Scifi has been given a bad name. When most people hear a show involves science fiction, they go, “aliens and time traveling and robots and space? No thanks!” It’s unfortunate for them because shows like Firefly and Battlestar Galactica are some of the most amazing series to have ever existed in time and space. Sadly, the same cannot be said for Falling Skies.
The show premiered on June 19th with its first two hour-long episodes. Smart move considering scifi usually requires a decent amount of back story and buildup to set up its world. The only thing you really need to know about Falling Skies is that it’s about an alien invasion. Humans aren’t doing too well because our major cities have been effed up pretty badly. Very typical alien invasion stuff, and I think that’s where the problem lies. It’s just not all that interesting.
You immediately start off with the knowledge that aliens have invaded, destroyed most of the human population and not much else. Where did they come from? Why are they on Earth? What do they plan on doing with the planet and its inhabitants? We really have no clue, and while this could be taken as good, thrilling information to be discovered, it’s not. I just didn’t care about the aliens and I didn’t care too much about the humans either. AND I AM A HUMAN! I generally like things that are similar to myself.
Sidenote: why are non-humanoid aliens ALWAYS naked!?! Do they not have shame where they come from? At least wear armor. I mean, even if you like having your family jewels hang wild and free, protect that shit with some decent armor if you’re fighting an interplanetary war. Eventually, you’re going to get shot in the head or the nuts and you would be smart to cover those areas.
The protagonist of the show is Tom, a university history professor played by Noah Wyle, a good looking man. The overall cast is pretty good looking with the likes of Moon Bloodgood (she must have had a lot of trouble growing up with that name) and pretty, angsty teenagers. As a smarty pants, Tom is second in command of a group of soldiers and common folk going to some random place that they’re told they should. We’re told that survivors should split up into groups of 300 because aliens might come and attack if the groups are larger. Why don’t these aliens just attack anyway? These “smaller” groups of humans are trying to kill them! The show goes back and forth on being a family drama and a science fiction show, neither of which pans out that well.
Overall, the show is weak because of two reasons: the conflict isn’t thrilling enough and the characters are plain. We have no real reason to care about Tom and his homies besides the fact that they’re humans and not aliens. In Battlestar Galactica, the enemies of the human race posed the question, “why should humans be allowed to exist?” and that’s a pretty damn good question. Humans destroy the environment, enslave a multitude of other species and can’t even get along with each other. We’ve done a hell of a lot more damage to the planet than any other living creature in existence. There needs to be a reason we are rooting for the protagonists besides the fact that they look like us. In Falling Skies, the cast of characters just are.
I began watching episode 3 today and stopped about 10 minutes in when they explained that Tom’s son that is being held prisoner by the aliens and need to be rescued so that they can do testing on him (but NOT to save any other the other human prisoners). Tom, if nothing else, is a good father and strong family man, but he just sort of goes, “Hmm… He might die from the testing and there are tons of other children, most of whom are probably orphans, but alright, let’s fuck with my son anyway.” I had to stop. Shit just don’t make sense on Falling Skies.
I want to close by saying that this isn’t a horrible show by any means. I’m sure there are a decent amount of people who will enjoy the show, whether it’s able to stay on the air or not. I might be unfair by judging the series so early on, but from what I’ve seen so far, I just don’t care enough to stay along for the ride. So, my first Falling Skies post will also be my last. For any of you out there watching, let me know if things progress!
- Umm…. I’m honestly having trouble thinking of things I really like about the show. Okay, I found one. It’s not horrible.
- The aliens are super generic. They’re like “evil” aliens you’d find in any other scifi show or movie. And we just do not know enough about them yet. From the lack of what we know, they kind of don’t make sense.
- I feel fucked up saying it, but Tom’s youngest son is annoying. He’s this little child in the middle of an alien invasion, but I would be mildly pleased if he died, just for the shock value.