An Odd Comparison

A friend of mine introduced me to The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. It's a wonderful series of books, a mix between hard-boiled detective fiction and the paranormal. Our hero is Harry Dresden, a wizard working in Chicago. Or barely working - as is the tradition of hard-boiled detective fiction, he doesn't make a lot of money and tends to get beat up a lot. I inhaled the first two books in the series and they promise to be the start of an ever unfolding and complex universe, one that my friend says just keeps getting better.

What improves the excellent storytelling even further is that the audiobooks are narrated by Spike James Marsters and this alone pretty much ensured that I’d get the first book. Initially, I had a bit of trouble getting over the fact that Spike was reading to me, but Marsters quickly persuade you that he’s Harry Dresden and Spike leaves the building (which is sort of sad, because I still miss him. I miss the whole Buffy-verse). Great story + great narrator = Lene will get her hands on the entire series and likely read it all by the end of the year.

And then something else exciting happened. I found out that there’s a TV series based on the books! Alas, it only lasted one season, but despite some slightly wobbly reviews, I got my hands on that, too. Aforementioned slightly wobbly reviews seem to primarily be upset about the show not being that true to the books, which I didn't mind because that allowed me to watch it before I’d read all 13 books. The show stars Paul Blackthorne as Harry Dresden and he's a rather excellent choice. I don't so much mind the actual personification of Bob, can accept Murphy as a brunette and so forth.

And here's where I get to my point. Because the pilot is… is…. Really sort of bad. Don't get me wrong, the acting is pretty good, the story line is even relatively close to the first book (I think it's  the only episode that reflects the books), but the soundtrack is…. is…

Okay. It sounds like 70s porn. Not that I have watched a lot of that particular genre and era, but it's the only description I can come up with. The music is obvious, synthesized and so much in the forefront that it ought to be a character in the show. Every time it started up, I had visions of bare-breasted women gyrating across the screen and was continually vaguely surprised that it didn't happen. And then there're the special effects. Which are also decidedly 70s porn. And sure, in my admittedly very limited exposure to such movies, they don't tend to be rife with special effects, but you know what I mean. Bargain-basement, probably done by a film geek highschool nerd as a special project.

The good news is that these oddities seem limited to the pilot - I've watched two additional episodes and there’s blissfully so far no remnants of bellbottomed sexy-time. Still having a good time and wish Michele had been better so it would’ve made it past the first season.

But then, the books are still going strong. For good time, go read ‘em.