"What you had is called a nightmare." -- Crusoe
The trapped-somewhere genre is a big thing. Crusoe is like Gilligan's Island and Lost but with just one guy. Those shows are fun and popular because people would rather be stuck somewhere cool than be stuck somewhere in their normal lives in Dullsville.
is not that. It's the regular Robinson Crusoe story, which has been done a zillion times. But in this new version, I expected a mysterious island, or monsters, or something. But I got nothin'. No Gilligan, no Skipper too, no millionaire, not even his wife.
It's an obvious ploy to grab Pirates of the Caribbean fans. (I call them Potsies.)
It could be a ploy to get the Lost fans, too. It could have been Steampunk Lost, with freaky mysteries and poofy shirts. .000001 more people would watch. Instead, all it takes from Lost is the flashback. But on Lost, flashbacks emphasize points in the main story, as far as I can figure out without visiting 17 Lost wiki sites.
But on Crusoe all flashbacks do is show Crusoe fondly recalling how frou-frou it was in 1700s England, with yellow stirrup pants, housecoats, and powdered wigs. Those Englishmen did it up right.
Good part: Friday. Not a caricature. I'm surprised. He's a capable action hero, even though he talks about "my people" and the spirits of nature. The race card is played once, by victims he rescues, two honkeys that he should have left with pirates.
Bad part: Crusoe is a prick. He talks back to Friday and he's desperate to leave his awesome island. That's just crazy.
Good part: Continuous story-arc, besides the obvious getting off the island. The story progresses, so it won't be a series of near-escapes from the island every week.
Good part: A-Team style building-stuff montages. Lots of wood and rope, but still effective.
Not as good part: Sam Neill. He's only in flashbacks. Sorry, fans of Jurassic Park and The Piano.
Good part: Free pirate show on TV every week. Network TV has lawyers and doctor shows. Why not a pirate show? Anything besides office sitcoms and hospital dramas is a welcome relief.
Not so good part: No fantasy stuff. Granted, the original story didn't have it, either. But it's 2008. We need it.
Good part: Just pirates. Crusoe has swordfights with pirates who are as stereotypical as every other pirate in every other thing. They say "Arrrr" and everything.
Not so good part: Crusoe loses a sword fight. Come on, Crusoe. You wear swinging medallions and live in a treehouse. Step it up.
Good part: Super-sweet treehouse. He should do the whole show from the treehouse. The scenery is gorgeous. But he and Friday leave the treehouse all the time, and that bums me out.