead with demands to cease all work with the group and to just sit out the end of the world. He confronts Laura again, and even stares evil down in the face. Its cool stuff. But the show scoops up so much momentum that when we get to the start of the next season we are all wondering what could possibly be next? The answer? Nothing. The show goes back to the "serial killer of the week" formula from the first season and the millenium group is abandoned to the background.
With daring and a less stupid conclusion to the second season the show could of easily of kept going. It could of been fucking increadble, but they faltered and failed. The second season remains though as an increadble testiment to what good TV could be all about. It was wild with the way it told stories, freely throwing around the demonic and truely showing a world that is on the edge of spiraling out of control. Even the deamons themselves are concerned about the way things are going, frusterated with the times and what we've done to ourselves.
Its good stuff. Funny though I meant to write about the second to last episode of the second season. Its wierd because there are only 2 funny episodes in the entire series and that was one of them. The thing is though is that it is brilliant. When I saw it for the first time I genuinely looked at the world in a diffrent way, and in many ways I still do. Long before I saw things like American Beauty, or Amilie there was this episode. It is about 4 older deamons who meet in an all night coffee shop to complain about the world we live in. The first talked about the pathetic excuse for a serial killer he has corrupted. The boy didn't want to be the most creative, or most feared, just the most prolific. He oly murdered prostitutes and acted in a miserably cliched way. This is one of my favorite segments of the episode. It really plays on how we all like to blame outside forces for our own deeds when they are nothing more than our own damn fault.
That always stuck with me. There is also the rampaging TV censor. Man I love that episode, it so neatly encapsulates the utter hipocracy of TV as any sort of moral watch dog that I can't even begin to process it. It is one of the most perfect things I've ever seen. Its short, it doesn't fuck around, and it doesn't overstay its welcome. It brilliantly makes its point and bows out gracefully leaving pitch black humor in its wake.
The other two segments are grand as well, but they always get eclipsed in my mind by these two. I'm going to go watch Inland Empire. Yeah right now. See ya.