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


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#61

Elisende

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 9:51 PM

Yay, other John Christopher fans! I'm pretty sure that in the 'White Mountains' capping had to be done to children -- capping adults made them insane.

The fingerless gloves -- hee. They looked extraordinarily stupid in that last scene with the lacrosse.

One of the things I liked about the Pope character was that he pointed out that the Revolution isn't a good analogy for an alien invasion. The Spaniards meeting the Incas is probably closer. I hope TPTB have put some serious thought into the strengths and weaknesses of the aliens and their tech. I'll be really disappointed if our heroes are sneaking into that alien skyscraper/construction crane through the garbage port by the fourth episode.

#62

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 9:52 PM

Loved the merry band of rebels, the older son, the father son moment when he gave him extra ammo and rushed back for a hug, the doc, the rip stick scene, and that the merry band of rebels includes a small(ish) child who is only 13.

The only thing I really hated the overly religious girl who was all about praying - and I would consider myself a devout Catholic. Normally it doesn't get to me, but the way she was so "matter of fact" about it really got to me and bugged big time. According to the website she's supposed to be a college student, but she seems younger than the Jimmy kid who's only 13.

i.e. the Sawyer comparisons, the only thing that really screamed "Sawyer" to me was when he nicknamed Anne "Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman." Man I miss Sawyer.

Promising show - and this is coming from a devoted SciFi geek. Can't wait for next week!

#63

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 10:03 PM

I thought it turned out fairly well for a modestly ambitious pilot, cliches and all (in that respect Pope the Smartass Outlaw, who really did seem like a far more sociopathic Sawyer or Ham Tyler, was probably the biggest cliche in the thing). I would love to see illustrated how omnipresent the Skitters are, though, if they can dispatch an airship to check out road flares and/or the sounds of gunfire after only a few minutes.

#64

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 10:21 PM

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

Not only that, but in some shots it wasn't even the Boston skyline. If you've already CGI'd the alien construct into the shot why not overlay the actual city skyline while you're at it.

Edited by jcin617, Jun 20, 2011 @ 10:23 PM.


#65

anadyr21

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 10:42 PM

Walking Dead's very first scene was Rick Grimes driving up to a deserted gas station and we see a little girl from behind. She turns and the audience sees she's a zombie. Credits, commericial break and the next season shows how Grimes ended up in the hospital.

Vs.

Falling Skies starts with a kid's exposition and character running away from a random firefight. Not at all compelling. This show has a great premise though. It could get there.

This is a very good point. In a pilot, you need to be able to grab your audience. While you don't need to blow the budget and show the whole invasion, give me a little something. With The Walking Dead, you don't see every moment of zombification, but you learn as he learns. With Falling Skies, the cast already knows what happened. All we get is exposition via a child's pictures. While I hate to copy Lost, I think flashbacks during the first hour or two really would have served the story better. I really would have liked if the characters already knew that the aliens were taking kids, but discovered in the pilot that they were being harnessed. Right now, this show almost seems a lot like Jericho. Great premise with potential, but dragging.

Someone else made reference to the fact that Moon Bloodgood appeared to be the only one with medical expertise. During the scene when the kids were in school, I couldn't help but wonder if their "schooling" would have been better served by teaching them more practical skills. We saw the 13 year old as a fighter who carried a gun. Why not teach some of the kids some basic medical skills, cooking, foraging for food, scouting, heck plumbing and electrical skills. These kids are not going to be kids for long and you'd better teach them how to survive quick. Otherwise, yes, they become dead weight. I actually got really annoyed at the multiple scenes showing kids being kids. It's a new world and the sooner they learn this, the better it will be for everyone involved.

#66

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 11:10 PM

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.

Though I do wonder what the surviving asshole will do when/if he realizes she killed his brother. Of course, Pope seemed a bit casual about his continued good health when he got shot, didn't he?

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 think they are still in the initial flailing to survive stages and obviously haven't worked out long term plans. This one guy probably is lecturing to hear himself talk and I'm guessing it is almost less about having a real school than keeping the kids out of trouble, and trying for some normalcy in their lives.

Hopefully we do learn that some folks have basic first aid training, but I'm not sure how a pediatrician is going to put people through any advanced medical class -- I'm figuring we see her with an assistant or two , eventually, kind of like the one daughter on Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman. *g*

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.

If it helps him come up with survival methods of early colonists, or battle tactics that worked for the Romans, it could be nifty, but I'm hoping the initial lecture scenes were mostly for exposition and he won't run on so much the next time he has to bring up Lessons From History.

I wanted every one of the survivors to carry one book, for their future library and to preserve our legacy.

Yeah, that was sad. I'm hoping at some point they address the need to preserve some of society, but right now I'm figuring they just want to preserve their skins.

What military types?

Yeah, I didn't see a lot of those. The ones who aren't dead have demonstrably learned a few things, but if they have 13 year olds and history professors conducting raids, they are running pretty thin on professionals.

I'm guessing they have a few hunters, some reservists, and maybe a few ex-military who weren't ground forces, but for the rest they just handed weapons to anyone who said they were willing to point and shoot. I think we saw a few other women with weapons, didn't we? Or is that wishful thinking?

These kids are not going to be kids for long and you'd better teach them how to survive quick.

Agreed, but it appears they aren't yet at that point. Or they couldn't take the time for exposition in the pilot. The whole 'we're so enraptured at letting kids be kids and use a skateboard' scene went on far too long, IMO, and would have worked better later on, if we'd seen enough to really feel that the kids have lost their childhoods. I apparently have no soul. *g* However, the cut to the 13 year old (Jimmy?) who looked wistful yet shut out from that kind of childishness kind of sold the scene for me.

Oh -- and was the recap complaint about them 'finding time to throw a tennis ball' just snark? They used the ball/dog as bait to see if any critters were in the armory, didn't they?

#67

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 11:28 PM

Wow, 45 minutes in and H and I looked at each other and simultaneously said "That's enough." What a cheesy piece of junk.

You lasted about 20 mins longer than Mrs. Pootel and I, MommaJ. For a tiny remaining fragment of a hunted species, these guys sure spend a great deal of time lolling around in large groups, in broad daylight, right next to heat sources (fires, motorbikes) identifiable at a distance. For aliens who went through a lot of trouble to eliminate huge swaths of a species dangerous to them, they sure do suck at mopping up.

I like the genre of post-apocolyptic refugees fighting a war but please, let's let logic have it's place.

#68

Roundtheworld

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 11:45 PM

Oh -- and was the recap complaint about them 'finding time to throw a tennis ball' just snark? They used the ball/dog as bait to see if any critters were in the armory, didn't they?


Yes, that was my understanding as well and why it was a big issue when Jimmy ran out for the dog. I'm going to keep watching (though I hope it picks up a little). I like all the post-apocalyptic life aspects and for that reason watched Jeremiah.

#69

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 11:52 PM

Some exposition is fine, particularly in a pilot episode, but this talky show has a serious need for much more "show don't tell." I guess it's about the show's limited budget, but, geez, for a show about an alien invasion, they sure seemed awfully stingy with, well, aliens.

It kept feeling like if the first episode of The Walking Dead mostly left out the zombies, or the first episode of Battlestar Galactica didn't show much of the Cylons, or the Jericho pilot didn't scare us with the sight of an actual mushroom cloud or two. Pilot episodes need to deliver a visual and emotional punch at the very least in the first half hour-- then they can go back and build tension or cater to the needs of their limited budget in other ways. Children's drawings followed by people we don't know running around in murky, underlit areas talking about firearms isn't exactly a riveting introduction.

I'm glad others have noticed the beating us all over the head like a kettle drum mention every two minutes of "hey, audience, do you get that Noah Wylie's character used to be a history professor?-- a HISTORY PROFESSOR!!!!!-- Really, he's a history professor. In case you don't know what that is, it's a professor. Who teaches history. Noah Wylie's character. History professor. One and the same. He taught history. Get it?" This may, however, be the central value of this disappointing pilot-- if you take a swig every time the show brings up the history professor thing, it'd make a heck of a drinking game.

#70

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 11:59 PM

I actually liked this, and I was coming into with supremely low expectations (Read: to be complete horrible painfully awful, after getting heavily disappointed by 'V' and 'The Event' ), I think I enjoyed it because I was kept waiting for nauseating saccharine crap with annoying characters who I wanted killed within the first fifteen minutes (basically was expecting Tom Cruise's 'War of the Worlds', but with Noah Wyle), instead I was pleasantly surprised because while it had some standard tropes it, avoided some that I've seen over and over again and my biggest complaint was I think they played "N'awww look at the kids! Our hope for the future!?!11!!" thing a little heavy handed. Though the beginning introduction was a definite ploy to save money, it was effective. The more I watch it the more I figure that obviously, the kids are a big focus of this series, the MacGuffin of it all.

I was very thankful we didn't have characters going to dramatic extremes every time they disagreed, while they did at the end with the son (sad again I don't remember anyone's names) and his father, in the beginning I expected Wyle to argue forcefully against the head commander, while the head commander (who may yet do this) reveal himself to be MOHAHAHA EVILLLL, and really he's demonstrated why he's the leader. He thinks clearly, is forceful and cool under pressure. As usual with these things I wish we could (though money means that's not going to happen) see what's going on with the rest of the world, though I imagine they're doing what's going on in America right now, people surviving in small pockets with bands of rebels.

The son's love triangle is obnoxious, overly devoted Christian girl, I'd see as a red shirt if she wasn't too old probably for a Harness. Though the son's girlfriend was tough I enjoyed the hell out of her, Maggie the new girl, irritates me simply because that's a trope I see way, way WAY too often. There are other ways of bringing in super tough girl writers.

As to the comment on not showing more of the area it takes place in, I imagine that was cost. With a huge cast and lots and lots of CGI combined with a ton of extras and a lot of heavy battles? All those "famous well known" places would be a bitch to film at, plus secure permits, get permission, as well as shut down local everyday activity, so for me I like that it wasn't a tourist slide show of "LOOK!LOOK! LOOK AT WHERE WE'RE FILMING!2!11!" Also add into it imagine, like most of those areas they're in open, too many windowed, too few places for cover areas to make it feesable for over a hundred people to hang at. Though I'm with the theory that we're going to get more of those in the flash back.

I was also worried the first hour, that this would be a show of, "let's go here and try to get food, let's go here and try to get weapons", I did not want to see a post apocolyptic errand running series.

Sawyer-Bad Guy doesn't piss me off as much as Sawyer did on Lost, whoever said he was less smug was spot on. I also did get a small snicker out of his "being the leader of a post apocolyptic band is tiring" or whatever. I agree with his idea of "yeah we're kind of the Native Americans and they're the rest of the world wiping us out" as opposed to Wyle's "IT'S LIKE THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION!!11" except we don't have France supplying us with guns and food and weapons guys, so really um. no. Not at all Prof, sorry.

Also predicting the Harnessed future of Ben the youngest son, and I did like the 13 year old fighter kid. He was awesome.

Edited by AnonyGuest, Jun 21, 2011 @ 12:00 AM.


#71

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Posted Jun 21, 2011 @ 12:11 AM

I enjoyed it and agree that the second hour picked up and introduced a more interesting conflict. I didn't mind the "Christian girl" because I'm curious to see if they will develop the struggle of faith in times when it almost seems like what you had faith in must be false. Though she seemed serene enough now, situations in the future may present more conflict for her, so I like that there's a character to explore those ideas with.

I do think these episodes were a lot of set-up and I'm interested enough to keep watching. Episode two was better than episode one, so that's a good sign to me.

#72

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Posted Jun 21, 2011 @ 2:51 AM

Wasn't impressed. At times I was bored, felt that there is nothing original about the show, and two things outright annoyed me.

I've heard enough "He's my son!" lines too. I get it show, there are children in peril.

If it were only that, I'd stomach it somehow, but scenes like the one with people stopping their activities to watch the kid fondly while he was on his skateboard-like thingy? It's the "Children are universally important and appealing" bat and I dislike being hit with it.

And secondly, there is not one, but two romantic plots, one ubercliched and the other a love triangle - at best - between teenagers. Seriously, show?

In the end, despite the setting, it just felt like such a family show. That's not a bad thing per se, but it's not what I tuned in to watch, especially if nothing much happens.

Edited by Crim, Jun 21, 2011 @ 2:56 AM.


#73

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Posted Jun 21, 2011 @ 3:27 AM

If it were only that, I'd stomach it somehow, but scenes like the one with people stopping their activities to watch the kid fondly while he was on his skateboard-like thingy? It's the "Children are universally important and appealing" bat and I dislike being hit with it.


Huh, that's an interesting way to look at it. I read that scene as more of a "kids adapt and life goes on" and the adults were reminded of that while watching them have a bit of fun on the skateboard. At that very moment, although it is all about survival for the human race, the kids show that a moment of down time, a reminder of their humanity, is very much needed. That can be lost in a bid for survival.

#74

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Posted Jun 21, 2011 @ 3:59 AM

I guess I didn't look at it that way because I don't see children's "down time" as relevant for adults. This was the very same kid who wished for everything to magically be the same, it's a child and a child that is being protected by adults, including emotionally - as much as this is possible. So I read what you said in the scene with Hal and Cool Female Fighter in the bedroom, except that was a private scene, which seemed appropriate.

Oh, and a nitpick (maybe we need a topic for nitpicking):
Since such a huge point is made about fighters vs civilians, yet the hardcore fighters in the first scene did nothing except retreat and half of the most effective fighters we've seen so far are a history professor (who is said to have book smarts as his biggest asset), a 13 year old and 2 teenagers - at least one with not much experience of... any kind ("You never let me do anything, daddy, and now look how cool we are."), what exactly are the requirements for being a fighter? Being willing to pick up a weapon? Then aren't civilians just a sort of soldiers in waiting? Furthermore, shouldn't their only doctor qualify as "combat medic" or whatever the title would be in real life?

Also, since fighters can't really defend against a real attack and only a few go on scavenger hunts, why is it important that there is a large number of them with civilians? In case they split up in smaller and smaller groups? One line when the general-type guy decided who goes where could have explained this issue.

Edited by Crim, Jun 21, 2011 @ 4:00 AM.


#75

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Posted Jun 21, 2011 @ 5:45 AM

I'm knitting a lace shawl right now. It's currently about 600 stitches to a row, with delicate yarn on tiny needles, and I can maybe finish a whole row in an evening if I spend a lot of time on it and don't let myself get too distracted. I worked on it while I watched this show the way I watch most of my shows: synced up with a friend so we can IM each other a running commentary as we watch. And in the hour and a half the show lasted without commercials, I did an entire row. Not only was I barely looking at the screen, I had almost nothing to say about the contents thereof. It was just boring.

I'll give it one more week, because I so desperately want to love post-apocalyptic survival stuff. But my jaw better spend so much time on the floor that I'm spitting out carpet fluff.

Edited by Tabbyclaw, Jun 21, 2011 @ 5:46 AM.


#76

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Posted Jun 21, 2011 @ 8:43 AM

I consider 'Firefly' one of the all time greatest shows with awesome writing and incredible characters. I consider Jericho one of the best most promising syfy shows on the major networks but cringed as it slowly bled out with chardboard characters and cut-n-paste hollywood stereotypes.

I'm am afraid that 'Falling Skies' will go the way of the second.

It would do well to learn about alien invasions from 'Battle: Los Angeles' and avoid the EMP trap of 'Jericho'. I know with budgets they can't show too many high dollar effects, but 'Jericho' and 'Sarah Conner Chronicles' did a lot in the opening credits to set the tone for the shows. It got reused every time to much better effect. I'm sure they'll use flashbacks later on to show us some of the battle scenes but I am afraid they'll wait until the ratings are in trouble and by then it will be too late.

I hate the idea that military commander of the 2nd Mass has to be the same post-apocalyptic dictator from 'The Postman'. I hate the idea that he's supposedly the best qualified as he wears sunglasses at breakfast, shaves every three months and yells "let them eat cake" to the civilians. Considering he was most likely a supply clerk in the military I'm not sure why he is so reluctant to go back (into the very city he cried about leaving) to get more food. The romans established a long time ago that army's march on their stomachs. The idea that having the civilians in tents was so contrived as to be ridiculous. Every unzip a tent during an alien attack? I haven't but I imagine that opening a door is a hell of a lot easier.

I am sad that they made the reluctant hero a college professor with an AK-47 espousing nugguts of history without the context needing to make them relavent. He might as well be building a list of quotable quotes on post-its. I do like how they didn't make him a left liberal but as a foil to the commander he's just not standing up. The idea of a father fighting with his kids for his kids was done incredibly in 'The Patriot' but here I fear it suffers from a lack of charisma.

I am bummed that hollywood has already decided that the brunettes must be liberal dogooders and religous fanatics and the blonds are the fighters. The characters might be the most glossed over in the pilot with cut-n-paste plot lines with absolutely no depth. At best they use a single line on issues that could be entire episodes by themselves.

I could go on and on but really should get back to work. I just feel that this could have been ten times deeper and more exciting without increasing the budget. I agree with the positive and negative comments listed here and am just bummed that this will be listed as another failed syfy show as if syfy can't be done right. I am starved for good syfy and sad that this is the best hollywood can offer.

#77

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Posted Jun 21, 2011 @ 8:46 AM

You lasted about 20 mins longer than Mrs. Pootel and I, MommaJ. For a tiny remaining fragment of a hunted species, these guys sure spend a great deal of time lolling around in large groups, in broad daylight, right next to heat sources (fires, motorbikes) identifiable at a distance. For aliens who went through a lot of trouble to eliminate huge swaths of a species dangerous to them, they sure do suck at mopping up.


Granted I'm assuming a lot, but I took it as the aliens aren't able to see or function as well as they do in the daylight. Pope said that the flares would attract attention, and I figured it was because it was a bunch of bright lights in the darkness would make them stand out more. Maybe they don't worry so much about the humans in the daytime. Just a theory though...

#78

JamesWest

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Posted Jun 21, 2011 @ 8:48 AM

I'll give it one more week, because I so desperately want to love post-apocalyptic survival stuff. But my jaw better spend so much time on the floor that I'm spitting out carpet fluff.

LMAO... very well said.

#79

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Posted Jun 21, 2011 @ 8:55 AM

The weakness is assuming alien wekness when they crushed humanity and ALL the soldiers except a 69 year old general and 50 something veteran in 6 months. Giving the show history everything is to easy for the 2nd Mass.

#80

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Posted Jun 21, 2011 @ 9:20 AM

You lasted about 20 mins longer than Mrs. Pootel and I, MommaJ. For a tiny remaining fragment of a hunted species, these guys sure spend a great deal of time lolling around in large groups, in broad daylight, right next to heat sources (fires, motorbikes) identifiable at a distance. For aliens who went through a lot of trouble to eliminate huge swaths of a species dangerous to them, they sure do suck at mopping up.

Granted I'm assuming a lot, but I took it as the aliens aren't able to see or function as well as they do in the daylight. Pope said that the flares would attract attention, and I figured it was because it was a bunch of bright lights in the darkness would make them stand out more. Maybe they don't worry so much about the humans in the daytime. Just a theory though...

Its a good theory. You could assume that they see in the infrared at short distance. The ships' scanners have the same limitations and at a distance can only see intense (i.e. 2000 K to 2400 K) heat as a point of light. In essence they are nearsighted or myopic. something like people and engines under 300-400F might be lost in the background clutter. Up close they might see perfectly.

The weakness is assuming alien wekness when they crushed humanity and ALL the soldiers except a 69 year old general and 50 something veteran in 6 months. Giving the show history everything is to easy for the 2nd Mass.

In boston it might still be like that but as the aliens have limited numbers they may not be able to scan the countryside as intently.

They may also just not care. Having wiped out 99.9% of humanity they may view the job accomplished with a low return on further investment. The stake-outs of grovery stores and armories might be nothing more than entertainent. We've seent hat in syfy before.

Oh, and a nitpick (maybe we need a topic for nitpicking):
Since such a huge point is made about fighters vs civilians, yet the hardcore fighters in the first scene did nothing except retreat and half of the most effective fighters we've seen so far are a history professor (who is said to have book smarts as his biggest asset), a 13 year old and 2 teenagers - at least one with not much experience of... any kind ("You never let me do anything, daddy, and now look how cool we are."), what exactly are the requirements for being a fighter? Being willing to pick up a weapon? Then aren't civilians just a sort of soldiers in waiting? Furthermore, shouldn't their only doctor qualify as "combat medic" or whatever the title would be in real life?

Also, since fighters can't really defend against a real attack and only a few go on scavenger hunts, why is it important that there is a large number of them with civilians? In case they split up in smaller and smaller groups? One line when the general-type guy decided who goes where could have explained this issue.


The explanation is needed but then it would have spoiled the simple sterotype they are working with. They want 'the fighters' versus 'the eaters' as a plot line.

Problem is that the sterotype would fall apart in the exposition. This really looks like a contrived mechanism for episode X at some point.

In reality there are no soldiers and they don't even try to describe them as such. Its obvious that there is no basic discipline, training or equipment. The commanders wild fiats aside there is no direction or leadership. You can assume that this is the void that our hero is meant to assume, but I doubt it will be well done.

Realistically everyone would be in the same boat with that those that with guns providing security and those without doing something else to contribute. The class system they're constructing is artificial.

They would be better off making an example of those that refuse to help or want something for nothing.

I didn't mind the "Christian girl" because I'm curious to see if they will develop the struggle of faith in times when it almost seems like what you had faith in must be false. Though she seemed serene enough now, situations in the future may present more conflict for her, so I like that there's a character to explore those ideas with.


They even made her catholic which I applaud, but recognize the sterotypes that surround her. They portray her a niave and weak. Her discussions of faith have no context. Instead of making her interesting or motivational she's a punching bag for the obvious atheist.

I think 'V' for all its faults approached faith a lot better with the priest character.

I would have liked it better if she had been carrying water with them instead of showing up like a scampering puppy. How about if she was helping them load magazines, prep a vehicle or sew up a wound. It would be different if her faith came up in the context of consoling some one or giving some side of the road therapy.

She's 20 something and they're trying to make her 14. They could break the steroype by making her more than just the 'faith based character'. She's supposed to be the premed second to the doctor yet she has almost no dimension.

Edited by JamesWest, Jun 21, 2011 @ 8:56 AM.


#81

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Posted Jun 21, 2011 @ 9:20 AM

Personally I think One Second After is one of the best books about a post apocolyptical world. I am waiting for the Anti-depressant dependent zombies to show up. Also after six months, most people with no sense of farming and animal husbandry would have depleted any lifestock and food/farming with no thought to keeping the stock going by having bulls and cows to continue the cycle.

Interesting take with NW as a HISTORY professor since all graduates of West Point, etc. spend at least a semester studying military history. There is one quote by NW in a magazine that states the aliens are nothing like what we believe them to be so it will be interesting to watch where this goes.

I kept waiting for Will Patton to go on about being a Holnist and the 'Law of 8' but I am sure that is yet to come.

Moon Bloodgood is nice to look at but I am still amazed at how remarkably clean everyone is after 7-8 months post invasion.

Edited by TWoP Howard, Jun 21, 2011 @ 2:17 PM.
Unnecessary spoiler tags


#82

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Posted Jun 21, 2011 @ 9:50 AM

I was also worried the first hour, that this would be a show of, "let's go here and try to get food, let's go here and try to get weapons", I did not want to see a post apocolyptic errand running series.

Personally I want to be able to assume those things, but wouldn't mind a little exposition to demonstrate how hard everything would really be. My problem is that they have 'movie ammo' and are adding 'movie food' and 'movie fuel'

The writers (as seen with 'Jericho') have written themselves into a corner with the EMP. I'm sure they'll forget all about it shortly just like they did on Jericho.

I like post apocalyptic story lines because it allows you to put characters into pressure cooker situations that they would never be in otherwise. Its an incubator for characters which is a staple of syfy.

I want to know the challenges because they will shape the characters. Regretably they often become the errand running plots because in the end they writers have no matching character development (or imagination).

If i wanted that I would go watch the latest version of the procedural lawyer/cop show on episode #233 where yet again someone is murdered, the victim has a secret, the spouse is lying and they magically get a last second confession.

Moon Bloodgood is nice to look at but I am still amazed at how remarkably clean everyone is after 7-8 months post invasion.

Except the children. The children have to wear the same dirty clothes in every scene and are unable to wash their faces or hands.

It kept feeling like if the first episode of The Walking Dead mostly left out the zombies, or the first episode of Battlestar Galactica didn't show much of the Cylons, or the Jericho pilot didn't scare us with the sight of an actual mushroom cloud or two. Pilot episodes need to deliver a visual and emotional punch at the very least in the first half hour-- then they can go back and build tension or cater to the needs of their limited budget in other ways. Children's drawings followed by people we don't know running around in murky, underlit areas talking about firearms isn't exactly a riveting introduction.

I'm glad others have noticed the beating us all over the head like a kettle drum mention every two minutes of "hey, audience, do you get that Noah Wylie's character used to be a history professor?-- a HISTORY PROFESSOR!!!!!-- Really, he's a history professor. In case you don't know what that is, it's a professor. Who teaches history. Noah Wylie's character. History professor. One and the same. He taught history. Get it?" This may, however, be the central value of this disappointing pilot-- if you take a swig every time the show brings up the history professor thing, it'd make a heck of a drinking game.

And we're not really seeing any apptitude as a 'fighter'. Problem with professors in general is that 'those that can't... teach'. I'm hearing lots of answers to theoretical problems but not to many realistic ones.

Surely Hollywood has enough competent advisors on combat, tactical situations and special effects that we could gotten someone other than the lowest bidder for the compelling action scenes. They blew up some boxes and had a cool alien laser sight but that was about it. The aliens were obviously CGI'd in later.

Personally I am sick and tired of the sterotype of a freedom fighter from the 'A-Team'. Having the technical advisors from that show is enough.

Have the professor read a book on tactics or combat. Lets hear a few quotes from sun tzu. He became the number two somehow but I have no idea how. I sure haven't seen a reason for it. His spray-n-pray version of weapons control and tennis ball recons have already worn thin.

Edited by JamesWest, Jun 21, 2011 @ 9:51 AM.


#83

19K Vet

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Posted Jun 21, 2011 @ 10:14 AM

I enjoyed the show. And I'll give it a few more episodes.

While stuff is coming WAY too easy for the 2nd Mass, I can see that the aliens that destroyed the world are not the same aliens that are occupying it. It happens with soldiers today. Soldiers invading have a different opinion than those in occupation. A different approach, if you will.

Vietnam should have been mentioned by the college professor as examples of how a small under equipped force defeated a larger more powerful enemy. Its omission was more laughable and frustrating than anything else.

I really hope they do not set up a bullshit confrontation between the fighters and the civilians. Even in the Gulf War, that the captain fought in, there were more support troops to every combat fighter. He's only stuck with a 2/1 ratio. He should look at them as combat support and not as a drain on his resources as he does.

Ridiculous to set it up that fighters are becoming the priviledged class. Like no one else can join. You got 200 potential shooters, but instead you have the fighters running around with 46 weapons tucked into every pocket of their cargo pants.

Loved that the dude rocking the 240-Bravo was taken down by two arrows. That's the show in a nutshell. I'm sure if I had gotten to know that character more I would have felt something other than amusement at his tv death.

I really like the actors, Wylie, Bloodgood, Dye, and Patton.

#84

catrina

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Posted Jun 21, 2011 @ 10:51 AM

I hate the idea that military commander of the 2nd Mass has to be the same post-apocalyptic dictator from 'The Postman'. I hate the idea that he's supposedly the best qualified as he wears sunglasses at breakfast, shaves every three months and yells "let them eat cake" to the civilians. Considering he was most likely a supply clerk in the military I'm not sure why he is so reluctant to go back (into the very city he cried about leaving) to get more food. The romans established a long time ago that army's march on their stomachs. The idea that having the civilians in tents was so contrived as to be ridiculous. Every unzip a tent during an alien attack? I haven't but I imagine that opening a door is a hell of a lot easier.

OMG Your right about The Postman! I totally forgot about that movie. What I hate about him is he's got "Colonel Kurtz" written all over him. I was a bit surprised he let Noah Wylie's character go after his son -- being all reasonable like -- but I guess they don't want to unleash the crazy in the pilot. This show must *really* not want to touch on the current wars ACTUALLY happening because I don't for one second believe he'd be a vet of the Gulf War rather than the Iraq War.

The Spaniards meeting the Incas is probably closer. I hope TPTB have put some serious thought into the strengths and weaknesses of the aliens and their tech.

They probably haven't put any thought into the analogy, this show seems a bit dim. But the real trick about Spaniard and the Incas is the Europeans "tech" really wasn't all that superior, it was just incredibly alien and frightening to the New World cultures. Their guns were limited in range, slow to reload. They had horses, but only like 100 (which the Incas could have figured out a way to dislodge a Spanish soldier from his horse). It was the canons that packed the most punch, but they also were slow moving, not fast to reload. What did the Incas in was Germs and the fear. (Also their leader was captured early on and their society wasn't able to regroup quickly...) In any case, the Spaniards didn't "have" to win because of their superior "tech" and I'm guessing the aliens don't either.

#85

Danny Franks

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Posted Jun 21, 2011 @ 10:57 AM

I didn't know much about this show other than it was Dr. Carter fighting alien invaders, and I've got to say I thought it was pretty good. I'll definitely be giving it a chance.

I'm glad they didn't waste time on establishing characters as they were before the invasion. That sort of thing really isn't necessary, considering we're not going to know these people as they were anyway. I guess there will be plenty of flashbacks to before the invasion as the season goes on, and they'll probably be the dullest parts of the show.

I've always liked Noah Wyle, despite the E.R. writers making his character a smug asshole most of the time, and I thought he was convincing in this as the jaded, tired resistance fighter. As a history nerd, I loved his little asides, even though they became a little forced as the episode went on. Those references are going to need to feel more like stuff he actually knows, rather than the mini factoids they seem to be at the moment.

I like the idea of a dad actually sending his son out to fight, and fighting alongside him, rather than just trying to protect him from everything. He knows he can't protect him, so he just trusts him to be smart and make the right choices.

Moon Bloodgood really looked like Tia Carrere, which threw me a little. I never noticed that similarity before. She was ok too, as the clearly smitten doctor. I just hope they don't focus on that aspect of the show. Get them in bed together straight away, and move forward. Don't start taking us down 'will they, won't they' blind alleys. That's not what the show should be about. Same goes for love triangle eldest son. It's the end of the world, people would be going at it like rabbits when given the chance, not searching for non-existent reasons not to hook up, trying to create a 'shipper fanbase.

Will Patton was trying too hard to be a grizzled veteran character, and he needs to dial it down a little.

Too many 'cute' kids for my liking. And the actors portraying them clearly aren't on a par with the kids on Game of Thrones, and don't have the acting talent to make their characters appealing. I feel like I'm going to be rooting for the youngest son to get harnessed before too long. Same goes for the young teen kid. Jimmy, was it?

Yes, the idea of these fairly obvious resistance camps is unrealistic. The fact that they can operate in the day, and in the open is silly. And the aliens seem to be about as tactically aware as lamp posts. But I don't really care. This is a show about aliens invading earth, realism isn't that high on my list of priorities. And yes, after the high octane opening, things did really slow down, but I don't mind that either. You can't have everything going at 100mph all the time.

The SFX were pretty good. The aliens are appropriately creepy, and non-bipedal, which is a bonus. Those vaguely 'ED-209' looking robot suits were cool, and the targeting lasers they used were a great visual. Straight out of Predator, but that doesn't bother me either.

#86

supernaturalove

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Posted Jun 21, 2011 @ 10:58 AM

I guess I am easy to please I really liked this. I found it kind of like Terminator in some ways and I loved those movies and TSCC in S1.

I am not usually a fan of Moon Bloodgood or Noah Wyle but I really liked both in this show and I really liked Tom. It was refreshing to have a smart, intelectual character, who is not super badass, and headstrong, and can make smart, rational capable choices that help himself and those around him. Although I did need to see a bit more urgency about finding his son but I think that will come. I did get the sense that Tom loves his sons very much but is broken and putting up a wall there. I love the Tom/Hal dynamic so far.I liked the female doctor alot and her dynamic with Matt and Tom.

I liked Pope and Maggie. SC is awesome and she convincingly pulls off the badass female role. I am anxious to see Karen/Maggie interact more. I like Karen too. Pope is funny, yet I find him a dangerously unsmug anti hero. I hope he sticks around, I like his interactions with the rest of the group esp Tom.

I really like Hal. The actor who plays him, is super cute and he was increadably convincing in the oldest son/older brother role. I liked that despite being irrated with his brother, we see he loves his brothers and his reaction to seeing Ben and wanting to see his brother, was really sad. I liked Hal/Karen so far but I also like Hal/Maggie. He has good chemistry with both girls and I would get rid of religous girl and go for Maggie/Hal/Karen but something tells me their may be more to the Maggie/Pope relationship then we know.

I will be back next sun. Good stuff.

Edited by supernaturalove, Jun 21, 2011 @ 11:00 AM.


#87

bulldawgtownie

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Posted Jun 21, 2011 @ 11:54 AM

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


Though I do wonder what the surviving asshole will do when/if he realizes she killed his brother. Of course, Pope seemed a bit casual about his continued good health when he got shot, didn't he?

Although he was Pope's brother I'm not sure Pope would care enough to try to get revenge on Maggie considering that Pope believes they're all dead anyway.

I think they are still in the initial flailing to survive stages and obviously haven't worked out long term plans.

That may be the case if they were all civilians. However the CO of the 2nd Mass. is a Gulf war vet and a reservist. No way he wouldn't have thought of the need for some field medics.

What military types?

Yeah, I didn't see a lot of those. The ones who aren't dead have demonstrably learned a few things, but if they have 13 year olds and history professors conducting raids, they are running pretty thin on professionals.

I'm guessing they have a few hunters, some reservists, and maybe a few ex-military who weren't ground forces,

In addition there are probably some miltia/survalist types. While they may not be considered to be professional soldiers to assume the civilians have the same knowledge of how to handle weaponry,military strategy, survival skills, etc is faulty. Also I seem to recall them being reffered to as "fighters" not "soldiers."

Edited by bulldawgtownie, Jun 21, 2011 @ 12:11 PM.


#88

JamesWest

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Posted Jun 21, 2011 @ 11:58 AM

I don't think its realistic that the greater boston area with 8 million people has been reduced to 3600 people. That would mean that only 1 thousandths of one percent survived. Humans are more resiliant than that. The only other people they show are nice fresh corpses.

While I don't like the surviors/survivalists also have to be racists and criminals aspect, I like that they brought in the characters. There are going to be other people out there surviving by scavenging and hiding. They may or may not want to join with the 2nd Mass. On its face I know I wouldn't be convinced to join them and come under Captain Weaver's authority. Just looking at them they don't have to offer except shared human misery (which is better than solo misery)


I liked Pope and Maggie. SC is awesome and she convincingly pulls off the badass female role. I am anxious to see Karen/Maggie interact more. I like Karen too.

While other shows dance around rape or sex abuse, I like how Maggie hit the viewer right between the eyes. I also like how she threw violent rape in the same bucket as coerced rape. "He brought chocolates and thought it made it ok".

'Jericho' had a redemable criminal character but I can't draw any similarities with Pope. Pope pretty much dove for the bottom of the barrel and stayed there as long as it suited him. I would put him in the same bucket as the racist/rapist for being an enabler. Can't say that Maggie should have a higher opinion of him.

Pope is funny, yet I find him a dangerously unsmug anti hero. I hope he sticks around, I like his interactions with the rest of the group esp Tom.
...
and go for Maggie/Hal/Karen but something tells me their may be more to the Maggie/Pope relationship then we know.

That brings up a boatload of side plots.
--Is she a double agent with Pope? If so what's the real plan?
--Did Pope really care at all about his 'brother'?
--Was Maggie really raped (I hate to doubt it) or is she an opportunist with bigger plans playing the sympathy card?
--What would have happened if they had killed Pope? If so it wasn't much of a plan... see opportunist above.

Am I reading into Karen's red-shirt status by her not having a cast/character bio on the web site? Maggie/Hal/Karen might be come Maggie/Hal soon after Karen's funeral.

Edited by JamesWest, Jun 21, 2011 @ 12:00 PM.


#89

Make It So

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Posted Jun 21, 2011 @ 12:23 PM

Moon Bloodgood is nice to look at but I am still amazed at how remarkably clean everyone is after 7-8 months post invasion.

No argument (or complaint) here. But it is interesting that it's only the women that seem all clean and made up in the middle of this destruction. The men (sans the kids), OTOH,  seem very dirty and scruffy. I mean, I understand what the show is trying to do, but a smidge of dirt on Bloodgood's face might make it less obvious.

Edited by Make It So, Jun 21, 2011 @ 12:26 PM.


#90

enazni

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Posted Jun 21, 2011 @ 1:12 PM

I enjoyed it. My problems. Why hadn't they had any intel on the Aliens? Only way to defeat is to know thy enemy. What the hell have the Moms & Dads who had to fight been doing? If they have time for school then they have to recon and gather intel. It's the one part that was completely ridiculous especially since it took getting capture by redneck Cootie killers before any specific alien fighting techniques be discussed. It was all hold and retreat.

None of the Skitters had any offensive weaponry. Why was that not a plot point? Skitters had armor and gnashing jaws...maybe claws..have to watch again. This is what I noticed in the first 5 minutes. Made me think that this alien invasion is actually an occupation for wildlife preservation. They have reduced the offensive population down to a manageable number and to keep the wildlife guessing there are minor skirmishes over food or too many night lights. I did notice that the alien bot at the Armory didn't waste the dog. The aliens did nuke the cities though so.....