On SciFi Channel's Flash Gordon last Friday, we were all once again reminded why today's Ming is not as scary nor as campily compelling as Mings of yore. This scene encapsulates everything problematic about today's Ming. He slurps wine instead of growling; he has no awesome makeup nor a funny hat; and instead of punishing Aura with a mind ray he turns her into . . . a Prefect. WTF? Assigning out bureaucratic jobs is supposed to be his big weapon, his big power move? No wonder they call him Ming the Micromanager instead of Ming the Merciless.

The rest of the episode is taken up with Ming the Miffed using the Imex-reinforced Rift Generator to steal an entire lake from Flash's hometown. Wacky hijinks ensue with the kids all trying to blow up the Rift Generator, discovering there's some gol'durn reason why they can't, and then running around in skimpy outfits until everything is set (sorta) to rights. Plus, Aura's hair is seriously awesome.

The more I watch this show, the more convinced I am that really it should be all about the forbidden love between Aura and Rankol. There could be an intense makeout scene where she plunges her hand into his exposed brain and we see his Secret Segway rolling leg. Oh wait, no.