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Tales fm a Parallel Earth....
on November 8, 2011
(First paragraph SPOILERS):
The big bugship Lexx literally comes down to earth.... or at least to an insane parody of it. During the series' storyline, Lexx has crossed between light and dark universes so many times, it's easy to lose track, in spite of the baldly stated fact that this is the "Dark Zone." Also, "Earth" (or this universe's strange version thereof) is apparently formed after the destruction of the previous season's allegory planets Fire & Water. And archenemy (Isambard) Prince was last seen falling to this Earth.
After the sheer surrealism and intense sexuality of the first "season" 's movies, the epic dramedy and friskiness of Season 2, and the relative seriousness of the shorter season 3, this final season, which operates like a second half of S3, takes yet another tone. As in S2, the universe (let alone Earth) is in danger of being invaded by voracious and hungry aliens, which include hordes of nasty little carrot-like robot-thingies. Complicating matters is archenemy and all-around trickster Prince, who's become head of the ATF (snicker), and who has rigged the latest U.S. election (sound familiar?) and has a brainless spineless Commander-in-Cheif to manipulate.
As before, there are parallel characters from earlier series played by returning guest actors, which provides a fun spin to watching the entire series.
In spite of the big alien invasion plot, this season's tone is sheer and unrelenting parody, sometimes of very farcical proportions, sometimes too much for some viewers. President Priestly comes across as so childish and simpering and annoying that his apparent real-life parallel G W Bush comes across as relatively tolerable (?!). Eventual first lady Bunny veers between sheer bimbo-ism and sweet girly-ness.
Our regular crew is still here, of course. Xev is by now a somewhat more developed character, and she goes through a lot in these 24 episodes. Kai is usually still Kai, but he still has a healthy arc. Robot head 790 is strait-jacketed in obsessive love and double-dealing that is not as funny as it used to be. Stan is a big disappointment, still the biggest jerk in the entire SF universe, forever changing his mind, avoiding conflict and travel, and always willing to keep starving poor Lexx to death. Another quasi-main character makes an entertaining return in the later episodes.
Sn4's parody is broad and relentless -- nothing is spared: the US and its presidency, war, small town life, television and the media, religion (watch for the new pope!!!), the US weapons fetish (sometimes via ATF), sex, porn, drugs, Vegas, Vietnam, vampires, scientists and geek computer culture, Shakespeare, "Survivor," golf, druids, teen angst, chess / "Seventh Seal," and lots of geographical parody (ie, which areas does Lexx damage or destroy? Pretty funny stuff). Oh, and the Pres goes through space shuttles like nobody's business.
It all builds up to a wild and crazy final five episodes, with the last three building up to a super-frenzied --and generally satisfying-- conclusion to the series.
The packaging --despite its crowded pile-up style-- actually works okay, and, yet again, there are no extras.