Monday, November 15, 2004

Category 6: What A Waste!

Okay brutally honest supporters, I made a mistake...

I made a mistake and decided to watch part 1 of the CBS miniseries "Category 6: Day of Destruction". This was Viacom's version of a big-budget "sweeps week" disaster special, and believe me, it WAS a disaster.

We start with a "supercell" storm sweeping through Las Vegas, decimating the city of neon. The folks at the National Weather Service get upset about it because "they didn't detect it in time". Yeah, right. I'm sorry folks, but I get warnings all of the time from them. And they couldn't tell one "supercell" storm was sweeping across the desert?

By the way, does this sound familiar? Sure it does! Remember "10.5" on NBC? The first thing you see is Seattle being destroyed. I guess it's supposed to be an ominous warning of things to come, but you know that this isn't it.

We have a hurricane-type storm (but not a hurricane) that magically forms in the Gulf of Mexico and plows through some oil refineries, causing energy problems. Again, NWS was supposedly "unable" to spot this one too. So our intuitive father-figure there makes the announcement that he wants to know when a dog farts anywhere outdoors.

Speaking of energy, that brings us to Chicago and an Enron-style crisis in the works. It's incredibly hot, energy is at a premium, and we have an evil energy corporation doing everything possible to get as much control over the grid as possible, including sending attractive blondes to get into affairs. One power grid worker gets seduced, another blabs about the security flaws to a reporter... who, of course, is being barred from pursuing the story because IT IS a big EEEEEVIL corporation.

Oh, and of course we have the various boilerroom human interest stories. You can't have a big-budget miniseries disaster (as compared to a big-budget disaster miniseries) without a few dozen people to get personally involved. We have Randy Quaid playing a thrill-seeking mercenary storm-chaser and tour guide who leaves a bunch of paying customers in the middle of a thunderstorm so he can chase that Vegas "supercell" towards Chicago. All he needs is that crop-duster and he can bring back his "Independence Day" character. We have Nancy McKeon playing the frustrated reporter, who keeps on dropping hints of doom and gloom and pissing off her boss. We have Diane Wiest, who is playing the Secretary of Energy, and apparently she's only good for making vocal threats and complaining about the environment. (What? No White House people?)

Okay, I won't tie you up with too much of the story, because it's pretty much boilerroom trash. We have the standard EEEEEEEVIL corporation creating both an environmental AND technological disaster, and when a "hacker" suddenly crashes electrical grids right and left... including just before this big "mother" of a storm comes through Chicago, you have to wonder if the EEEEEEVIL corporation is behind it as well. So we have "Mother Nature" cause havoc over our energy consumption, and we have the "evil hacker" causing havoc over our "unsecured" utility systems. And as we finish off part 1, our reporting heroine is signing off with a twister forming right over her head.

What a WASTE of time, energy, and talent!

And I probably will not see part 2 either... mostly because it comes on when I'm doing my show, and I just don't see it worth taping. I mean, the only reason why I was watching it in the first place was because ABC did that equally pathetic American Music Awards show instead of airing "Desperate Housewives" and "Boston Legal".

I should have just popped in a DVD.

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