Monday, July 25, 2011

Falling Skies thoughts

So I've been watching Falling Skies on TNT this summer and as much as I want to like it, I just can't. Some of the action beats and science fiction elements may be really great, and the actors, on the whole, are solid, but the "heartfelt" family drama moments are just so schmaltzy that I can't take the show seriously.

I think this is a case of trying to be too much at once. I understand that Steven Spielberg is the executive producer and all but the show is trying way to hard to straddle that line between family fare, and science fiction. But this is not ET, and it's definitely not Close Encounters. The science fiction elements aren't served by the melodrama, and the feel good family elements are too saccharine. Every time I want to start liking this show a scene just dripping with sentiment ruins my enjoyment.

With all that said, I want to love this show, and am still rooting for it. There's potential here for some really interesting storytelling that has never been seen on television. I would welcome a show with this same central idea that framed itself as a mystery. Something like Falling Skies that instead delved more into who the alien invaders are, why they're here, and what's their plan would be fascinating. As it is though, I'm left wanting a better story out of pretty much every single episode. That's not to say the show couldn't turn itself around in a second season, I sincerely hope they re-focus on the mystery of the skitters in 2012 now that they know the show is returning for a second season, and drop some of the heavy handed family drama. Then, and only then will the show even have a chance to live up to its potential.

If you haven't seen Falling Skies and are interested, its only 10 episodes long for the first season, and can be watched here.


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