TORCHWOOD: They Went to Murder Rehab!

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Those of us who were frustrated by the first season of Torchwood have been wrestling with why: is it because one of the characters proves himself a rapist in the first episode and is never given more than a slap on the wrist for it (using chemicals–even alien ones–to get otherwise unwilling partners to have sex with you=rape, Owen)? Is it because the characters prove over and over again that they don’t have even the most basic investigative or anti-terrorism skills needed to combat alien threats?

Actually, it turns out the biggest problem was a simple one: no matter how dark or “adult” your setting is, if your star is John Barrowman and you’re not having a ton o’ cheery, cheeky fun, you’re doing it wrong.

And–a miracle! The first minute of Torchwood Season 2 was more fun than the entire first season put together. There was a blowfish driving a sports car, for Pete’s sake–that’s almost fun by definition. While the subsequent three minutes showed that, in spite of a lot of bustling around, the Torchwood team is no more competent than they were in Season 1 (try checking the blowfish’s pockets, geniuses), it’s hard to care so much about that when James Marsters is smooching John Barrowman and then using Captain Jack’s face for bar clean-up–all to the tune of Blur’s ubiquitous “Song 2”. Woohoo, indeed!

While not every episode can feature Marsters’ Captain John Hart (why not? Why not?!?), the cheeky tone and the promise of an overarching, emotional mystery suggest that the Torchwood folk went to murder rehab over the hiatus–and I couldn’t be more excited to hear it. Woohoo! I think they’re feeling heavy metal!

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5 thoughts on “TORCHWOOD: They Went to Murder Rehab!

  1. Great stuff here. I really want to like this show. Sometimes it seems way over the top and I’m lost in the BBC of it all.
    I feel like a dumb American.

    Side note:
    “The help me OB1” scene was awesome.

    The other issue I have with this show:
    I know Europeans have a better handle on sexuality then us Americans but the man on man kissing seems a bit much. Is every one on the team a Bisexual? Perhaps that is why Captain Jack brought them on board.

    -DH

  2. I don’t know if y’all saw the post on Neil Gaiman’s blog yesterday, but he said that if he wasn’t in the middle of, you know, WRITING A BOOK, he would have written a post entitled ‘Why Everyone in Torchwood Season One is Too Dumb to Live’.

    I applaud the sentiment, Mr. Gaiman. I expect a well-researched list when your newest YA book is finished.

  3. Man on man, girl on girl, girl on boy, boy on poodle…oh wait, they didn’t air that one….it doesn’t seem to matter who or what it is, the Torchwood gang does love Teh Sex.

    And that’s why I love this show. As stupid as the characters are written, the writers aren’t afraid of anything, and they aren’t into labels. Brilliant.

  4. And this is why I always forgive Neil Gaiman for “The Problem of Susan” in the end.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about what each of you said, and I’m starting to settle on something. I like, as Jo points out, that the writers aren’t afraid to avoid labels and show us characters we can’t see anywhere else. On the other hand, I often grow tired, as perhaps DH is describing, with their solution to every negative feeling being to run out and have sex with whomever gets in their way first. The two captains are an interesting contrast, with Captain John seemingly being omnisexual because he’s so into his own pleasure and Captain Jack being omnisexual because he genuinely finds something to be fascinated by and impressed with in pretty much everyone he meets.

    The Scoobies, though–they’re just feeling a little down (and Tosh, in particular, is portrayed as making a stunningly bad choice when she steps out of the box). The two who have stayed in their het box have “merely” cheated/contributed to cheating, and it’s all because they *feel* so intensely and it’s so *hard* to be in Torchwood. Maybe they’re reacting to their own incompetence, which might make more sense. But perhaps what gets tiresome for some folks is less who the characters are sleeping with and more that running out and sleeping with someone is their default mechanism for dealing with hard times or powerful emotions.

    Of course, maybe *that’s* why Jack recruited them. 🙂

  5. Pingback: What’s The Matter With Kids Today?: New TORCHWOOD Aims To Find Out « TV BACON

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