After "The Walking Dead", I thought it would have gotten to writers that viewers are more than fed up with characters that don't show any depth at all and that don't develop. Yet while technologically our movies are going three-dimensional, characters on TV aren't even complex enough to fill in the two dimensions they already got. Sadly, "Falling Skies" doesn't make a difference.
Especially in SciFi, there's a desperate need for well-developed characters, for people who defy cliches and who bear in them at least part of the complexity life just has. It's been done in drama series all over - think Six Feet Under, The Wire or Breaking Bad. In "Falling Skies", actors are assigned roles as solid as thin air - you've got the Vietnam, sorry Iraq Veteran who has his blind spots written on his forehead. There's the history professor teaching military lessons without ever using them at all - I mean it would've been nice having the guy actually employ any tactics that were brought to good use during the Roman times or whenever. Yet all he does is telling people they should keep going because it has happened before that more powerful invaders were driven back by inferior defenders. Good job, professor! There's the inevitable friends and familiy drama stuff ("my son has been kidnapped by aliens!" / "he ran away when my wife died!" / "I want to fight!" - "But you're only 16 years old!") - shocking tragedy stuff I care so little about.
That all said, the basic premise sounded interesting, and it was basically this setting that kept me watching. Jumping in 6 months after the invasion from outer space offers a whole universe of potentially interesting things to endeavour. But to do that, the show's inventors would have to think about them first. They could make it interesting in military terms - who's using what tactics, maybe the aliens have a problem with their resource base (they can't have brought everything they possibly need with them, space travel is expensive), how are they actually organised? There's been some very brief signs of it, but making the Skitters something like soldier-slaves to the "real" aliens does not make it as thrilling as the borg stuff from Star Trek did. It makes the Skitters more boring, not less, because now I don't care about them at all. Watching six-legged mindless alien cannon fodder is just not my idea of engaging entertainment. There's just too many things like this, where I think a good opportunity has been wasted. It's even more annoying since a lot of things indeed do work in this show,and it's solidly produced in technical terms. But please - get some good writing for this show!
An alien invasion. Hell, it could have been the best tv show ever, after Star Trek that tries to explan how other beings think, but it's a big fail. You see... if I were to attack the Earth I'll spend 2-3 years just scouting the planet, thinking and panning how to take over it. But no... these aliens are dumb. They just attacked with ships, they killed all the army and strange they can't kill some lame humans that have no idea how to fight them. Lame isn't it? Well listen to this, a smart people will think this and find the best plan. But the human race is made of retards, as they can't work together to save their only planet they have. Nope... they just fight with each other and do the alien's job easier. I watched the 1st episode, then the 2nd then I got bored. I can write a better story in 2-3 days. But others can't do the same as they can't think like aliens will think. To take over a planet takes more than Ak 47s, and takes more than some retarded soldiers who think that killing 1-2 aliens makes any good for anyone. The fun part is that an alien invasion will happen, at least 90% of the human population will die in an instant because they can't think what must be done and what's the best course of action. They will think that there is a race of good aliens that will come and help us because they saw StarGate (LOOOOOOL, I am laughing now :P). Or they will fight the war for us, because we are weak and we think that the american people has the most advanced technology... let me laugh here more LOOOOOOL. People don't understand one thing and this is the most important thing for us, humans.. from Terra. We don't have warp engines, we don't have FTL drives, we don't have a StarGate, this is all Sci Fi. What we have is some retarded leaders that can't solve anything and if case of a war... they will run the 1st. We have only 1 planet, this is the most important thing for us (place). We have the Earth, this wonderfull planet, we have the most amazing planet in this part of the galaxy. And we can improve, we can adapt and we can think and work together. What we need is a leader that know what must be done if an alien invasion will happen. Well not to worry, that's me. Running a country is the easist thing ever, you don't even need to think or use your brain for that. You have only to wave the hand and advisors will come and distroy everything because they have no idea also about running a country also. But... what we have is me. I know how to fight an alien invasion but I can think ahead of them. I can put aside my feelings and fight for the only thing that's important for us: the Earth. Without the Earth we are nothing. Family is not important, life is not important, without the Earth we are nothing. No future, no past, NOTHING. When you'll understand that you'll grow and you'll see that our duty is to defend this planet. Our greatest asset is our teamwork. We can put our diferences behind and work together to defend this planet, because this is all we have. But to do that... we need courage, honor and most of all... the will to fight. Think about this. In the future... we might need to think more than you'll imagine. People are pathetic but some are awesome. You'll manage the rest alone.
But about the show... it's beyond pathetic. Sadly they never bother to think that united we are stronger, that we can beat the enemy very very fast. But well... the writters never bother to think that... the story might end badly for us. They thought that in the end, the enemy will let us leave because well... they have feelings. If I were to invade a planet... I won't stop at anything. I'll invade a planet not only for the resources but something else also: the planet itself :P
Have fun watching this lame show. If you're smart you'll ignore it. If you're stupid you'll think that it's awesome. In the end... it's a story that will teach you that the american people think they can beat an alien invasion with... a flag. Trust me, they can't. They'll just doom us all and waste this planet we call our home.
With the Dead numbering in the hundreds of millions and countless children enslaved to work for the invading forces we are faced with a world without hope.
The story of the 2nd Massachussets is told primarily through the eyes of Tom Mason (Noah Wyle), a professor of military history and the now 2nd in command of the 2nd Mass.
Mason has lost his wife and one of his three sons in the conflict, but it is Mason's knowledge & beliefs that fuel the motif. He constantly reminds us that guerrilla tactics have succeeded in the past and thus, there is hope.
I've found Falling Skies impressive for the most part, in painting a realistic picture of an alien invasion aftermath. This series reminded me of the original V miniseries, with focus on the individual struggle and human weakness.
Cerebral, dramatic and low budget (just like ST:TOS) we are given very little in the way of special effects but the plots and scripts are great.
Of note is the several different types of aliens; Skitters, eight legged minotour like creatures. The Harness, a symbiotic & possibly sentient creature. Walkers, mechanical bipedal machines and The Skinnys - of which little is known.
Light years ahead of the new V (god bless Morena B) this show is bare bones - but we really cant expect much more these days (Terra Nova being the rare exception) - what it lacks in CGI it more than gains in grit.
With that said the final scene of the finale was wrong on so many levels. We are told that the Aliens cant locate numbers less than 300 yet they pinpoint Mason. I'm not entirely sold on this.
The final battle at the school with the radio frequency weapon seemed contradictory and rushed. It was cool but poorly edited. I didn't understand why none of the robots shot at the flag pole. They are an advanced race.???
This is the new type of show we are being offered, 65% drama, 25% action and 10% scifi. It seems to have the same treatment as SGU and the same poor reaction from scifi fans.
Well worth an hour a week.
Chase,chase,chase - kill, kill, kill (on both sides yet)....is that all the writers can come up with? What a dissappointment, especially with actors and actresses showing great promise.
When does this show get off the "chase" racetrack and into the "lets create something good" construction phase? When do these people either find out these aliens are potential friends and start learning to live with them (interaction on more than a "shoot-em-up" basis while building a dual-race society would bring some interest to the show) or finish the aliens off and start rebuilding their world (reconstruction of a society with some common sense - like energy and product containers and fertilizers, etc., that don't destroy the ecology and learning to live lovingly and respectfully with each other - like teaching children to love each other and help others - would make a GREAT thought-provoking show out of real "snorefest"). The show could demonstrate how energy and resources now going to war and hatred all over the world could be given over to building a healthy society in which no one starves and scientists are allowed the time and funds to create new inventions useful to building an ecologically clean society rather than turning everything toward war.
Post holcaust series are relatively cheap and easy to make - getting a good script together is the bigger challenge. Rocky in places, nevertheless, the characters are interesting (if a bit conventional) and the entertainment factor is there.
There are the usual plotelements of humans with varying points of view - defeatists, the vengeful, collaborators and some just simply caught in the headlights of disater - but at the heart of the series it is a family story - about a father trying to do his best for his growing sons under adverse circumstances.
Possibly one of the strongest points in favour of a second season is the fact that some of the characters are so sketchy and singular dimensionally that there is heaps of room for character development. For example - Weaver can develop a stronger leadership role as he opens up more - the young fighter he has taken a liking too being a plot mechanisim for this... and you can see the script writers doing this in the speech he gives acknowledging the vital role of the civilian survivors. Similarly the lead female character (the doctor) also has room for development within her capacity as a civilian touchstone and also within herself - gaining greater maturity in her abilities.
The aliens face a tough job impressing people as aliens have been done thru so many forms... the difficulty exists in resolving any sort of detante with a race that has just obliterated 90% of humanity and set out to enslave the children - yeah, lets sit down and talk this out...
However, the "out" here is the fifth column in the form of the similarly oppressed "skitters" who - to quote a line "have to make up the numbers" through their operations against humanity. If they can be liberated and/or turned then the masters behind this operation would face a serious threat.
So far the plot is proceeding fast enough to maintain interest - let us hope it does not get bogged down in "drama" as SGU did - such that missing an episode doesn't matter and the program falls off the "want to see" list and onto the "record and watch maybe later" list.
Best of luck and hope we see a season 2.