Friday, May 17, 2013

Day One Hundred and Thirty-seven - TRON:UPRISING: Pilot, "Captain Sheridan and Frodo battle Bishop and Hisae? Yes, Please!"

There are several shows that I wish I was a Nielsen's Box-holder for. I, like just about everyone else on the planet, wish that my opinion mattered when it came to what shows get renewed and saved from the ignorant masses and penny-pinching TV executives. The programs that I wish I could've saved were Pushing Daisies, Better Off Ted, and... after watching the pilot episode for the first time, TRON:UPRISING (which Disney recently put on the chopping block).

I don't think it's unfair to say that I am one of the few fans that really, really dug TRON:LEGACY. To me, it was beauty and philosophy wrapped in a ridiculous premise that appealed both to my lizard brain and my sense of poetry.

Plus, it didn't hurt that it was scored by probably my favorite techno band of all time, Daft Punk... and starred the beautiful and talented Olivia Wilde as Quorra (who apparently makes at least one appearance in the series).

When I heard about TRON:UPRISING, I was cautious, as most made-for-tv tie-in series aren't exactly what one would call "quality." Still, it had a pretty stellar voice cast, which included the original Tron, himself, Bruce Boxleitner (whom most folks would probably remember as Captain Sheridan from Babylon 5). I was so happy when he and Jeff Bridges reprised their roles for LEGACY and, while Jeff bowed out of UPRISING, Bruce came back to play the mentor role for Elijah Wood's Beck.

Set sometime between the original TRON and LEGACY, UPRISING tells the story of Clu's takeover of The Grid and how it drives Beck (Wood) to take up the mantle of Tron to try and put a stop to the encroaching military junta under the command of Tesler (Lance Henriksen) and his lieutenant, Paige (Emmanuelle Chriqui).

Unlike LEGACY, UPRISING is rather light on the philosophy, favoring more the immaculately choreographed disc battles and lightcycle chases. In that, I'm a bit bummed, but I think the series was worth saving as a stylistic adventure, even if it was missing the deeper qualities of the films. Anything to fill in the backstory of how The Grid evolved from what it was under Sark and the MCP's command in the labs of ENCOM to the basement of the abandoned Flynn's Arcade of the present day is fine in my book.

This is especially true when you consider how beautifully animated the digital world is. Aside from how annoyingly Aeon Flux most of the character faces and hair are, I'm deeply in love with The Grid and its neon landscapes.

To me, UPRISING is a worthy tie-in. Sure, it fails to capture the totality of what I thought made LEGACY great, but (in only its pilot episode) it's proven itself better than countless adventure series before it. It's a shame Disney cancelled it.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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