Thursday, June 23, 2011

Falling Skies

Greeting Seedlings,

If you remember my review of last Halloween's debut series on AMC, The Walking Dead then you recall how much I hated it.  It should have been wonderful.  A series about the world after a ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE; what a fecund field into which the seeds of storytelling could be planted.  There is so much you can do by having the survivors struggling to find supplies, water, ammo, toilet paper, chocolate all to the backdrop of zombies.
For the old RPGer like me, it is a setting that is full of adventure and fighting.
So why did it suck so damn bad?
Well check out my review of it to learn why.
This is not a rehash of how much I hated WD.  This is a review of TNT's new series Falling Skies starring Noah Wyle.  I've seen the two hour premiere, which was this past Sunday (19 JUNE 2011) and my first impression was "War of the Worlds" or "The Walking Dead without the charybdic suckitude."
FS gets straight to the action, unlike WD.  We are treated to a montage of kids coloring pictures of alien conquest and giving a very basic explanation of what has happened.  Aliens arrived, humans thought they might be friendly so they didn't use nukes.  Aliens not friendly.  Carnage.  Children are taken and made to wear some weird alien centipede looking harness.
Survivors, a mixture of military and civilians, scour the land looking for supplies and safe havens while resisting the alien overlords who have no clear agenda.
So quite like The Walking Dead except with 400% less whiny bitches and 500% more action.  All this without having the enemy be flesh eating zombies.
I think we may be onto a winner here.  It reminds me of the "War of the Worlds" television show from the late 80s, only more post-apocalyptic.  Noah Wyle plays a widowed father of 3 boys, one of which has been captured and 'harnessed'.  He is a former history professor and is considered one of the 'fighters' as opposed to one of the 'civilians'.  He is, far and away, a more sympathetic, interesting and likable character than Rick the cop from WD.  Despite losing a wife to the aliens and having a captured son he is able to function without whinging, crying, or getting morally superior for no readily apparent reason.  This is a show that gives you characters worth caring about.  The aliens are still very much a mystery and that adds something for the viewer to investigate.  Again, this is much better than the zombie show.  Which is sad, because the zombie show should have been so good.
You know, few things really sell an alien show as much as this image:

Yes, it is from the LEGO Alien Conquest set, but it really sums up Falling Skies in all its Wellsian glory.
This really says it all, I think

Until next time, keep your pumpkins lit.

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