Monday, June 20, 2011

Review - Falling Skies on TNT

I liked it.  The premiere episode has me hooked.  It is surprisingly much like "The Walking Dead" on AMC.  It has hints of Battle: Los Angeles.  It is already much better than "V (2009)."

The first two hours of the show start after the main event has already occurred.  This could be good or bad.  Bad if you like to see the aliens coming (like I do).  Good if you just want to skip to the action.  Based on some scenes in previews, I think that we will most likely get flashbacks to catch us up.

This show is more about the people surviving than kicking alien booty.  I think that eventually, we'll get to that alien kicking, but for a while, it looks like the humans are going to be running.  Noah Wyle plays the main star--a dad who lost his wife to the aliens, and has had a child kidnapped.  He has two other sons with him now.

The show is co-produced by Mark Verheiden of "Battlestar Galactica" fame.  I'm hoping this will guarantee a good show, but then again, Verheiden did "Smallville" as well.

My only complaints are two: #1) the editing was a little sloppy in places; #2) the "Falling Skies" previews during the show itself are annoying.

Here are three scenes that confused me due to editing (no major spoilers here):
  • Right before a commercial break, a robot crashes through a wall and starts shooting at the people.  After the commercial break, I was expecting to see how they got away, but they were already long gone, and there was no robot in pursuit.  Since they introduced the tension, they should have resolved it, OR not introduce it in the first place.
  • At one point, an airship attacks a group of people.  It drops a blue bomb thing, but we don't see what it does.  Did the bomb kill those people?  Did it leave a crater in the ground?  The airship disappears without attacking anything else, and it's a cut to a commercial, and these questions are not resolved (though we assume the guys died).  Could it hurt to show them lying on the ground to show us they're dead?
  • At the very end (not a spoiler), we see six people walking with guns.  The music plays some "we're bad" theme.  But I'm confused.  What does that scene have to do with anything?  Where are they going?  Are they about to go shoot something?  I have no idea what the writers/directors were going for.  It's a lot like on "Star Trek Next Generation" when people walk off the bridge in random directions.  Did they enjoy walking into walls offscreen?
Hopefully, the editing will improve as the series progresses.  The editing issues are still nowhere near as annoying as TNT's habit of showing upcoming scenes at the commercial breaks.  For one, I don't need to see previews for a show I'm current watching.  Often, the clips include spoilers--like for example, think of someone who looks like they just died, but you see them in the upcoming preview--guess they're not dead!  Also, seeing forward scenes or even flashback scenes messes with the flow of the show--as if the producers are taking your bookmark and moving it around for you so you forget where you left off before the commercials came.

Maybe I'll start watching online instead of live.

Finally, I'll make a quick comparison of "Falling Skies" vs. "The Walking Dead".

  • Post-apocalyptic.
  • Humans running away and surviving.
  • Interesting characters.  (The Walking Dead is more interesting, but I like the "Sawyer" character on "Falling Skies.")
  • Chances of surviving near zero.
  • Are they filming in the same meadows?
  • Zombies are much scarier than these aliens.  At least with aliens, there's the chance of communicating with them.
  • The "resistance" on "Falling Skies" is a little more organized.
  • Dead humans stay dead in "Falling Skies."
  • Many more explosions in "Falling Skies."
 My advice: check it out.  It's better than some other recent stuff that's come out.

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