June 20, 2011

"Falling Skies" premiere review

In a nutshell, "don't bother."

"Falling Skies" is about a band of human survivors after an alien invasion. Now, considering we've had "Independence Day," "Battlestar Galactica," "V," "Skyline," and "Battle: Los Angeles" among others, you'd think we'd get something a bit different. We didn't.

Noah Wylie is a history professor that is one of the human resistance leaders. Will Patton is in a semi-familiar role as another resistance leader, sort of like his portrayal in "The Postman." The two-hour pilot opens up with several resistance fighters who've nabbed some food and are fleeing the aliens. There's no initial invasion scenes; that description is done via a child's drawings and monologue which, among other tidbits, states that the aliens had quickly dispatched of the world's nations' militaries, and then the planet's major cities. The aliens are insectoid, and they have a distinct interest in humanity's children, who, when captured, have a "harness" attached to them -- an larvae-like object which is fixed to the back and base of the skull. This apparently [mentally] controls them.

The pilot was a slowly plodding affair, filled with incredibly beautiful human resistance fighters who spew overly cliched lines and display remarkable courage for average people. What worried me most was the insertion of utterly ridiculous "Battlestar Galactica"-like insanity like the "rights of civilians" in what is a human extinction scenario! Fortunately, at least in this opener, Will Patton puts the kibosh on that by stating that the rights and needs of civilians will be dealt with once the aliens are defeated. And in further BSG analogies, in the upcoming scenes segment at the end of the show, we hear the aliens "are more human than we thought" (or something similar), which sounds conspicuously like what the humanoid Cylons kept talking about. Perhaps this similarity isn't a coincidence -- writer Mark Verheiden did a lot of BSG; he was listed as co-executive producer of "Skies."

At any rate, I do not hold out much hope for a long series. There's nothing new to see here. Move along.


Posted by Hube at June 20, 2011 10:19 AM | TrackBack

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