An Extant Community
CBS (ended 2015)

As a famous poet once said, "Movie stars are movie stars, and TV stars are TV stars, and never the twain shall meet." But poetry is stupid and also wrong, because I count at least three Academy Award winners who've migrated to TV this season, officially blurring the line between good and evil. First came Matthew McConaughey confusing audiences with his True Detective mumbo-jumbo about time and flat circles. Then came Billy Bob Thornton, whose Fargo bangs beat McConaughey's True Detective ponytail for Ugliest Hair 2014. And now leading lady Halle Berry is taking a stab at the small screen in CBS's Extant. Is the alien drama worth watching or should we stick it on a rocket ship and shoot it into outer space? That's what we're here to explore in the latest edition of Hey You, Tell Me About This Thing!


Extant? What does that even mean?

Well the definition of "extant" is "still in existence; surviving" and the series concerns life and different forms of life as well as outer space, so I'd say aliens are a good bet, whether we see them or not. Look, I didn't name the show, please stop asking me such hard questions. Here are the basics: Extant is a 13-episode science-fiction thriller that follows Molly, an astronaut who comes home to her husband and android son after a 13-month solo mission in space and attempts to readapt to the life she left behind. But surprise! After being unable to conceive a child for years, she discovers that she's pregnant upon returning to Earth. As if that wasn't worrisome/disturbing enough, her robot child might be first in line to participate in a robot uprising, and Molly soon learns that what happened to her during her mission might not be the first time occurrence of interplanetary shenanigans.


Who stars in Extant? And who created the show?

As I mentioned above, Extant has a high-profile star in Halle Berry; she plays Molly Woods, the pregnant astronaut at the center of the series. ER's Goran Visnjic plays her husband, scientist John Woods, and Pierce Gagnon (One Tree Hill) plays their android son Ethan. Rounding out the cast are Camryn Manheim (Person of Interest) as Sam Barton, Grace Gummer (The Newsroom) as Julie Gelineau, Michael O’Neill (everything, but most recently Rectify) as Alan Sparks, and Hiroyuki Sanada (Helix) as Hideki Yasumoto. Extant was created by newcomer Mickey Fisher, whose pilot script for the show won a screenwriting contest (really); the project is produced by some guy named Steven Spielberg



When does Extant blast off?

Extant premieres Wednesday, July 9 at 9pm on CBS.  


Who might enjoy Extant?

Dawson Leery? Other Steven Spielberg diehards? Extant looks and feels very much like a Spielbergian production. Sci-fi fans will dig it as long as they go in knowing that the show is sci-fi at its broadest.


What's out of this world about Extant?

Forget about the alien baby until it starts bursting out of Halle's stomach or whatever, because Molly's pregnancy is basically just Extant's flashy hook (and it's not even all that exciting, given that CBS didn't try to make it a surprise and revealed it in trailers and press materials). The question of what happened to Molly in space is the real story, and the otherworldly bun in her oven is only one small piece of a much larger mystery at the heart of Extant. It's this mystery—which ties in with a twist at the end of the pilot—that makes Extant intriguing.

There's also a layer of conspiracy thriller when you add in the fact that the space program, which has apparently been outsourced to the private sector (???), is suspicious of Molly's return and knows very well that she's hiding something.



And what keeps Extant grounded?

Extant does not make a flashy entrance. In fact, it appears to be going for a slow burn, which is the opposite of what a series that's billed as an event series with a limited number of episodes should do. And most of the ideas presented in Extant aren't original or all that exciting. The series plays it safe by tackling common sci-fi themes, like the dangers of unrestrained artificial intelligence and unexplained alien phenomena. There's not necessarily anything wrong with that; hopefully, the show will eventually expand on those ideas. But at the outset, Extant is your typical broadcast network sci-fi series, which is to say that it does the bare minimum in terms of actual science-fiction because it wants to appeal to people who might not consider themselves to be sci-fi fans. It's banking on big names and flashy futuristic technology to draw people in, but the pilot doesn't make any daring leaps, and the series might not ever make them. 


So, should I watch it?

If your summer viewing schedule is rather light, go ahead and pencil in Extant, but you probably shouldn't expect too much from it.


Let's take a look at a trailer!

Okay!



thekaitling:list:extant-will-you-watch/

 

Extant premieres Wednesday, July 9 at 9pm on CBS.


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 9/9/2015

Season 2 : Episode 13

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Why is it on CBS? I never watch any shows that air on CBS, NBC or ABC. I'll watch the pilot but I'm sure I'll tune out. Don't really like Halle Berry on the big screen (ugh Storm) so I'm sure she's gona suck on the small screen.
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do you watch any network TV?
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Yea but not those channels. I watch shows on FX The Bridge, SOA, Tyrant etc. I also watch shows on Syfy like Defiance and Dominion and all the other shows I watch are on HBO and Showtime.
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I'm definitely going to watch this. It's got to be a lot better than most of the summer crap I've been watching, and maybe it will be surprisingly good.
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I'm sorry, but this sounds completely ridiculous. I don't really like Halle Berry to begin with.
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I liked Halle Berry and I like Sci-fi so definitely will be watching it. Hope it will keep me interested for the 13 episode duration. This show can replace Leftover which I am likely to give up after watching the 2nd episode.
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How did we go from: "WHY WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT IT: This show sounds absolutely insane and Berry still looks reeeeeeal good." to this blasé review? I thought that this was on the 10 best summer shows list, and we shouldn't miss it? Is this a difference of opinion between Tim & Kaitlin, or did TV.COM receive more footage and decide that it's just mediocre television?
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Our most anticipated list came out before we were able to watch the pilot. But differing opinions probably play a part in that as well.
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Thanks!
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Translation: Kaitlin finally got away from Tim and is in a safe place now where she can speak her mind without fear of ridicule, abuse, or "truffle-shuffle" demands being barked at her!
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I recently discovered that I may be a sci-fi fun. I'm not sure yet because usually I didn't like this genre but lately I've watched a couple of series and they were really interesting. So they were either good series or I do like this genre.

That been said, just reading the description of this show made me laugh quite hard. I doubt I will like it but I will give it a shot just to find out whether it's the sci-fi part that attracts me or something else.
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Sci-fi and Spielberg makes it a must-watch for me, but unfortunately I think Halle Berry suck as an actress, the kid is ew and the first episode looks to be a bit boring. I hope it will build.
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Odyssey 5 meets Gothika anyone?
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sci-fy, hale berry is a perfect combination and as far as i saw it it looks to be a great tv series. im gonna by some popcorn.

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I'd be so much more into it with a different lead.
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Robots, Aliens, Spielberg...
hmm, why does it feel so horrible familiar?
Just hope spielberg dont turn this into something like the AI movie...
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Oh come on, AI had some truly fantastic visuals and delightful concepts playing around. Sure, the overall execution wasn't great and there were some very bizarre plot holes, it had more than a few merritts worth remembering.
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The review is pretty lukewarm so I am likely to try but I do have low expectations. Not sure what the point is to do a show with a big shot star like Berry unless it is to make a great show and this seems to have fizzled out even before premiering? I can't help but think that if CBS thought this was any good they would not program it at the height of summer but I may be wrong and perhaps it was always planned as a summer 'treat'. Hope it is not like their other 'treat' Under the Dome...
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Looks Gay, reminds me of a series from like a decade ago, but I cant remember the name.
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I think you may be thinking of Odyssey 5, because this sounds a LOT like Odyssey 5 except somehow less sci-fi and more.... drama-fi?
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Thanks, that was it, it was Odyssey 5. trailer reminds me of Odyssey 5, but gay
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I'll give it a try. Sure, why not. *shrugs*
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It had me at sci-fi.
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Good god, is this going to be another annoying show with kids getting main parts.

Kids actors ruin shows, known fact!!
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If you had seen Pierce on One Tree Hill or Looper, you'd know he's one of the best child actors there is. Talented kid.
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LOL, I read that response as "Dude, if you had seen...".
I haven't seen the child actor in anything yet, but I'm glad to hear he's good. The character seems like it could go beyond child-like fairly quickly.
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I have been purposely bypassing any Halle Berry projects for years.
And this new one isn't going to stop that trend.
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& that is your loss. Im no Halle Berry fan, and normally i would agree with you completely. However, Cloud Atlas was great & her newest film X-Men: Days of Future Past is amazing, best film of the summer so far.
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Good films but she was hardly on screen enough to call them hers.
The most memorable thing I've seen her in was on the Jonathon Ross Show, where she took delight in being able to call people cunts on TV that she'd worked with. The shall set you free.
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If its better than winter soldier it would have to be phenomenal. I haven't seen a better superhero movie. It's even better than MOS and the batman movies
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It is slightly better then winter soldier! which was also amazing! I Highly recommend watching it, just make sure you have seen the other X-Men films or you will be lost.
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The same story was on x-men the animated series, with cable, bishop, nimrod, sentinels and the whole 9. I'll check it out whenr bluray finally drops.
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True but she only spends maybe 10 minutes in the X-Men movie (if that) so it's not really her movie.
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True but they said ANY Halle Berry project., just pointing out she has a few good ones where she is lead actress or supporting. lol
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I'm a bit conflicted on this one. I tend to love anything involving scifi and Spielberg, (yes, even War of the Worlds and especially Falling Skies) but I generally hate Halle Berry in almost every single thing she's done that wasn't titled Losing Isaiah (except maybe Swordfish, cuz you know, girls came out to play in that one!)
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I will give it a try because 1) I have missed Goran Visnjic and 2) Am a sci-fi junkie, 3) Halle Berry is a bonus...
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Well it doesn't seem all that interesting but on the other hand I have like three new episodes of things each week total right now so I'm kind of desperate. I might check it out, it doesn't really grab me bu it doesn't out right repel me either.
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pretty much on the same boat, my summer watchlist is a bit light with only about 4 shows so it doesn't hurt to give it a watch
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It's like the networks want me to go outside or spend time with loved ones, bastards.
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How dare they ! In the end we might actually like...talk...or something. Disgusting.
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The number one mystery at the heart of this show that I'm wondering about is how to pronounce "extant".
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http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/extant?s=t
I've always known it pronounced the second way (ik-stant)
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It's got Halle Berry and Goran Visnjic, how could you not watch it? OK, ok, I'm probably going to like it more than most. Or at least I hope so.
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I literally have nothing at all to do so I'll watch it. It seems one step above sitting there and twiddling my thumbs...
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"...never the twain shall meet." was written by Rudyard Kipling. At the time TV didn't exist and movies were too new to have stars. But people did read poetry.

This sounds like the sort of sci-fi which calls itself sci-fi but is just some family drama in disguise. It's useful that the robot just happens to look exactly like a human. Is Spielberg trying to remake AI? I expect this show to have as much sci-fi in it as Terra Nova had dinosaurs.


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The trailer looks very interesting actually. Will more than give this a shot.
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"Steven Spielberg TV" has never done very well.... But I'll give it a shot too.
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I just wanted to write "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" was very good...but then i looked it up and its seems Speilberg had nothing to do with it. It was created and executive produced by George Lucas...
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I'll give it a shot.
I'm expecting a 4-episode test though, to help me decide. :)
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Hmm, Spielberg's forays into TV have been pretty disappointing in recent years and it doesn't sound like this will buck that trend. Wednesdays are already moderately full for me at the moment so I may or may not give this one a pass. Undecided.

I hope that CBS will at least stick to their promise to make this a truly limited series. The bait-and-switch they did with Under the Dome really hosed those of us initially expecting thirteen episodes and closure.
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In fairness, CBS only did what pretty much every major broadcast network does with limited-run series. Cover their butts. If it gets cancelled, they can say, "Well, we never intended it to run more than 13 episodes, so the few fans of the show can't blame us for stopping it. And since we always planned to end it, no one can accuses us of being all commercial and concerned about the ratings."

If it succeeds, then they can always keep pushing it to another season and hey, the folks that like it aren't going to complain.

See also Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.
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Sure, and I get that it's a business and their raison d'etre is to make money, plain and simple. If something like UtD becomes a surprise hit, it's understandable that they want the gravy train to keep chuggin' down the track.

Still, there's a lot to be said for keeping your word. I'd rather they not bill these as limited run series at all if that's not necessarily going to be the case. Personally, I'd be "happier" with a series of indeterminate length being cancelled than not getting the closure I was expecting from a finite series suddenly becoming far less finite. I'm very used to the former situation. The latter is a new animal to me.
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If people want to see more of a show, they want to see more of a show. It's the same reason we get sequels.
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While it looks horrible, I am going to give it a shot. I don't have high hopes Halle Berry hasn't been in anything decent for a while, and her bit part in X-men doesn't count.
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Maybe it's just me but I generally feel she's incredibly over-hyped in almost everything she's in anyways, so the X-Men movies REALLY don't count in my book either.
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Nope, not just you, she is incredibly overhyped. I don't know how she won an Oscar.
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Easy. She let herself get...how to put it politely?...shown in a long aggressive sexual scene as a black (very hot) woman with a white man. THATS how she got that oscar. Just how Sharon Stone got herself to "stardom"...
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What's worse is she's still using said Oscar as a defense of her acting abilities well over a decade later. Still, I probably shouldn't be so harsh on her after the legendary performance she put in the undeniable masterpiece that was Catwoman....
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Yes, that was the quintessential Catwoman. If only they had made a sequel.
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Of course she has a white son, they wouldn't want to make people uncomfortable, would they.
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In all fairness though, she's half white and the father in the show is fairly white (Eastern European, which is considered Caucasian), so the kid would mostly likely be light skinned. Looks pretty accurate to me.
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Eastern europeans ARE white. Caucasian doesn't mean you have to be pale with blond hair and blue eyes, although there are a lot of people like that in Eastern Europe too.
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It's a robot. If she ever wants a black one, can't she change the settings?
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She'll have to backup his memory first.
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There's an app for that
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Hiroyuki Sanada is getting about a bit recently! Good for him.
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Sadly, I think he was just about the only reason to watch Helix, almost every single other actor on that show was pitiful (even Billy Campbell who did a pretty solid performance on seasons 1 and 2 of The Killing).
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