5 March 2003 | lodger3
So close, yet so far...
I enjoyed the first SWAMP THING film for what it was, and despise the second for what it was. I had read the comics for many years but didn't know what to expect of a weekly show that would have a small budget. Looking back, I feel the series succeeded as often as it failed.
The best episodes were those that focused on Swamp Thing (or 'Alec' as he was referred to by the people who knew him). The series started out on shaky footing, and had Swampy act out of character. In the first episode he turns a bad guy into a tree until the writers establish that he would never take a human life. Any episode that had him turn back human was well done.
Most of the episodes made him a Rod Serling of the swamp, taking a back seat to the action. A lot of these weren't too bad, but the bad ones were terrible. These boiled down to two plots: bad guys hide out in the swamp, only to have to face their crimes in a nightmare-ish way, or people with problems wander in the swamp, to become better by facing their fears. The best of these was when Ray Wise (Dr. Holland from the original movie) guest starred as someone who might be an alien and almost kills Swamp Thing.
In my opinion far too many episodes chronicled Arcane's (Swamp Thing's enemy) foul adventures. I realize that there is a fan base of women (and some men) who found the character/actor too sexy for words and wanted even less of Swamp Thing in each episode. Be that as it may, I feel the series as a whole suffered for it, and that will keep people from rediscovering it.
The series lacked truly dramatic episodes, the ones that would get the media's attention (like how 'The Best of Both Worlds' episodes of Star Trek:TNG did). There wasn't a single two-part episode throughout the run, which would've allowed the writers to develop a deeper story. Plotlines were never adequately ended, such as the disappearance of Tressa's son.
In the face of all these detriments, I enjoyed the show (and have almost every episode on tape; doubtful there will be a DVD release). Although it could have been so much more, it was certainly better than many other shows or movies based on comic books.