July 09, 2013

Why most apocalyptic TV ends up failing

The latest example is Falling Skies, the alien invasion TNT series that is now (if you can believe it) into its third season. io9's Charlie Jane Anders looks into this problem.

I gave up on the show in the middle of season one. Initially, of course, I was all like "Alien invasion series?? Sign me up!!" But sadly, the series quickly degenerated into what we saw in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica (though, admittedly, with BSG it took roughly three seasons to do so): Nonsense plots in an attempt to "build characters." In Skies' case, it's as Anders says:

But forget about the fact that this show has a yawning gap between the things it tells us are important, versus the things it spends time on. I don't know, thematically, what this show is about except, in a vague sense, "family is important."

With BSG you know the ship and the fleet are escaping the Cylons and searching for Earth. With Skies you know ... well, I don't have a f***ing clue. Look, I know that TV demands inter-character drama and all, but why can't it be just a tad realistic?? Are we so inundated with a clueless public these days that they'll buy anything?

Posted by Hube at July 9, 2013 09:49 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Actually as someone who loves scifi I just think Falling Skies sucks.Simply put it's just an awful show.

I do like Revolution and Defiance though, both post apocalyptic shows.Of course Revolution is of our own doing and Defiance is a post alien invasion where everyone tries to share planet Earth. I think the secret is that an apocalyptic show also has to have some hope. Give people some reason to believe in the future and you will go far :)

Posted by: Elise Ronan at July 9, 2013 09:57 AM

Hi Elise! I've heard good things about Defiance; less so about Revolution. The latter strikes me as low on the believability scale and folks have told me the characterizations aren't very good. I plan on catching up with Defiance on Netflix or On Demand, though!

Right now I'm working my way through Fringe DVDs!

Posted by: Hube at July 9, 2013 10:02 AM

I also gave up on Falling Skies during its first season... I thought it was boring. Haven't watched Defiance or Revolution... I may check out the former but the latter just sounds stupid.

Have you watched Doctor Who yet, Hube?

Posted by: Carl at July 9, 2013 02:15 PM

Hube: I loved Fringe...it just kept getting better and better. Enjoy

Have heard from science folks how unreal Revolution happens to be. I think they did revamp the show. Lets just say that its better than much of the other stuff out there on network TV.

Dr. Who? but of course!!!

Posted by: Elise Ronan at July 9, 2013 04:09 PM

Carl: Not yet. Where do you recommend I begin?

Posted by: Hube at July 10, 2013 08:57 AM

I'd say start with the 2005 series, which revived it after a long hiatus.

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