This vs. That: Falling Skies or Defiance?

Welcome to the latest round of TV.com's "This vs. That," where we pit two things against one another and you vote on which one should win... in whatever context you choose. I think we can all agree that this particular match-up is simply otherworldly... because ALIENS! Yes, with Defiance winding down its first season and Falling Skies still in the early stages of its third, there's all kinds of ETs on TV right now (even if some of them are decidedly more civil-seeming than others). So tell me, won't you please...

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Feel free to show your work in the comments!

PREVIOUSLY: This vs. That: True Blood or Teen Wolf?

Ed. note: Eventually we really do hope to make good on our initial promise of "new match-ups every few days." If there's a specific battle you'd like to see, send it via PM to TVcom_editorial, via Twitter to @tvdotcom, or via email to mailbag@tv.com. (And thanks to those of you who've already submitted ideas!)

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Defiance wins by hot Lesbian Alien action!
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This is a very tough matchup. After reading many of the comments, I still have to call it a draw. Both shows are filled with promise and highly inconsistent.
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D is cooler and has a killer soundtrack!!!!!!
FS is just kinda dumb at most times but still better than most!
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OK, the whole "they copied (...)" is really starting to get annoying. Who cares? There hasn't been a completely original alien invasion story since Jules Verne wrote "War of the Worlds" in the late 19th century. The last totally original "humans vs. some other intelligent beings" was the Chtulu Mythos by H.P. Lovecraft in the early 20th century.

Nearly every popular band out there has used Pachelbel's Canon in D and the 1-4-5 progression ("Knockin' on Heaven's Door," "Keep on Rockin' in the Free World," etc...) at least once. So stop complaining about unoriginality. With nearly 10,000 years of art in some form or another behind is, it's kind of difficult to be 100 percent original.
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Correction. H.G. Wells wrote "War of the Worlds" not Verne.
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Oh, yeah. Oops.
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If we want real SyFy then just bring back the Stargate series. Make a proper ending to Stargate Universe. Best Syfy series of the last 15 years. People are still buying the dvd's and watching the re-runs. As there is no proper syfy out there at the moment.
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Woooooooo! Stargate!!!!! I miss the franchise, they should have given Universe a better chance.
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Now I've seen a few episodes of Falling Skies..... It has it's issues, but it is much better written and has a much more believable story and characters.

Defiance just wants to be a soap opera, pulling in an extra sci-fi audience by dressing up and putting make-up on a few crazy characters.

Falling Skies, with it's issues, highlights just how bad Defiance really is.
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You can't really compare those shows, i mean yes are both scifi shows but one (falling skies) is more oriented for mature people (25+) while defiance can be more enjoyable for younger audience.
by the way i hope both shows will run for years.
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In This case BOTH !!!
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I will side with defiance, I like the fractured misunderstood nobility of the spirit riders, and ANY tv show the orchestrates a scene with Van Morrison's "into The Mystic" is amazing in my book.... More Spirit Riders, Less GUNS..... HOW much violence in the real world? who needs to see, it sanctioned on a show that is ostensibly about learning how to live post conflict? script rwriters.... give the daughter the ball, and let her run with it!
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You can't really compare "Falling Skies" to "Defiance". The first is a family show (at least it was such when I stopped watching it well into season 1), and the latter is for 18-year-olds-plus. You won't be watching the sex scenes with you children, will you? Of course, there is some atmosphere of a family show in "Defiance " too, and that is quite disturbing to me. Hope the script writers will remove that "family" aura from season 2 (if they planned to have it again), and make "Defiance" a full-blooded sci-fi thriller.
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There's room for improvement on both ends. With Defiance, the whole "shtako" crap is just annoying, it'll never be another "frak" and there needs to be more conflict less soap-opera-like stories each week. With Falling skies, things need to speed up, it takes forever to get to the point and every significant event gets dragged out beyond reason, and how about some answers to the million questions we all have concerning the 7 month gap between seasons? You can't introduce a new race on a season finale cliff-hanger and then have them as a cameo in the following season! Despite these, and a few other, flaws, both shows are keeping me turning on week after week. That said, neither matches up to the sci-fi series that lasted over a decade and still has an avid fan-base - BRING BACK STARGATE!!!
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I'm conflicted I watch both, though I am behind at the moment. I liked the first episode of Defiance and thought it was going somewhere cool but it dragged after that first one. Falling Skies has its moments, I haven't started the 3rd season but I have high hopes because of the ending of the last one. I'm just worried (and it seems those fears might be realized) that it's just gonna be more of the same, with them trying to unite the family despite alien mind control, last I saw Hal was a little out of it. But hey I'll finish both and see, right now I feel it's an unfair comparison since Falling Skies has already got 2 and a half seasons under its belt and Defiance is still figuring itself out. But going by the first 7 episodes of each I have to give it to Falling Skies, it kept up the pace a little more and the fighting. Defiance seems like it wanted to be an alien invasion story but now its just an alien co-existing story and that's kinda boring.
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Defiance. Falling Skies is getting boring with all of it's sappy romances and interpersonal relationships. I didn't start watching Falling Skies because I wanted to watch a romantic drama with "life lessons" and "family building," I started watching it because I wanted to watch people fighting alien invaders!
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What you want is what Falling Skies does - people fighting alien invaders (with some hot chicks). What Defiance doesn't do is fight legitimate alien invaders, unless bad-actors in tacky alien makeup counts and some notion that huge alien spaceships once came to earth...
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Well, I must be watching a different "Falling Skies" than you, because most of the "Falling Skies" that I've seen, lately, has been a boring romantic and political drama, kind of like a soap opera with an alien invasion.
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Have you watched the latest episodes with the flying spaceships/the weapon they're building/the explosions? Maybe you're looking for more a non-stop 24/Rambo experience :P
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I'm sorry, Jasper, but "Falling Skies" sucks. I only watch it because all the good shows are on hiatus. The first half of the season premiere put me to sleep. I woke up for the second half. Then, the second episode of this season was terrible! It was so boring! I'm not looking for nonstop action, but I'm also not a fan of nonstop speeches, politics, and romance.
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Neither
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Falling Skies..love the action, the intrigue and even the drama.
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I watch them both, Defiance is a little to normal it's SyFy but it's not special enough it looks like most tv shows only with aliens. In Falling Skies it's more about serviving and a lot more action and better aliens instead of more human like aliens.
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Defiance! Falling Skies is too much like the 80's version of 'V'. I loved the original, hated the reboot.

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Both are a pice of crap !
We need real SF !
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Farscape :(
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Andromeda, Babylon 5, Mutant X ....;)
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They're pretty similar in the liking stakes and the votes are showing that.
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Falling Skies is definitely more annoying than Defiance, but Defiance is not so good either. Makes me miss the days of Lost and Fringe.
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For me, both shows are just ok. I find them both to be too childish with too many "cliché emotional" moments. Why can´t there be more shows like BSB, True Blood, Breaking Bad, GoT or Homeland...quality wise and targeted at adults?
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No American network that isn't pay-cable is going to do in primetime the things True Blood, Game of Thrones, and Homeland do. Other than GoT I'm not sure how you mean those programs are "quality-wise" that much better. I'm tired of the idea that featured-character body counts equal quality, although I don't know if that's what you meant at all.
BSG is its own beast, and believe it or not, there are people (okay, me, and apparently some of the other commenters here) who found it more angsty/depressing than challenging. Maybe someday I'll get all the nostalgia for the show, or maybe it was easier to get watching it in sequence from DVD, I don't know.
As for Falling Skies and Defiance, it's a mixed bag. Neither one, right now, has found a consistent tone, yet they both hold so much promise that I'm glad they're on networks much more likely to keep them running than the I definitely miss the days of Fringe, a show that knew how to challenge you intellectually and still make you laugh occasionally, and the out-and-out sci-fi comedies like Chuck and Eureka. I'm warming to Continuum, and against all my expectations, Arrow, which is pushing the moral complexity boundaries pretty far for a primetime OTA network.
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Oops - loose fingers there. What I meant to say in the last paragraph is that Syfy and TNT are much more likely to hang onto those shows than NBC or ABC or even Fox, who sometimes don't know quality from real messes (i.e., Fox canceling Terra Nova and NBC keeping the utterly goofy Revolution). At least you can give the No Brilliance Channel some points for keeping Chuck through 4.5 seasons.
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What I mean with quality is the way it´s produced (cinematography, locations, dialogue etc.) Of course it´s not really fair to compare ppv series to cable shows but History channel´s Vikings shows how it can be done. What I find most annoying about those cable shows is the predictability and the cheesiness of the protagonists behaviour or rather dialogue. I didn´t like Terra Nova, Eureka or Chuck btw because for me it´s the same problem with dialogue, interaction and even physics (some things are just waaay to unrealistic). But I have to agree with you, at least they keep some shows longer on air to let them develop a little bit.
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P.S. I liked Fringe although it was quite liberal on the physics, as well (I´m an engineer so physics is quite important to me). But it was still pretty much grounded on reality or current theories.
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Son's of Anarchy, Orphan Black, The Client List are also adult oriented, if I may Ask what is BSB? all shows have "cliché emotional moments really , now as for Falling Skies and Defiance they are not childish at all!!! not even close
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typo... I meant BSG. Thanks for the show recommendations. I have to disagree with you on the childishness of the shows. IMO most of the emotional moments present issues that occur early in life. Of course not everything is childish with these two shows but I find too many cliché scenes to be banal and unrelatable since I would not act in such a way (or any intelligent being), Shows like BSG or GoT deal with more fundamental or complex situations or decisions. Anyway, thats just my opinion and I would put Defiance and Falling skies in the same category as Smallville, Continuum, Kyle XY or V. Good but not great.
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i completely agree with you.
defiance a little bit more childish then falling skies.
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well everybody has their own taste in shows, Smallville, Kyle XY V I really enjoyed Continuum is getting better and better BSG was good but it had its confusing moments (example a space barring race, with hardly any medical advancements) where their is ton of advancements in Continuum , now I tried True Blood gave up on it after three episode found it very boring, Homeland the same thing, Breaking Bad have not tried, Bottom line to each their own, but more important every show has its flaws!! BTVS had ton of emotional moments some childish and some warranted but they were needed!! you need emotional characters, if not we all will be watching and hearing noting but robots!! now I ranked BTVS among the best of all time
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I agree with you. Emotions must be present in every show and every show has of course its flaws (so far I haven´t seen any flaws in GoT, though). I guess it´s better said that most shows are generic and therefore predictable. But like you said, there are enough people who enjoy this very much. Personally, I just wish there were more shows that are pressing the limits of what´s conventional. So far I can still count those with one hand.
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Very hard question to answer ( harder than the Fringe Vrs. Lost battle you guys had awhile ago) specially since Falling Skies has had a couple of seasons to work out its failures while Defiance is still in its first season. Very tough indeed, it is. So, I'd have to pick BSG. And the runner up is...
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Falling Skies. (even with the baby)
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FALLING SKIESSS, and where is jack bauer in FALLIN SKIES universe??? maybe undercover as an alien and he will save the day as usual ^^
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D is just so much better of a show!!!!!
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Futurama!
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Defiance is more Western than sci-fi in nature.
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I reckon they were trying to capture some of Firefly's essence.
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Love the Volm :) Falling Skies of course !
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Falling skies for sure!
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Falling Skies
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Toss up of two OK shows...
Both have pluses and minuses. Both have good concepts. Both have some miscasting.
Defiance is aimed at a mature audience while Falling Skies is aimed at families.
I will continue watching both but if one was cancelled I would be OK with it.

Actually the BEST genre show is The Walking Dead. Grimm is another good one. And surprisingly, based on the last hand full of episodes, Revolution looks very interesting...finally.
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defiance for mature people? wow i'm 40 and it's hard to digest any story or acting in defiance.
for mature people scifi shows are caprica, bsg, enterprise, tng nothing really to compare to defiance, at least it's what i think ;P
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We were asked to compare Falling Skies and Defiance. Falling Skies aims at a younger family audience, although this new season is much much better.
I do agree that Caprica and BSG targeted an adult audience and are far superior to either Defiance and Falling Skies. But that was not the comparison in the poll...
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The Walking Dead is boring as hell.
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'FALLING SKIES' if I was a child. It seems as though that pile of dung was produced by children. If thats what Steven Spielberg is producing nowadays maybe he should just retire. Whether it be (1) Casting Noah Wyle as the lead. Are you kidding me? (2) Stealing so much of Ron Moore's material from 'Battlestar Galactica' that its starting to get ridiculous - as soon as Karen and I Can't Act started having sex, if I was Moore I'd have been on the phone with the lawyers. Final straw. So they're making Karen a cylon.... (3) The scripts seem to have been penned by stoners but the show doesn't have a sense of humor at all - yeah lets have this dude do that and no wait a minute lets do this, no forget that... wait a minute what was that chick doing.. oh yeah ....(4) The platitude and cliche filled speeches spilling out of Wyle every single episode. (5) The realy stupid aliens. or (6) Breaking one of the cardinal rule of Science Fiction - dont add a mysterious inexplicable alien baby - that move has killed much better sci-fi than this crap. 'DEFIANCE' is trying but I think they had a real choice to make this week to get rid of Grant Bowler or Gale Harold and I think they really made the wrong call. It was lazy. They got rid of the better actor and killed what could have been awesome story possibilities. Julie Benz I like, but not as the town leader - that ain't her - don't people remember when she used to be the bad girl? Damn you Dexter. Mia Kirschner roles with whatever roles she gets and she's fine. Tony Curran is growing on me. When this show stears clear of the young adults it can be really good. They stole something good from 'Battlestar' - Bear McCreary's score is great. And Jamie Murray is freaking awesome. So 'Defiance' for the win.
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Spielberg cannot be held responsible for the things he just pours money into and not his creative decisions. The guy is still a brilliant director. I do agree with the rest of your points though.
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The second Karen's back started glowing red I changed the channel in a fit of rage. It seems every episode this season has taken something directly from Battlestar Galactica - and they haven't even done it well at that! It's more than annoying. I get a lot of shows play homage to other great shows, or put in easter eggs, but straight up theft is not only uncouth but immoral and lets not forget illegal. I'm shocked that TNT cleared this based on the legality factor alone.
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A lot of 'Battlestar' people are behind the scenes but David Eick and Ron Moore aren't; so why is Spielberg's crew stealing?. (Both shows killed off Luciana Carro as well.) The biggest problem they can't overcome is they have Noah Wyle instead of Eddie. Olmos always had you completely engrossed in those too long platitude laden speeches. Wyle is just a completely replaceable average white character actor. He isn't selling this rip off. Guess Ron Moore was right for getting rid of the aliens.)
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It wouldn't let me reply to your most recent reply, but I agree, I agree, I agree! It's no wonder why I agree with you though, you obviously know that Whedon rules so we're bound to see eye-to-eye at least part of the time :-)
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Very, VERY true. Not just Olmos as a leading man (which he was magnificent to say the least), but the other ensemble cast members, even the smaller characters. One thing Battlestar was always fantastic at was making you connect with all of the characters on some level; these connections and actually caring what happens to characters are what make shows for me. I wish this was an aspect that Falling Skies decided to emulate - I could care less what happens to the vast majority of the characters, and the ones I'm rooting for are probably not the ones the show is intending, but alas the masses, including myself, seem to gravitate towards (Pope, etc.). Re: Eick and Moore, again agreed. And I know Spielberg is just the money, he's producing not writing/directing, and I understand fans wanting to distinguish this since Spielberg is (also IMO) great- but his name is on it so for better or for worse people will still connect the dots.
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Okay so know they are adding Michal Hogan as well. I love 'Tighe' and I can't hate this character. (Appears its going to be the same character!) Can't have your name as executive producer and not share blame. Amblin Entertainment is the first logo you see on this show. I think the writers obviously love Pope as much as the fans, he's the only one whose selling his parts of the script and he's getting some good lines. The actor, Collin Cunningham, seems to be the only person in this entire cast having any fun on this show. He and the young actor playing Tom Mason's youngest son are the only performances you look forward to.
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Well, I don't watch this but that's an alarming accusation and most likely true. Man of Steel ripped-off The Avengers city destruction, but not as well. So I guess there's just nothing new under the sun--except there is. People are publishing books at an alarming rate and some of it MUST be good...
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The city destruction in Man of Steel was much better.
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Seeing Man of Steel today so I can't comment on that just yet, but I'm going to assume you're spot-on because this seems to be the status quo on the big and small screens.

There's a fine line between ripping off an idea and actual theft of creative and intellectual property, so I have to assume TNT's legal team has determined that the use of Battlestar Galactica material falls into the former category. Regardless, you would think that with Spielberg involved the creativity would go beyond ripping off other shows.

About the books I can't agree with you more. Between a huge array of books, graphic novels, etc. that are new and innovative I'm hoping we see NEW ideas on screen soon. For example, World War Z was an amazing book, so I'm curious to see how it translated to the screen ...
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The guy who plays The Man of Steel is great, he just needs a better script...
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The neighbor kids saw WWZ yesterday(17 and 21) and said it really sucked--their words. I'm 65 and these kids seem to really like me because they help me whenever my old ass requires it--good kids--bad movie...
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Well said...
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Poll results are invalid. Votes "cast" accidentally when trying to click the show name to find out what it is. Where's the option to "un-check" the box?
(... that's assuming a "cast" vote has any effect on the "results" displayed when a different person/pc/browser visits the site)
I clicked Defiance because I'd never heard of it. It may be better or it may not... or worse, we could be displaying opinions in an attempt to pretend there is a "right" show to like.
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I tried watching Falling Skies season one and a bit of season 2, but I ended up hating myself for watching them after every show. With that said, I'm not excited watching Defiance every week either, but I am hoping that they find their groove and it becomes a worthwhile series. Plus I just watched Dexter season 2 (the best season) again so I need more of Julie Benz and Jamie Murray.
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Defiance, I've seen Falling Skies (s1-s2) and its so bland.
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They got the most milquetoast actor on television to play the lead, and they thought that was a good move. Noah Wyle suuuuuuuuucks so bad.
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There is no "if", only "and".
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It is a pitty for both of them.
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Lately, Falling Skies has been more interesting. Defiance is feeling a bit dull, kinda lackluster.
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Really? Defiance for me has gotten WAY more interesting the last few episodes. Especially now that they are getting more into the main story line
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Put a "Fringe" in there and i will click it ;)
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If Falling Skies is worse than Defiance, aliens might as well invade and save us! Perhaps they'll be a better judge of potentially good sci-fi shows.

I'm not really sure Defiance deserves to be called sci-fi. It's a western soap opera with a few of the characters wearing excessive make up.
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By your same reasoning Firefly wasn't science fiction which is just absurd.
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Firefly was completely different and obviously good sci-fi. I don't understand the relevance of your comment.
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I don't know why you don't get the relevance. The commenter is spot-on that you could have substituted "Firefly" for "Defiance" and the comments would be true. He's not saying you would have thought Firefly was good or bad, just that you can't dismiss Defiance for those aspects. Now if you want to say that Defiance is trying to be the love child of Firefly and BSG (and, predictably, falling quite a ways short of both), that's entirely fair. But saying that "Defiance doesn't deserve to be called "sci-fi" is a bit excessive.
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Honestly no idea what you are talking about.

Firefly was nothing like Defiance. It had a sci-fi concept that dictated most of the stories. A lot of Defiance stories could happen regardless of the post-alien invaded world.

Sci-fi is not just scenery, it is also about how the stories are told. More importantly, it should open up opportunities to play out situations not possible in the real-world, but relative to problems we face. Firefly did this, Defiance does not as it just relies on tried, tested and over-used Western clichés a lot of the time.

But if that does not explain it well enough, lets just agree to disagree.
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firefly couldn't have worked in any other Setting as it was, the characters wouldn't have.
the world of defiance would work in any other Setting, too as would the characters. a mayor????? please.
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Just sayin' but if the aliens, tech, story foundation, ect. doesn't strike you as obvious sci-fi qualifiers, you really should go ahead & take the time to bone up on what sci-fi actually is.
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@Marburg66 I think you missed my point. As CarolineEmili says, a few aliens don't necessarily make sci-fi.

However, I was referring more to the fact that it doesn't deserve to be called that, because 90% of the time it's turned into a soap opera, with the focus on daft character problems rather than the tech.
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Aliens alone dont make sci-fi. and the tech they showed us so far were broken space ships and advanced weaponry and a macguffin who does god knows what.
. if you can simmer down a story to: different cultures try to get along while a few struggle for power then nope, ist not exactly sci-fi.
what exactly is the Story foundation? that they came from outer space? could be the French, Germans, italians and all other cultures coming to the US from the early 1500s on. Terraforming? what exactly did it do except create a few monsters that work well in combination with the game? nothing sci-fi there because the tech made no change in the way of life of all those people. (in the reality we're living with them now, not in the war before)
you can take that same setting and make a Fantasy setting out of it easily. that alone shows how much sci-fi it actually is.
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So a show is only sci-fi if the tech does something fantastic? What if the message IS that a future with flawed individuals really doesn't look any better in the face of a catastrophic set of events?
Has all of our tech made life better? Or has it made our world more dangerous, and certainly no less squalid in many overcrowded cities around the world?
Can I make a comment without a single declarative statement?
(Apparently so. Sorry.)
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If Defiance was doing or convincingly doing what you suggest, I think it would be a lot better.

The point I was making was different. They are playing out a typical western, with alien species taking the place of the indians. Sticking a few laser guns and tech equipment doesn't make if good sci-fi, and if the tech is not generally a driving force for the plot then I'm not sure it qualifies as sci-fi.

I think also I consider (good) sci-fi to create stories that use it to go beyond the boundaries that playing 'normal life' doesn't allow for. If you look objectively at most of the stories, there's very little of that.

Anyway, I gave up on this show ages ago, so haven't (and don't care to) see the more. So that's the perspective I'm coming from.
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good point
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Not even Fox Mulder and Scully could have save any of these two!!
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Nice avatar. :)
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Likewise ;)
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hmm...looks like 1 to 3 people decided to MLP the poll in Defiance's favor
Weak y'all
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I watch both shows, but it's hard to pick which is the worst. They both have writing and acting problems. Defiance relies on a new catastrophe every week to give the characters something to do, without ever really giving us much about the characters themselves. Falling Skies has some really terrible acting, and lazy writing at times.
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We like them BOTH.
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Neither....both suck
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Defiance all the way, closet thing to a real space Sci-fi on tv atm.
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Tough one, actually. I like the way Defiance starts us off after everything already happened and alien and humans are living and interacting with each other in 'the world after', whereas Falling Skies dropped a major bomb on us with all these new races at the beginning of season three. On the other hand, Falling Skies has a darker and slightly more realistic tone to it in both scenery and story (minus the over the top CG), whereas Defiance often seems campy and it's hard to take the make-up jobs seriously, as well as the one-shot episodes constantly introducing new species like they came up with a new super-hero every episode to fit the story in Heroes.

One more thing that Defiance has going for it that Falling Skies has going against it, and that's dialogue and exposition. The exposition in the latter is HORRIBLE; I cannot count the number of times in the season premiere they said, "In the last seven months", or "since seven months ago" as though the audience needed to be hit over the head again and again by a shovel. I mean, I think the characters would KNOW when things started to change without constantly reminding each other. Defiance works in the exposition a lot more naturally, as in the episode where they showed (instead of simply explained it to the audience) how 'razor rain' occurs, then subtly worked it into the dialogue after the fact.

Neither are exactly what I would call 'stellar' shows, but both are decent and for the most part fun to watch. Here's hoping they both improve.
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Falling Skies had it's problems at the start but has attempted to work out the kinks. Not perfect, but has kept my attention up to date.

Defiance is running into similar problems, which it will hopefully flesh out as the show progresses.

So for now, it goes to Falling Skies, although I like the political storyline potential that Defiance has, ala Babylon 5.

I can not honestly name more than a handful of sci-fi shows that hit the ground running (BSG is one of the only ones that cames to mind).
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Agree with you on BSG -- definitely the best show involving war between races (in that case, of course, robots/humanoids, and not so much aliens), but still there are shows like Fringe that are an entirely different calibre than the two shows mentioned on this thread that did more than hit the ground running.
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(somehow missed this reply for 6 months, hehe)

I thought the first half of Fringe was a little too "Freak of the Week" and really didn't like it until more than mid-season. Every episode followed the same premise: something crazy happens, walter remembers working on it, says crazy stuff about using drugs or giving drugs to animals, case is solved.

Once they got into the meat of the story, I really got into it... I'm just happy I only started watching at the end of Season 1, cause I might not have made it through.
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If Defiance make a 3rd season will be a miracle. For every episode less reasons to watch. Falling Skies have is problems, but deliverers sort of a entertainment. And the characters are more natural.
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I stopped watching both, although i could see myself catching up on Defiance at some point in the future. So i guess my vote goes to Defiance.
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