Sunday, October 21, 2012

Stargate Atlantis--"Harmony"

W. C. Fields once quipped you should never work with children or animals. In my experience, the first half of that statement is true in the sense that when a television series has an episode centered around a child guest star, it is usually bad. But I am like Fields. Children and I have a difficult time together. The point is “Harmony” has a strike against it already for focusing so much on a child guest star. Your mileage may vary.

Sheppard and Rodney, whom I swear are attempting to channel Hope and Crosby minus the musical numbers, are conned into escorting a thirteen year ol named harmony on a rite of passage through a forest to rach some ruins. Something in those ruins will prove Harmon has the right to be queen. Harmony has been betrayed by one of her older sisters who wants the thrown for herself. She has hired genii mercenaries to kidnap Harmony. Actually, they are probably hired to kill her instead, but murdering a child is a bit too much for a episode leaning way far on the comedic side.

You can probably fill in the blanks yourself. Harmony is a precocious brat who develops a crush on Sheppard, annoys Rodney, and listens to neither one of them even when her safety is at stake. She winds up with a crush on Rodney instead after he puts himself in danger to save her. The ruins turn out to be the remains of an Ancient structure. Harmony is able to operate it, so she becomes queen. Her first act is to lock up her conniving sister. There is a happy ending for you.

Yikes. An older sister hiring mercenaries to murder her barely in her teens sibling, Harmony. Harmony is a little terror herself, relishin the idea of flogging and executing her enemies, including Rodney at one point, once she is queen. At least Harmony is somewhat satiated by locking her sister up for life. One big, happy family. Methinks Harmony’s people are in for a rough time.

I will say this for “Harmony‘--the self-titled character is cast perfectly. Jodelle Ferland looks and sounds every bit like the hellion her character is supposed to be. Ferland has made a niche for herself portraying creepy kis in horror movies and video games, so there is your confirmation she can play an unholy terror.

“Harmony” is obviously not a favorite. Kids and science fiction are a toxic mix as far as I am concerned. It is even worse when the kid is annoying on purpose. I am also less enthused when SGA centers around only a couple characters instead of the ensemble cast. There are some humorous moments and, as noted, Ferland plays an unappealing character well, but those two points are only enough to make “Harmony” mildly entertaining.

Rating: ** (out of 5)

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