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1-1,2 : "Live and Learn" and "The Armory" 2011.06.19 (recap)


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#31

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

Both parts ended with Tom's kid "being a kid," which is not a good precedent. I hope that's not how they'll end every episode. But I will keep watching, if only for the outlaw. He was treading into stereotypical territory, but won redemption from me with his line needing rest after being the leader of a postapocalyptic gang of outlaws. More meta-humor, please!

#32

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 12:45 PM

One minor gripe is the convenient quick turning of that female outlaw. If The lead outlaw was as smart as he portrayed and his men had treated Female Outlaw as badly as she said at one point, why would Leader leave her guarding the prisoners? Anyway, minor gripe.

I can buy that she did her best to fit in after that, and to not draw any suspicion to herself. If he didn’t trust her, I think he would have shot her earlier rather than feed an unnecessary mouth. Also, the aliens are terrifying enough that she must have known she’d never make it on her own, so there was no point in rebelling until she had a chance. It did seem to be an impulsive decision after the other guys made it clear what they had intended for Hal’s girlfriend.

I did like that she asked if the brother was going to make it before she shot him—no sense wasting a bullet on someone who was going to die anyway. It was a pretty badass moment for me.

I agree with all of TWoP Howard's post. I also will add that I don't think it was an impulsive decision by Maggie but rather the first time she saw a true opportunity to leave that would also give her a realistic chance at continuing to survive. Also I thought that was a nice way of showing that their leader isn't as smart as he thinks he is.

My first thought was that they should just shoot him in the head. I really hope keeping him alive doesn't come back to bite them in the butt. I suppose he could be usefull as a fighter, but do you really want to give him a gun? He could have ideas the good guys don't think of just because he's a criminal, but they have military guys and Tom, the historian to think up strategies. No, they should just shoot him in the head

I disagree, they have a limited amount of fighters. On top of that he seems to be the closest thing to an expert on killing the Skitters that they have. Besides the anti-hero, hero is a staple of science fiction so it'll work out.

Like others I thought the first hour was slow but they picked up the pace enough that I'll continue watching.

Also I disagree that Maggie will turn out to be another love interest for Hal. They've already set him up to be in a love triangle, I can't see them doing a love quadrangle.

My biggest complaint is that they know they only have one doctor for three hundred people yet they aren't trying to train people to become doctors or at the very least field medics. However they make sure to set up a "school" for the kids?

Edited by bulldawgtownie, Jun 20, 2011 @ 12:56 PM.


#33

prop joe

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 12:53 PM

Well, this was relatively fun. I can't see it being any more than that. It reminds me of Walking Dead, except instead of zombies there are aliens, and instead of awful acting it's ok here. Writing is on the level of WD first episode, I'd say, and I hope it won't get worse [like WD did].

I will stick with it. My expectations are really low, so it will be hard to disappoint me. Plus, it doesn't hurt that Mood Bloodgood is in it :)

#34

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 1:10 PM

My biggest complaint is that they know they only have one doctor for three hundred people yet they aren't trying to train people to become doctors or at the very least field medics. However they make sure to set up a "school" for the kids?

I can see the school as a day care/school. At least the kids are in one central place that way and doing something constructive, rather than running around camp playing with random weapons or whatever. But your point about not seeming to have field medics was a good one.

For the first few scenes, it looked as if all the women were caretakers/cooks/doctors, so I was glad to see women represented in the fighters, too. Maybe they were there all along and I just didn’t notice. I certainly wouldn’t expect a 50/50 force of fighters, but I think they might have put a few more women among them. And as others of you have asked, where are the young girls?

It is a shame they decided to locate the show in Boston, yet not bother to even shoot any backgrounds there. And yes, I would have expected some accents, especially from the scavengers.

On the plus side, I am interested to see what the aliens are all about and why they are harnessing the kids they capture yet killing adults. It also looks like a good cast. It wasn’t a captivating pilot, but there was enough to keep me coming back.

#35

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 1:20 PM

On the plus side, I am interested to see what the aliens are all about and why they are harnessing the kids they capture yet killing adults.


The harnessing thing is very similar to the "White Mountains" trilogy, where the aliens fit everyone with a mind-control "cap" - that can't be removed without killing the person, or at least doing serious brain damage. Possibly in this iteration the younger bodies of the children are more receptive to the harness, while the adults are not good candidates for it.

#36

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 1:52 PM

And as others of you have asked, where are the young girls?

During the scene where they've set up a make-shift classroom I noticed a young, black girl sitting in front of Tom's son.

Edited by bulldawgtownie, Jun 20, 2011 @ 1:56 PM.


#37

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 2:03 PM

The one thing that really really bothered me was three hundred people walking, in broad daylight, up a hill where anyone could see them. I was a bit confused by that too. I guess the aliens don't bother with large groups of refugees, unless they shoot off flares.


Add me to that list. I thought, WTF, they are just walking around in broad daylight, camping where everyone can see them? I still don't understand why the aliens can't see them, if there is some physical reason.
Noah Wyle would not have been my first choice for the lead here, but he did OK. Hopefully the pace will pick up a bit. At least it's new summer sci-fi so I'm along for the ride.

#38

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 2:13 PM

There should be tons of game in those woods (food issues) without cars (the cause of overpopulation) the deer population would explode for a couple of years. Surely there are pigs and cows roaming around...even chickens. Pigs especially go wild really well, surely some got out of factory farms in the attacks. Horses would be around too and useful to haul stuff. They run on grass.

Food shouldn't be an issue. The civilians could scavenge farms, gardens and hunt game with bow and arrow and snares. Surely there is someone who could teach them.


Shades of the Jericho discussion thread here...Feeding 300 people is a LOT of work. Hunting for deer (to provide enough meat for even 100 people) is actually not that easy. People who hunt deer in really high-deer populated areas will still spend all day in a hide waiting for a deer to cross their tracks. Ever work in an industrial kitchen? Even a soup kitchen? People eat a LOT of food every day. And they have 300 people who require X lbs of food a day for preporation. I can see why they are going to constantly run out. There will be food in all those houses but it's almost like "berry gathering" it'll take a LONG time to get enough to feed the group, and then the next day they'll require the same amount. In a real scenario I actually suspect WATER is probably a constant daily grind as well. (They can collect it from streams but they'll need to be boiling it).

As for wild pigs, chickens/horses (and unlikely there will be cows. Aren't they kind of in a suburban area? Sort of far off from the industrial farms?

#39

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 2:44 PM

Noah Wyle would not have been my first choice for the lead here, but he did OK.


That was my thought, too. To me, NW is not a bad actor, but he's also not that interesting to watch. In some roles, that can be a problem; here his steadiness and accessibility seems like a good match for the part. I like to think of it as the "William Fichtner Test" -- would the role be much improved if a really great character actor (like WF, though, of course, you can substitute your favorite) played it? In this case, I think not that much. Sure, it would make Tom more fun to watch, but Tom's function in the overall show seems to be as more of a viewer proxy than an independently fascinating character. And, at least in the pilot, NW did a good job at that.

A young father struggles to protect his family and humanity following an alien attack.


When I read this description, I was concerned that they were going to make Tom implausibly young. But that wasn't the case. From all indications in the pilot, Tom seems to be about 40 (son in late teens, tenure, no attempt to make NW look younger).

With regard to hunting and walking around in broad daylight, it seems that the aliens take notice of heat (e.g., flares) and gunfire, but otherwise ignore humans. I don't know if this is meant to be a perceptual thing, or just a matter of priorities. In any case, I guess that would be a problem for hunting, as not many people know how to hunt with a bow, and shooting the animals might bring unwanted alien attention. Perhaps the survivors of the outlaw gang can help out in this regard.

#40

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 3:02 PM

I'm a big SciFi fan, so anything of quality has my full support. FS has a great cast, writing, and premise, but I felt cheated that we didn't see the 'falling skies' part since the pilot started after the EMP aerial bursts took out electronics and the attack (all shown in quick flashes in the 60 second countdown). Having the kid and his drawings setup most of what happened before almost smacked of a cost-savings move. So much has already happened: the aliens arriving and faking us out, the EMP, destruction of the world capitals and the worldwide military, the departure of the alien motherships leaving their forces behind, etc... They just drop us into the aftermath and tell us the aliens can't detect small groups of humans (What?): ("After Falling Skies" should have been the title) But 5.9 Million viewers did show up with a 2.6 in the 18-49 demographic which is great; and its great that, being on cable, we don't have to deal with the weekly Big 4 network head-to-head ratings battle. Anyway, there is great promise in this show. I'm in for the long haul.

Edited by Raider One, Jun 20, 2011 @ 10:31 PM.


#41

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 3:11 PM

When History Prof was talking about not needing to beat the aliens just make it difficult enough for them to go away did they mention the most obvious case..Vietnam? Did I miss that? Because I would think that would be the go to example in the US. I wish they had also made it clear that the British really COULD have pulverized us if they had been committed to doing so. They at least brought it up but most Americans think we out and out won by brute force and reality is they had bigger fish to fry as they were engaged in a different war at the same time. I know this because I watch the History channel but they didn't teach that when I was at school. History Prof OTOH would know that.

Overall I liked it. I hope Maggie is on the up and up. I would think so since she shot Rapey guy and he was Pope's brother right? Although if she is who she appears to be then they have to be careful Pope doesn't take revenge for his brother.

Both Walking Dead and this show have told us early on that if and when civilization falls that the racists are going to be about as big a problem as whatever is killing us off. Very cheerful thought.

Edited by MDKNIGHT, Jun 20, 2011 @ 3:12 PM.


#42

marifline

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 3:25 PM

Survival signs : Mittens ( WTH are they always wearing mittens ?), facial hairs... anything that make them lool like bad ass hobbos
Star Wars shout outs : droids figurines and the Skitters looking a lot like that spidey monster in SW II, and the droids and...actually all the alien stuff reminded me of some SW stuff.

Major Davies with long hair is hot.

The main characters seems to come up with one cliché after another and tell them out loud.

The music annoyed me. I thought it was too sappy...and a little too movie-like, like it was trying to sell me the thing as some grand emotionnal thing when really... hum too soon to start having heartwarming moments, and you could hear it almost all the time.

So far I can't see anything really original or above average, it seems so " neutral" to me, I coul'dnt get an atmosphere from it, I wasn't scared or angsted or felt for them... nothing..didn't get the alien invasion vibe from it. Maybe because they jumped right in and skipped the invasion part. Disapoiting. I, for one, think it would benefit from goind darker and edgier.

#43

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 3:30 PM

Plus, it doesn't hurt that Mood Bloodgood is in it :)

It sure doesn't! :)

I found it hilarious that Pope's threats always involved "if you do this, the aliens will do that..." Heh. Glad that tactic ran out of gas as quickly as it did.

I also think their watching the Skitter (I keep wanting to type Skittle) breathe its dying breaths will be significant. It looked a bit pitiful, and I wonder if that was intentionally done on the show's part.

Edited by Make It So, Jun 20, 2011 @ 5:16 PM.


#44

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 4:38 PM

I also think their watching the Skitter (I keep wanting to type Skittle) breathe its dying breaths will be significant. It looked a bit pitiful, and I wonder if that was intentionally done on the show's part.


Glad I'm not the only one who noticed that. Actually, I found myself wanting to pet it's head, even though it's supposed to want to destroy my species.

#45

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 5:04 PM

Survival signs : Mittens ( WTH are they always wearing mittens ?), facial hairs... anything that make them lool like bad ass hobbos

Yeah it's always with the fingerless gloves! What's with that? I guess it signals "biker gang" to the subsconscious.

When History Prof was talking about not needing to beat the aliens just make it difficult enough for them to go away did they mention the most obvious case..Vietnam? Did I miss that? Because I would think that would be the go to example in the US. I wish they had also made it clear that the British really COULD have pulverized us if they had been committed to doing so. They at least brought it up but most Americans think we out and out won by brute force and reality is they had bigger fish to fry as they were engaged in a different war at the same time. I know this because I watch the History channel but they didn't teach that when I was at school. History Prof OTOH would know that.

A smarter show, maybe one on HBO, would have felt free to make that comparision. But this is basic cable. Whispering "Vietnam" (or hell Afghanistan!) is too controversial for the basic "feel good about American History" point the station wants you to feel. Also there's all this talk about the Revolutionary War but CIVIL WAR is a wayyy better comparison, at least in terms of the regiments. When I heard 2nd Mass I think "Civil War" not Revolutionary War. But again...this show thinks it's audience is a bit dim. It's not AMC after all, it's TNT.

#46

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 5:39 PM

Maybe it's because I didn't come in at the beginning, but I thought this was incredibly dull. I didn't feel like there was any tension because all the major bad stuff had already happened (aftermath and all) and all the characters were totally cliché.

The Strong Silent De-facto Leader: with arguably a cooler head than most everyone else and supposedly the audience avatar. This one happens also to be a history prof, though why that should be of any significance to the writers, I just don't see.

The (in this case, rather crazed) Criminal on a redemption arc: with arguably more street (and often intellectual) smarts than everyone else, and a chip on his shoulder to match. Tends to scope more toward the "better looking" end of the spectrum, despite the requisite greasy hair, scruff and ragged sleeves.
I found it amusing that in his speech identifying their captives, he basically called out all the clichés and stereotypes himself (freedom fighter chick, rebellious youth, gangbanger, asian ("oriental") guy who can fix things.

The Love Interest: in this case apparently a doctor, which is handy, but then again the Love Interest is nearly always some sort of caretaking type who looks after the sick and injured.

The Son: In this case, he is the actual son of the defacto leader, but often it's just the kind of relationship they have. Nearly always the center of a swarm of hormonal girls who seem to be completely unaware that they could be killed at literally any moment.

The Military Leader Stuck with a bunch of yahoos: in this case... Hm. Seems pretty much a straight cliché to me.

and The Defector: in this case a young Patty Hearst-ish woman (apparently) looking for an opportunity to escape her current situation.

As always, there are plenty of guns and ammo just lying around for the taking, which is always handy.

#47

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 5:40 PM

I think the Revolutionary war is more relevant to them b/c of the Boston locale and its 26 battlefields: growing up and living in that area. And the point about the dying alien was to reinforce the scene that followed, where the professor and the military commander were arguing about going back for the prof's son: "They die just like us, you just have to get...close". He knew because he saw it happen.

Also that scene showed our humanity. They didn't run up on the wounded alien and fill him with bullets. There was almost something like sympathy as the alien died: he was apparently in great pain and asking for help that would not/could not be given. A well-done scene.

Edited by Raider One, Jun 20, 2011 @ 10:33 PM.


#48

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 6:50 PM

I felt cheated that we didn't see the 'falling skies' part since the pilot started after the EMP aerial bursts took out electronics and the attack (all shown in quick flashes in the 60 second countdown). Having the kid and his drawings setup most of what happened before almost smacked of a cost-savings move. So much has already happened: the aliens arriving and faking us out, the EMP, destruction of the world capitals and the worldwide military, the departure of the alien motherships leaving their forces behind, etc..



The part I bolded - that's the show I wanted to watch. For me, this one is like eating dry cake while someone describes the icing.

#49

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 7:04 PM

I enjoyed it. More than my husband, who got a little bored, but then I'm the SF junkie, not him. I like that Noah Wylie's character is an academic. He has just enough knowledge, and the right kind of knowledge (military history) to enable him to take up arms, but he's not a natural military leader type.

I'm really interested in seeing next week, find out more about what the aliens might be doing with the harnessed teens. I also thought of White Mountains (awesome book trilogy).

I like how smart the rebel guy is, and I admit I was torn on whether they should keep him and try to make use of his obvious fighting skills, or whether that would be too big of a risk because he's not loyal. I'm looking forward to seeing that play out.

I loved the blond chick in his group killing the two goons who abused her. Husband woke up at that point and said "Hell, yeah!" I had been wondering about her being the only woman, and was thinking she had to be the leader's girl and under his protection, otherwise yeah, not such a good situation for her.

Overall, the struggles over what elements of civilization are fostered and continued (giving the kids some semblance of a schooling) vs. what humanity gives up in its effort to survive always intrigue me. Seeing the piles of books sitting out, to be ruined when it rains, bugged me, though I know there are millions of copies of those titles all over the place. I wanted every one of the survivors to carry one book, for their future library and to preserve our legacy. Just the fact the show makes me think of such things means it's a success for me.

#50

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 7:15 PM

I also think their watching the Skitter (I keep wanting to type Skittle) breathe its dying breaths will be significant. It looked a bit pitiful, and I wonder if that was intentionally done on the show's part.

I did like that scene. But if this show is going to continue culling cliches from three or four other post-apocalyptic space invader shows, my guess is that the Skitters will turn out to be the final product of biological changes of the harnessed children, caused by whatever that parasitical thing is that's harnessed to their backs. So (still speculating here based on the derivative nature of the story and low-level of innovation in the pilot) unless these people (principally the doctor) can figure out a way to get the harnesses off without killing the kids, the kids will turn into the very creatures the humans are fighting. If that turns out to be where the story goes, I'm done--despite the presence of Moon Bloodgood.

With good actors and good special effects, you'd think they could bring writers onboard who'd make the story more original and less hackneyed than it is in the pilot. But I'm not hopeful about it getting any better.

#51

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 7:19 PM

This one happens also to be a history prof, though why that should be of any significance to the writers, I just don't see.

So he can hit the revolution anvil time and time again, until we all understand and are completely sick of it. Probably next week. :)

According to IMDb, this was actually two episodes. Live and Learn, and the Armory.

#52

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 7:30 PM

The show's got it's weak points, but these two eps have done enough to bring me back next week. In addition to wanting to see the actual 'falling of the skies', I hope that the writing is smart enough each week to become more than a weekly running away from the aliens, a la Scooby Doo.

I also don't mind the drama - in fact, I welcome it. As long as it's done in balance and doesn't become totally schmoopy.

#53

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 7:39 PM

Just caught this On Demand, too much on TV last night.
I do kind of enjoy Pope's nihilism. He harbors no illusions of humans winning, he's strictly out for the thrill of killing Skitters. I like to see sociopathy put to good use.

loved the blond chick in his group killing the two goons who abused her. Husband woke up at that point and said "Hell, yeah!" I had been wondering about her being the only woman, and was thinking she had to be the leader's girl and under his protection, otherwise yeah, not such a good situation for her.

There was a big discussion in The Walking Dead thread of how women would fare in a post-apocolyptic world. I believe we saw both sides of that question here. Those inclined that way would take what they want and those not inclined wouldn't.

#54

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 8:12 PM

According to IMDb, this was actually two episodes. Live and Learn, and the Armory.

I was wondering about that, since there was an episode-ending feel at the one hour mark. I can’t remember exactly what the scene was, but I think it was something with Tom and the kids. It makes sense for future rerunning.

I tend to give a drama that starts out a bit slowly the benefit of the doubt. I’ve watched too many shows which started out with an awesome pilot, only to fizzle in subsequent episodes when it becomes clear the the writers put everything into the pilot, and weren’t sure where to go after that.

#55

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 8:27 PM

I enjoyed it enough but I couldn't help feeling that it was a bit heavy-handed. I'm sure part of it was pilot syndrome, need to get enough info and mood into that first short span as possible, but I still cringed a few times.

So far, what I'm liking more about this are The Stand aspects. Re-assessing, figuring out how to rebuild and problem-solving to get around the huge, looming issue that is keeping starting over from happening. I kept wondering if they were actually scowering the homes for food as well. It seems like they were always heading to warehouses and it was unclear why all of that food was there, but when they were in a town, shouldn't civilians have been going through the abandoned homes for necessities? Seemed strange they were already so consistently out of food this early in the game with so few survivors.

Having just seen a feature film with similar subject matter, I've kind of had my fill of chasing down the metal alien thingys. I think I'm going to get tired of every episode having those stomping, screechy things getting shot at. I hope those fight scenes develop in a way that there's at least some variation and it's not the same type of thing every episode.

I'll watch again. I'm interested enough and I think some of the characters have the potential to become more interesting, but I wasn't blown away.

Edited by rippleintime, Jun 20, 2011 @ 8:33 PM.


#56

rit56

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 8:31 PM

I'm not hopeful.

#57

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 8:45 PM

I'll be watching this show. It was a little slow in spots but I can see giving it several more episodes before making any final judgments. It does have a Walking Dead feel to it. Maybe it's just the post-apocalyptic nature of both shows. Funny thing is how all the primary female (doctor, Hal's girlfriend, religious girl pining after Hal, and outlaw) characters are attractive. I hope they don't have the teacher's son continually whining about how things used to be. That will get old quick.

#58

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 8:55 PM

I think zelmia summarized the dullness of this beautifully.

And right at the beginning, when we will find out that the aliens might be human too! Or at least some of them. Unless that was some seriously bad editing.

I already expect an episode where they find a stranded alien and become friends despite themselves.

Cue the overblown music.

And I hate it when children are the shortcut for EMOTIONAL IMPACT! Hit me over the head with it show, why don't you.

The only one I kinda liked was asshole Weaver or whatever his name was. I think I might have a bad feeling about that, ;)

#59

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 8:57 PM

Was expecting marvelous and got 'meh.

I was expecting meh and got meh, plus a couple of good scenes.

Was it my imagination, or did absolutely no one have a "Boston" accent.

You are correct. I don't care, but it seems unfair that they always make the Brits and Aussies lose theirs.

#60

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 9:40 PM

Military types needing to figure out how to fight the aliens the six legged ones effectively from a civilian.


What military types? We are lead to believe that except for the General who would have been retired 20 years ago and the CO of the 2nd Massachusetts who was a Gulf War veteran and 8 years as a reservist that the local military types died in "Battle:Boston". By all rights I don't see how the "fighters" among the lucky survivors should be anymore skilled then the adult "civilians"