Eureka: Season 3.0
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Eureka: Season 3.0

Every so often a television series seems to come out nowhere and immediately captures the imagination of the audience. One such series came from a rather unlikely source; cable’s SyFy Channel. The show that accomplished this feat is ‘Eureka’. The show is extraordinary in the way it takes a simple premise and develops it into something that is capable of completely engage the viewers. In doing this ‘Eureka’ seamlessly blends science fiction, drama, action spiced with just the right dollop of humor. It is part of the new TV trend of airing original series over the summer instead of the tradition months of reruns to fill their programming slots. The third season was split into two halves, the first consisting of eight episodes running from the end of July through September. It then went on hiatus resuming in July. There are a lot of reasons for splitting seasons. One is contracts that provide for raises each season so calling something season 3.5 instead of can save enough money to make the series viable to the network executives. In this case, however, the show was never in danger of cancellation since it was the most popular series the network has including the much lauded ‘Battlestar Galatica’. Not many shows can retain popularity with such a long break but this one just strikes a chord with people making it possible. One of my best friends is extremely particular with what she will watch. It is not unusual for her to lose interest and wander away from the set or open a book to read. This series is one she actively is willing to watch. One caveat; the series does have some threads that employ soap opera motifs but in this instance it just adds to the gentle charm of the series. The first part of season three in under consideration here and will be followed by the second half when available.

Most people think of a small town as place where everybody knows each other living simple lives revolving around old fashion values and traditions. At least this is what former U.S. Marshall Jack Carter (Colin Ferguson) though until he blew into a little community called Eureka. On the surface it looks like any small town in the Great American Northwest with one important difference; it is populated almost entirely by geniuses. Many towns grew-up around a single employer but Eureka is a vastly different type of company town. There the employer is a government funded technologically advanced think tank; Global Dynamics. In their employ are the most intelligent people in the world but frequently the problems that arise needing a different train of thought. That is where Jack comes in. as the town’s sheriff it is up to him to keep the peace but with all these high tension super intelligent types around his job requires him to avert the destruction of the world on a fairly regular basis. This is the heart of the series. Jack is street smart in possession of the lowest IQ in town but what he lacks in advanced degrees is more than made up for in good old fashion common sense. When trouble pops up everyone in town has the tendency to over react but Jack is able to come up with a solution that cuts through the advanced technology and resolves the issue.

One thing that has always been a factor with science fiction is the one who saves the day is a brilliant scientist who invents some entirely new technology to vanquish the menace. Here it’s a regular guy that out performs the greatest mind around. Jack is somebody the audience can readily identify with and cheer on. Watching him face the most unusual tribulation possible is one thing but what helps to make Jack so likable is he is also beset by more mundane worries. One on the main concerns is his teenage daughter Zoe Carter (Jordan Hinson) who has always been rebellious but now that she has discovered boys Jack would rather deal with world shaking horrors. Unknown to Jack his daughter has an IQ at the high end even for this town. As an added benefit Zoe also seems to have inherited Dad’s common sense. One of the soap opera motifs present here is Jack’s romantic interests Allison Blake (Salli Richardson-Whitfield) she is the government oversight for Global Dynamics but still is involved with her ex-husband, Nathan Stark (Ed Quinn). In this part of the series Allison is all set to re-marry Nathan until he is disintegrated by an experiment gone awry. This leaves Allison in charge of GD and pregnant with Stark’s child. This part of the season also introduces a new antagonist Eva Thorne (Frances Fisher). Who takes control of GD for the government to rectify all the recent problems but is really working on her own covert agenda. There is something in Eureka’s past that she desperately needs to erase including a mysterious underground laboratory. Some episodes are more lighthearted in nature with that special Eureka twist. Even something that should be run of the mill can be bizarre here. For example the Eureka dog show uses highly sophisticated canine robots with cut throat competition for design and implementation. This spirit of rivalry extends beyond the grown-ups infecting the student of Eureka High. Their science class project is unlike anything Carter considered possible. He did get very worried when on the day of the town’s election his deputy Jo Lupo (Erica Cerra) show up in full battle armor explains the students do have some restrictions such as no creating a new form of life and no alterations to the time space continuum still Zoe’s lab partner creates a model solar system complete with a scale size sun floating over the town. This is just one of the most enjoyable shows around and a highlight of summer time.

Posted 05/22/2010

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