MATT RAUB on Painkiller Jane
Hey gang, Matt Raub back again for another TV review for the newest comic and Hollywood hybrid show, Painkiller Jane. The show is based off of Jimmy Palmiotti and Joe Quesada’s comic from the 90s about a government agent who can’t die. The episode stars Kristanna Loken, the robot hottie from Terminator 3 and another remarkably popular comic book movie, Bloodrayne.
Going into the show, I knew nothing about the comic book. All I knew is that Palmiotti knows how to draw very attractive female characters, which I sometimes reason enough to read a book, just not this time. So the episode was a fresh start for me, being an origin story of sorts.
The episode starts with one of my least favorite plot sequences, where we start the episode halfway through the plot, and then we jump back two days or so. I consider this the “J.J. Abrams” episode format, because there was a point in the last season of Alias where every episode would do that. I long for the days when we started at point A and ended at point C, without going all Sam Beckett on us and confusing the story.
After getting over that little issue of mine, I found the episode to be a little too dumbed-down for the same audience that has been taking in episode after episode of Battlestar Galactica. There were little flashbacks to things that happened six minutes ago in the episode, which I found to be unnecessary. An argument for this could be that the director of the pilot was going with a Tony Scott feel for the episode, using quick cuts and flashbacks. Either way, it felt as if they were treating an audience who lives in the land of intelligent television like they have never seen an hour long science fiction show.
Going into the story, D.E.A. officer Jane Vasko stumbles across a secret government operation that hunts “Neuros,” which are people with neurological powers, and that means a whole ton of freaks of the week. On Jane’s very first mission, she gets pushed out of a window 44 floors up. She’s pronounced dead and after a very trippy flashback sequence of everything that happened thus far in the episode, she wakes up without a scratch on her. From this point on, Jane is able to heal any of her wounds that she comes across almost instantly. You may be asking yourself the same questions I was during this episode, such as: Did she know she could heal her whole life? Why did it take falling off a building to work? Or has anybody noticed the fact that this show is a lot like Torchwood? Great questions, but I unfortunately don’t have any of the answers.
So while we have the sultry Loken as our invulnerable star, and a fresh and funky visual style that should capture the MTV audience, I don’t think this show has much of a lifespan. It is too simplified for a Sci-Fi audience and people today need more than a name and a comic book tie to continue to watch a show. Anybody else remember Blade: The Series?
But to satisfy my fans, I still need to rate this pilot. Due to the fact that the show could have been a lot worse, I give it a 6/10, but I don’t know how much more of the show I can handle.