Falling Skies: Are You Staying or Bailing?

I'm not going to lie to you. If watching television wasn't my job, I'd be bailing on Falling Skies right about now. Not because it's absolutely horrible—it isn't. But it's not great, and do you really want to waste time watching half-assed television when you could be learning how to play the saxophone, making homemade explosives out of kitchen supplies, or cleaning out your email inbox?

Of course, things could be a lot worse for me than watching Falling Skies to pay the bills. In fact, I'm still hanging on to a glimmer of hope that the show will turn things around and fulfill its potential. Why? Just look at the credits: The writer of Sunday's episode "Grace" was Melinda Hsu Taylor, who wrote the Richard Alpert episode ("Ab Aeterno") of Lost (one of the series' high points). Graham Yost is an executive producer, and he's the same guy who created Justified, which I would argue is one of the best three shows on TV right now. And of course there's Steven Spielberg, who, while he's not quite the same Spielby who gave us Jaws and Raiders of the Lost Ark, is still Steven Spielberg.

The point is, there are good people working on this series and almost every show goes through some dreadful period of growing pains, so I'm not worried about sticking around for a bit. We just have to bite down on a leather strap while Falling Skies awkwardly has its way with us. If you're not into that kind of kinky business, then you've probably already denounced the show and moved on to other great summer programming or sped off on a stolen motorbike like Pope. I don't blame you, I don't fault you, and I don't mind that you did. I'll let you know if it gets better. And if you really, really enjoy Falling Skies, that's okay too. It's not a bad show.

That said, there a lot of dumb things happened in Sunday's "Grace"—but at least the show seems to be trying to fix its biggest problem: adding depth to its characters. Unfortunately, it's doing so in a clunky way. Aside from Pope and Dr. Harris, the two "bad guys," there's enough personality in the room to fill a teaspoon. Everyone else recites their lines in a tough-ish-guy manner and then leaves. When you assemble a search party to go hunting for motorcycles and the only thing that distinguishes one guy from the next is the color of his skin (with the exception of Pope, who is getting pretty awesome), you've got problems.

Elsewhere, a few nuggets about other characters slinked into the show. Lourdes suddenly became a Bible-thumper (can we please eliminate the super-religious-person archetype from sci-fi shows? Don't go down that road unless you can do it well). The show alluded to something bad that happened to Anne (Moon Bloodgood)—but it didn't help us get to know her any better. And Dai decided that talking about himself in the third person is a great touch that should have been implemented from the get-go. Basically, instead of devoting the hour to one or two characters, the writers sprinkled in little tidbits about everyone and then gave us a weird Kumbaya ending that completely fizzled. Usually there's some communal victory to warrant that kind of "we're all in this together" celebratory scene, but all that really happened was: Tom and his pals got attacked by kids they couldn't save, their prized captive and chef got away, Dai got shot in the leg, and Mike's kid might have died. But at least they got fresh bread!

Falling Skies has the benefit of being on when nothing else is, but if it doesn't iron out its wrinkles soon, it won't matter.

Your next assignment: Even with a huge cast of undeveloped characters, Episode 3 means it's time to step up and pick some favorites. At this point, Dr. Harris (Steven Weber), a.k.a. Dr. Negativity, is the only person other than Pope who I ever get excited to see on screen, because he's a jerk and he says all the things I would say. Seriously, Anne, are you trying to help save humanity or home-school the captured alien? Thanks to user ferrage's comment last week, all I think of when I see and hear Pope is Sawyer from Lost, and "Grace" made it pretty obvious that Pope is a direct rip-off. But at least he's something. In the "so bad they're good" department, I've taken quite a shine to Margaret (Sarah Carter), the blonde rescued from Pope's gang. She always has a gun in her hand and she always tries to act mysterious and tough, but fails completely. I'm honestly hoping they keep her that way for the entire series, for hilarity's sake. Who do you like best so far? (And if there's a character you favor simply because he or she is so weird, let us know that too).

Notes:
... Mike! You are an idiot! Sticking a gun in the alien's mouth and demanding that he/she talk? Ripping off the harness from your kid? Not exactly Father of the Year material.

... I've read a lot of your comments about the bad acting is in the show, but didn't really notice it until this episode. Dog Boy might be the worst kid actor I've seen in a long time.

... Dear Special Effects Dept., it might be a good idea to stop showing close-ups of the captured alien now, special effects department. It reminds me of something from Amazing Stories.

... Who else couldn't stop thinking about Lost when Tom and friends were walking through the grass looking for motorcycles? Tom is everyman hero Jack. Pope (Sawyer) was being all racist to that one dude (Sayid). I was just waiting for him to call someone Stay-Puft.

... User linkthehero82 totally busted me regarding last week's story: I was wrong about Lourdes and Anne being daughter-mother. I could blame shoddy writing and poor characterization, but I'll take this one on the chin. I'm an idiot.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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After watching this show from the beginning I'm finally clear that I want the aliens to win and the falling skies to hurry up and finish falling.
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how can anyone expect this shite to be good when they've trolled the depth of the worst excuse for a tv channel (SCYFY) to build a cast of cheap extras and forgettable monster movie victims. For Christ's sake DUMB HIPPIE NAME is picked to be the female lead in awful crap after awful crap, and needs electro-shock treatment just to get her to show real emotion once in a BLUE MOON. Furthermore, the writers who work for scyfy need to go back to selling dime store novels.
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How does a show like this get renewed but Firefly did not? I watched the entire season waiting for something to happen or at least wait for someone to learn how to act.... This show is awful.
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I love how people that supposedly don't like a show and make a point to tell everyone that they stopped watching after the first hour/episode etc. are still visiting the show's website weeks later posting about the show.
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I LOVE Falling Skies! It's nice to have an original show for a change.
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It's funny how they got rid of one blonde, Karen, and replaced her with another blonde, the rescue, Margaret, as a possible love interest for the oldest son, Hal. I like Margaret, she's smart and tough, she'll give Hal a run for his money, but after Karen was abducted, we don't hear anything about her, she's just gone. Wonder what the aliens have planned for her? She seems older than the rest of the abductees, which are primarily children.
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yeah.. keep talking bad things and then when they cancel the show, start to say good things, just like you did with V
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"TNT Renews Falling Skies for Season 2" so what are we still talking about ?
watch it and give it a chance , it is a good show and better than most shows that you all are still watching
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I'm not loving the show yet but I'll hang in their, but syfy is back for the summer with warehouse 13, haven and eureka plus alphas I'm ok !
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Dafiki... imitation is supposed to be the highest form of flattery... but REALLY?



Anyway... AJ was right on when he noted this seems like a rehash of Jericho sans the grit. Right now the most of the characters seem too soft and pretty. Other than Pope, Capt Dale Dye, and the Doctor. The religious character is always going to show up on these type of shows, but they only work if they are played as borderline nut jobs or very commited. This girl seems like she is just reading the lines she is given so it's off putting. Maybe they can tighten things up in a few episodes. I'll give them a couple more before I relegate Falling Skies to "watch if I've got nothing else to do" status
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Almost all of the alien sound effects are recycled from Jurassic Park. I love Speils, he's the man, but come on! Apart from that giving me a good laugh, still lovin' the show!
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staying! like the show so far!
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People that are hating right now are retarded. It took shows like Cheers and Seinfeld as well as others a couple seasons for the audience to find the show and the show to find its legs. No one wants to wait a minute. The show's kind of boring so far but there's too many knee jerk reactions to the show right now. P.S. None of us are cool, so just relax. Why don't we just create a Falling Skies drinking/smoking game. It might be more enjoyable. Your move Internets!!!
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Bailing! Boring and left me asking if this the best they could come up with. Too bad looked so good and was a major flop as far as I am concerned. Gimme In Plain Sight on USA.
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The whole "food depot" scene lost it for me. First, every upper shelf was full of large boxes. Not a likely sight for a year after the initial attack. Plus all the isles were clear. Again, pretty unlikely. But the worst was when he pushed a shopping cart with about a pound of C4 at the "Mech". I figured, that's just about enough to level the whole building. The explosion had a blast radius of about 5 feet and didn't even knock the big boxes off the shelf, or kill the humans who were about 20 feet away.



That was actually TOO bad to be funny.
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I bailed after the first episode. It is too much like others I have seen and didn't grab me at all.
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Only watched 3 episodes but giving it benefit of the doubt..... its a decent apocalyptic idea for a show but not gritty enough yet. Just got to give it time i guess/ (hope). Still too early to jump ship though.
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I didn't wanna to compare, but this show is a "copy" of the walking dead but with aliens! No offence! I think show is very boring and definitely not exciting!!! I keep folowing 2 or 3 episodes... if dont get better, well I'll just stop watching!!!
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What do you mean "Now that we're three weeks in." I live in the UK we have only had 1 episode so far. It looked great to me.
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I watched the first half hour and turned it off. The only good thing that I can say about it is that it is waaay funnier then the unfunny, unwatched 30rock!
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This has the same feel of Jericho. There is some really big event that the viewers never witness and are then subjected to the monotonous trials of some rag-tag humans because that's all the budget can afford. What happens then is a gap forms between what is happening in the world of characters and what is happening in the world outside of them. So we get aliens hiding in dark corners and humans freely riding around in motorcycles when most of the humans are dead. The writers seem to have checklist of the human complexities they can exploit in their scripts, it comes off campy and lame.
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Staying for now. Its a gentle slow start, but will get there
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I'll stick with the show for three reasons: #1 - It isn't terrible right now. It's a little better than fair. #2 - I have got a feeling that things are going to pick up real soon. Kind of like the last year or so of Lost when it regained it's footing I think this show is going to find itself and take off (God I hope so anyway). #3 - I would rather read the dictionary than watch the reality crap that the networks are offering right now. The people that resort to reality programming do it because they are to stupid and untalented (Is that a word?) to put something on TV that even remotely resembles entertainment. I wish more people would take a look at USA and TNT. They don't always get it right but at least they try. Their leadership has a set while the big four (NBC/CBS/ABC/Fox) stumble around in the dark trying to find their zipper.
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i am proud to say i have never followed an entire reality show..so i can't say i have stuck out really bad tv. if i don'tike something i bail. i almost did after the pilot of this series but now i am going to stay for a few more to see if they have a good back story for the aliens. i was extremly disapointed in the scene with the gun in mouth and tearing off the harness. cheap ways to keep info from us...i really thought they would see that this was how to talk with the big bug guy...it is hard to rag on the hysteria,i don't know what i would do with a child making familia ties with a non-human monster enemy...the big flaw was letting him anywhere near the kid or alien. but it was planned to keep us in the dark with the dads sabotage of sorts...
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I'll be sticking around for awhile. I think it is a pretty decent show. Much better than most. I'd rather watch grass grow than suffer through Big Brother, or Cake Boss, especially the bachelorette, and every other reality show I've had the misfortune to wake up from a short slumber and see making a mockery of civilized man on my wide screen. I've got 250 channels and half the time I can't find a decent thing to watch that I haven't seen a dozen times already. In that light Falling Skies is a breath of fresh air.
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I really want to keep liking this show. It's right up my alley - love aliens. But they keep doing such lame things, or NOT doing things. For example, they mentioned communicating with CA, Oklahoma, Chicago I think - but they're NOT asking them if they've figured out how to remove the insect things from the kids, or ask them how they deal with skitters - is there a weakness for example? C'mon, any communications should include asking these very basic and obvious questions!!
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My biggest problem with the show is boredom. The aliens are okay, the huddled masses are okay for your typical generic survivors, but so far I don't care about any of the main characters or what their issues are. As several have pointed out, it does feel a bit like LOST: the Apocalyptic Years
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It's good, not great but then it's not like there is an over abundance of great TV series. It is however, greater than all forms of reality/game/competition shows. Most of what I watch is good, not great anyway so I'm sticking with it.
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Its a great show.....It is good change from what we normally see people do to each in these other apocalyptic movie we seen. It gives us a great view of good humans what they will do for each other in worst of times....
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Spielberg has never done well with a TV series.
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Falling Skies is a breath of fresh air unlike all that mindless drivel with all those stupid reality shows & housewife shows. Honestly, I want something better than to follow the Kardashians or whatever they are. Falling Skies is great.
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The people putting out Falling Skies should go to io9 and read the article 10 Things a show could learn from The Vampire Diaries.
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I don't like it, but I'm watching anyway. I'm hoping there's a logical reason behind my continued watching, but it's pretty much just down to the fact that I like Moon Bloodgood and Noah Wyle. The show has a strong pedigree, but sometimes all you get from a strong pedigree is a really inbred dog (of a show).
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This is like all those bad NBC movies of the week in the 1980s and 1990s -- how far will one father go to save/protect/defend/avenge his son. Sheesh. At this point, I want to put a bullet in Ben's brain just to stop Dr. Carter from whining about it.

The show's problem is typical of TV-think: the producers don't think the audience is smart enough to follow a well-written drama. So we have to Spell. Everything. Out. Over. And Over. Again.

Sigh. When will they learn...
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Truthfully the way tv networks are going right now...this show will probably get one season only, even though it is not that bad.
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Well this show is "alright" last episode the characters had the "stupids......after seeing his son fail to recognize him, why would you leave him alone in the vicinity of the alien? And if you see children (doesn't matter if you know them or not) approaching you with automatic weapons, why would you stand there until they start shooting? Anyway I'm sticking with it for no other reason than the shows I really like are off-season now.
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not sure why you don't like the show. i think it's pretty good.
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Wow! I'm shocked that you dislike this show so much. I really have been enjoying it very much. I'll be sticking with it! Good story and great characters.
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I'm staying for a while. I'd like to see a bit more depth to the characters but also realize that takes more than four episodes - especially when the first two are used as the pilot. I don't like the thug Pope at all. He's one dimensional in the worst way.
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Only saw the first hour of the premier...
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I'm sticking with it. I'm digging it and I think it has lots of possibilities. I can think of sooooo much trash--trash that people really liked--that wasn't half as good....like Lost. What an overrated piece of garbage Lost was, but people loved it. This show reminds me a bit of Jericho, and that's a good thing. I do think they totally struck out with the front line cast, though; Noah Wyle and Will Patton have all the combined charisma of moldy cheese. But the rest of the cast is excellent, so I'm kinda hoping they kill off Wyle and Patton at the first opportunity. Pope and Hal should take the leading roles.
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Watched the first episode in UK (FXHD) and not really impressed. Scifi is my favorite genre but guys, they canceled both SG shows, and they are both 10x better than this. I've really felt dull after watching the first episode. I mean guys 300 people walk in the middle of the day few hounded meters from the mother ship and the aliens don't see them, come on. They killed 95% of the populations and the don't see guys with loud motorbikes !!! I mean I adore SciFi but this is like for kids.
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I bailed after the first episode, the birthday thing and cheesy family stuff in it made it feel quite lame, I figure it will get cancelled so no point investing time into it like all the others that I watched and have been cancelled.
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I am totally loving this show. I can't believe how many don't. I think it has good story line, great cast and the scenery is great too. I will definitely keep watching and hope it doesn't get cancelled.
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My problem with any new show that premiers, is that it does take time to develop a life of it's own. The actors and characters take time to grow together and the direction of the show progresses (or doesn't). So many great shows didn't start off so great. Plus, a lot of shows don't really get the chance to develop and progress because of factors that have nothing to do with the show itself (FOX, please take notes...). So I usually wait at least one season before I start watching a show. I wait for it to be renewed for a second season and only then do I give it a whirl. It's still risky nowadays because having a second season doesn't promise longevity (V, The 4400, Pushing Daisies, Dollhouse to name a few) but at least you know that there might be a chance for your show to have a life) So bottom line - I would give it a chance. We'll see how it goes...
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I love Noah Wyle so I'm staying! I also think the story will get better. The first season of a show always takes a bit to get going. I watched the first six episodes of Californacation before I fell in love and I'm a big Duchovny fan.
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This is way off the mark. Its got good story and good characters. Sure its not top drawer but for Sci-Fi fans its the best we got. It has enough meat I will keep watching.
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I've already bailed. So boring I am watching the shopping channel instead.
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im only watching because got nothing else and watch and i like the main charater or i would be bailing by now, ps. sorry for my english
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Yeah I was gone after the premiere. Just didn't like the story. I'll say my bf still watches.
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