Monday, December 8, 2014

REVIEW. The Librarians on The Universal Channel a dull, missable rehash of Relic Hunter, Tropical Heat and Stargate SG1.

If you've watched syndicated shows like Relic Hunter, Tropical Heat and Stargate SG1 you've already done your TV homework and you can skip the dull and mostly missable The Librarians starting tonight on The Universal Channel (DStv 117) - you've already seen what you're going to see.

Probably the most commendable thing about it all from Universal Networks International (UNI) is that its bringing The Librarians to South African and African viewers on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform just a day after it started in America on TNT.

However, TNT showed the first two episodes of The Librarians last night in America and South African viewers will only get to watch the first one with Noah Wyle (who will, by the way, only be making guest appearances), while Rebecca Romijn picks up the slack in this new TV series franchise based on his former tele-movie series.

Having watched the first two episodes of The Librarians this afternoon the word that comes to mind is ... pedestrian. 

Noah Wyle is much better is FOX's Falling Skies than his over-the-top Indiana Jones caricature in The Librarians and Rebecca Romijn was better in Ugly Betty and King & Maxwell .

In this series in the role of Eve, she takes over from Noah Wyle's character to become a guardian of the "librarians" who try to recover ancient artifacts, solve arcane mysteries and fight against the evil society known as the Serpent Brotherhood.

If you've followed the Da Vinci Code-esque Zero Hour, you'll be familiar with the cut-and-paste pattern The Librarians is clearly using. It's Sanctuary all over again in a been-there, done-that series.

Remember the repository of magical, secret objects in Da Vinci's Demons under the Vatican of last year? You'll start yawning when within 10 minutes into the first episode Rebecca Romijn also takes an elevator mechanism down to a similar place below the Metropolitan Public Library.

Basically every single scene, every plot device and every line in The Librarians is derivative of something you've seen before - either decades ago like when history professor and explorer Sydney Fox did it, or in other current TV series.

Childish Noah Wyle comes across like dwarf Simon McKay in the 80s fantastical kid show The Wizard. Yet the problem is that The Librarians isn't aimed at kids but adults. Sword fighting in an underground library with Excalibur the sword? Really?

The Librarians on The Universal Channel feels hokey ... because it is. 

Starting it as a new TV show during December when TV viewers neither care nor are really aware, nor have the energy to bother isn't going to do it any favours.

Happily hop along and don't bother watching. The Librarians on The Universal Channel is a TV book you've read numerous times already and can recite in your sleep. 

There's nothing to miss, nothing worth watching, and nothing that Tia Carrere didn't do better more than a decade ago.