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DVD Talk review of 'Millennium: Season 2'

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DVD Talk review of 'Millennium: Season 2'

Old 01-04-05, 12:54 PM
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DVD Talk review of 'Millennium: Season 2'

I read Bill Gibron's DVD review of Millennium: Season 2 at http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=13926 and... and while it is obvious he has a true love for the show and is very insightful and articulate,I really think he heaps far too much praise on the second season as a whole.

His review of each episode was pretty much spot on and shows he knows what he is talking about but, what he did not touch upon was what was truly wrong with the show: The "X-File"-ing of it if you will.

Whether it be Chris Carter's fault for letting those two take the show into the already well worn conspiracy fests that his most successful show was steeped in, whether it be Fox's insistance on the same, or whether it be (the not exactly unbelievable rumor amongst the Millennium faithful)that Morgan and Wong's bitterness over the complete apathy shown to their show Space:Above & Beyond caused the show to lose it's focus and turn it's back(for the most part)on what it had done better than any film or television show had before,exploring the true nature of what "evil" is.
Season Two is not without fine moments.I wholeheartedly believe some of Lance Henrikson's finest scenes are there. Hell,some of the greatest acting of all time is there.
It all comes down to opinion,I know. But,I think the reviewer glossed over something that is very important about the overall negative view the majority of those involved with Millennium have of Season 2. I would think it's safe to assume that they know more about what it was like than we ever will, and it seems to be the opinions given on this set present that they knew Season Two was the wrong way to go. An opinion Mr.Henrikson has not made any secret of.
As I said,the review is a very good one and almost makes me want to go out and get it. But, my feeling is Millennium lost it's vision and it's true voice with this season and limped along to a the truly painful third season for even more "X-Filing" (Frank's new partner)...so I will stick with the what I consider the essence of Millennium,Season One.

I do agree we need Frank Black more than ever though.
Old 01-04-05, 01:46 PM
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Well, that's why we all have opinions... Personally, I think Season 2 was the high point of the show. Now, Season 3 on the other hand...

Different strokes.
Old 01-04-05, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Johnny Zhivago
Personally, I think Season 2 was the high point of the show.
Ditto.

I always thought the second season made a smooth transition and really put the show into overdrive. It expanded the whole role of The Millennium Group, and chiseled out details of one of the most memorable duplicitious supporting characters (Peter Watts). The introduction of the similarly gifted Lara Means (and her Patti Smith accompanied meltdown in the season ender) played well against Frank Black.



Here's my review, if you're bored...
Old 01-05-05, 09:07 AM
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Let me chime in and add that Season 2 was my personal favorite as well.
Old 01-05-05, 01:36 PM
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I'm sure everyone has there favoirte episode but the one that stands out in my mind is the episode where the killer sings a song. I don't remember the name of the specific episode but i'm sure those who saw it would know what i'm taking about.
Old 01-06-05, 02:32 PM
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Damn, due to all the glowing reviews, I may have to pick this up (have never seen any season, but own season 1).
Old 01-06-05, 07:20 PM
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Quick Question...

I watched Millenium during its initial run, but don't really remember much except for the fact that I enjoyed it. I don't own Season 1, but see that Season 2 is pretty cheap this week. Would buying and watching Season 2 without first viewing Season 1 really matter at all?
Old 01-07-05, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Dawg
Would buying and watching Season 2 without first viewing Season 1 really matter at all?
I doubt it'd be recommended. Season 1 can be found for very cheap now (around $15).
Old 01-09-05, 11:38 PM
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I'm a little pissed off about the DVD set.

Like most in this thread, I loved the second season and the direction it took.

But the whole documentary is just so... "dismissive" is the right word. Not a word from Morgan and Wong, the best thing that anyone has to say about the second season is that it was "different" from the first season (talk about damning with faint praise), and the mythology played up in season two is barely referenced.

Season two was an excellent second season. It built on the themes of the first season and played up the mystical elements. I liked that they made the Millennium Group more ambiguous and cult-like. Had the show just kept on going in the direction the first season was in -- serial killer/weird crime of the week -- it would've burned itself out quickly.

It's most unfortunate that the show ended with this season. (There was NO third season as far as I'm concerned.) I would've liked to have seen this series run three more years, through the actual millennium, in the direction established in the second season. We could've seen characters like Lucy Butler and the Russian Antichrist return and be major players in the apocalypse shown in the final episode of the season. More could've been revealed about the workings of the Group, and Peter Watts could've been a hero or villain. The return of Lara Means.

So much potential wasted.
Old 01-11-05, 12:52 PM
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Millenium Season 2-Where are Morgan and Wong to defend themselves?

It's obvious that the reviewer is trying to remain coherent in acknowledging the fact that this groundbreaking, brilliant TV show (prescient in SO many ways it's unnerving) has managed at this point to alienate all of it's appreciators in one way or another. He's bound by the fact that the shows creators did it first, and he can't give a complete accounting without reflecting the creative and philosophical chasms starkly drawn around the shows several architects. Sometimes Hollywood ain't so pretty is it?

I disagree with the ratings that he gave several of the shows but not by more than a fraction of a "point" or so, save one.

Jose Chung's Doomsday defense is/was meant to be viewed as a satire of Television in general and the characters "unsatirized" eccentricities visited upon them solely as devices with which to cause the viewer to bond quickly and superficially with them. As such this "surrealist" take on the characters is utterly brilliant. Just because it pokes fun at itself and its acknowledged conceit that it had become institutionalized enough to withstand self-parody (Remember that Randy Newman record where he meant to be self-depracating by adapting the Rock group "Kiss"'s makeup get up and then parodize both they and himself in a "Frank Zappa-esque-We're only in it for the money" type way and then discovered that all he did was tick off a bunch of Kiss fans because he was only well known to Popular music cogniscenti?) is no reason to fault the writing instead of an unappreciative segment of the audience's sloth on the uptake.

If I were to post the top five episodes of all time, I'd have to list "Chung" as being among them. The discipline and creativity that it demanded of the actors to understand the "irony" of some of their dialogue (Geeblehouse's reaction shot to Chung's utterance of the phrase "unsuspecting masturbator" alone is worth the price of the box set!)

It isn't central to the shows "concept" and if the show hadn't destroyed itself at the end of the second season and there had been two or three more seasons of the show to carry out all the other Wagnerian elements of the shows theme (literally so in one episode from this season), I think it would be held up in a better light.

Something that can also be placed at Wong and Morgan's doorstep is the (alternatively) brilliant second season ending and the Third season Vertigo that I think virtually everyone felt. The implied plot direction at the end of season two had been "surgically removed" (FOX? Carter? Both?) and replaced by something hideously nonsensical with the first episode of Season 3. (Much more offensive than the Chung episode's surreality, in my opinion.)
While I will own season 3 and there are good things in it, it is the unsatisfying tease of all unsatisfied television teases that this plot line wasn't more artfully treated/and resolved during what I can only guess at was Morgan and Wong's ouster.

I liked their stuff and the saddest part is that they are responsible for 90% of everything that makes Millenium unique and brilliant. For those who want to satisfy their "Lezzbe uh crimebuster" Jones there are about a gazillion
CSI: Mount Pilot and Law and Order: SUV variants around and about for their consumption. (They make me wonder what the apocolypse is waiting for, they're so depressingly predictable.)
The rest of us have been left in the desert, abandoned and forgotten.
Old 01-12-05, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Rick Tpt. I
CSI: Mount Pilot
Now, if it were CSI: Mayberry ... Nip it!
Old 01-28-05, 05:51 AM
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Hi G. Noel!

Yeah, I thought of that. The idea of Barney sidling up to Frank Blank and saying that still makes me laugh out loud so I changed it. Thanks for the followup.

I actually wondered for a time if the heavy religious/apocolyptic overtones got the show pulled from "way up there" somewhere and even Carter and Fox lacked the foreknowledge that the third season was going to be it for more than a week or two before it happened. Ad's for new episodes disappeared and there was a spate of reruns (even into that "peak" sweeps period a little bit) right before it was prounounced dead.

That ending "reeks" of a slap-dash last minute re-write. The X-Files episode band-aid wasn't a lot better, but I appreciated the effort.

I wonder if we'll ever know the whole story? I saw Lance Henrikson on Letterman right before it ended and he was uncharacteristically "unfocused". Letterman kept trying to direct the conversation back to the show and he'd repeatedly derail it until the time was up.
Old 02-02-05, 01:50 AM
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The Weakest Season

It seems alot of people like S2 of MilleniuM, but I have to throw my hat into the ring of those who didn't. In fact, I found this the weakest of the series. I watched the series from the beginning to the point that I stopped watching the X -Files ( i got caught up in reruns).

Season One was a masterpiece of grou ndbreaking tv. Atmospheric, moody and controversial, S1 was too intense even for the maverick FOX network that spawned it. Many of the stories were composites of real life serial killer and killing spree atrocities. There were a few misteps ("The Wild and the Innocent") but its hands-down the best of the series.

But with Season Two, the show (courtesy of producers Morgan and Wong) took a left turn in an effort to boost ratings and shake off some of the complaints of darkness and grim reality. Unfortunately, it became pompous and pretentious, telling fables about angels and secret societies. Don't get me wrong... I 'm glad to learn more about the history of the group, ("Owls" and "Roosters" are some of the better eps) but alot of the season just came off like a poor man's Disney movie or something you would see on PAX only worse. It also seems like alot of S2 lovers disliked the some of the eps that I liked, ("The Pest House", "The Mikado"). S2 lovers seem to think this season was a step up from S1. It's almost like the Owl/Roosters eps where MM fans are two factions of the same group.

I think Carter let this one get away because he was focused on The X-Files which was at the height of its popularity at this time. Morgan and Wong took a risk messing with the original formula and it shows. No wonder they declined to participate in the introspective documentary on the DVD set.

I cant' wait for S3. It wasn't the quality of S1 but it was better than S2 in my opinion. At least it didn't make me cringe. I think CC had the unenviable task of melding the tone of S1 with the mytharcs of S2 in order to salvage the show. The Group is now the enemy and the show is all conspiracy now.
Old 02-02-05, 02:14 AM
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Even though you complain about those of us who like the "Lezbee uh crimebuster" element and compare it to CSI and Law and Order, the fact is MilleniuM predated and influenced most of those shows, except for the original Law and Order. I just wish MM hadnt been altered so dramamtically from S1. They could have offset the tone of S1 by adding more sexual tensions and romantic liasons. That's what made the X-Files popular. MM never learned that lesson. Obviously, not that kind of show but what worked for one..........
Old 02-02-05, 01:47 PM
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Did we really want another season of Serial Killer of the week.
Not that I have a problem with the 1st season it touched on many deep aspects and contained many fine moments and episodes. However the leaps they make in Season 2 mark it as one of the most memorable in television history. Unconfined and on its own (much like Frank in the woods in LUMINARY) the show refused to get back on the plane.
The writing, acting and crafting of this season was perfect, especially disc 3.
4 more well thought out and crafted shows have never aired back to back on any program of any kind.
Jose Chung's Doomsday Defense (tongue in cheek perfection)
Midnight of the Century (possibly Frank's most personal episode)
Goodbye Charlie (as relevant socially as anything the show has tackled)
Luminary (my personal favorite episode and a television epiphany w/incredible voice over narration)
Old 02-07-05, 07:44 PM
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Read it Again! :)

Originally Posted by moonchild
Even though you complain about those of us who like the "Lezbee uh crimebuster" element and compare it to CSI and Law and Order, the fact is MilleniuM predated and influenced most of those shows, except for the original Law and Order. I just wish MM hadnt been altered so dramamtically from S1. They could have offset the tone of S1 by adding more sexual tensions and romantic liasons. That's what made the X-Files popular. MM never learned that lesson. Obviously, not that kind of show but what worked for one..........

In a manner not entirely dissimilar from my appraisal of some viewers "inch deep, mile long" understanding of S. 2, you're not paying attention to what I said: Millenium WAS different from those shows and presaged them.

The pro "serial killer of the week" posts preceding mine were what I was replying to. We are essentially in agreement, but for some reason you didn't pick that up............

I'm glad we are though!

We're not in agreement about S. 2, though. It's OK. You say "Tom-ahto" to your hearts content, it's cool with me!

I still think Morgan and Wong saved the show and while it was less cartoonish than L&O, Etc. before they fleshed it out, they remain primarily responsible for what depth of character the protaganists possess.

I think it would have been a WRETCHED mistake to have "mainstreamed" the show with a "romantic" interest. I think that was the original intent of the Lara Means character. Later, it might perhaps include the FBI sidekick, but that's pure conjecture on my part.) Carter and even some of the other architects of the show purposefully set Henrikson's Character to be palpably isolated and uh, um, unrelieved. It's hard to look like you're carrying the teetering fate of mankind on your shoulders smoking a cigarette, smiling contentedly with somebody's bra hanging off your bedpost. It's quite the "mood breaker" from all things apocolyptic. Given time, I concede that Morgan & Wong might have done it with one of their patented "surrealist" scripts, though.

I think there are some good moments (as stated before) in S.3.
But I think a large number of people who take your side of this discussion just want the "lezzbe" aspect. Eversomuch "No Thanks........" is still and forevermore shall be my response.

Give me "Owls" and "Roosters" any day.

As for secret societies, etc. As long as there are Three or more beating hearts on this planet there will be conspiracies. They may be subversive, maybe not, but it is at the core of what the show (and largely all drama) is about, that they assuredly do exist.

Whump........Whump...................
Old 05-16-05, 03:10 AM
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Just a follow up in the unlikely event that someone at Fox or NBC ever reads this stuff.

To FOX: NBC is eating your lunch with a thoroughly inferior program called "Revelations". The main characters have been "boardroom" approved and in a lift of the lid in "lowbrow broadcast TV" style, have been "Muller and Scoldy"-ized.
But the writings not there. Lotsa smoke. But no fire.

To NBC: Ask the bigger questions like Millenium did. Stop trying to ape the Bible as another mass market low rent teleplay (The "Right Behind" series jumps to mind, I've read and heard about it to death, and I'm not nearly as impressed. The opportunities to give you nightmares in a TANGIBLE and REAL way as opposed to "oopsie, I disappeared" and oooooooh, he's a bad guy jus' because the narrative says so, is SO SHALLOW!)

"Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me" is as close to Satre's "No Exit" (WE ALL essentially do Satan's bidding by looking out for OUR OWN best interests instead of everyone's as spirits chained to a material existence) as we are ever likely to get. It still gives me chills even as I laugh at it. The closer you watch it, the less frikkin' funny it becomes.

(BTW, Don't get me started on our present "Orwellspeak" government. The world shakes it's head as they realize that the day we can help them is past as is the day we appeared smart enough to help ourselves. Now there's a real life Millenium episode to lie awake at night worrying about playing out, STARRING YOU AND ME!)

Best to all.
Old 05-16-05, 06:05 PM
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Good Work "Rick Tpt. I." Tell it like it is.

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