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Falling Skies vs. All the Rest: Compare and Contrast


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#61

Archipelagos

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Posted Aug 31, 2011 @ 10:44 AM

I think that in contrast to similarly themed shows the single biggest issue for me is the sense of danger and the apparent lack of it in Falling Skies. Perhaps it's an issue with the directing, or the dialogue, or perhaps the setting of the school itself -- it always seems so brightly lit with soft colours, but the characters feel much too safe. Perhaps I'm over-thinking it and looking for gritty realism in what is essentially a family show (perhaps a seperate topic for discussion, can you even do gritty realism in a family show?) but if the aliens control the sky, wouldn't a random patrol spot the school, and the human sentries positioned on the roof, and destroy it outright? It just strikes me as odd that the human resistence is so...visible; I even remember bonfires lit in some early episodes, that surprised me.

If you take my issue in contrast to The Walking Dead, and the beginning of the show particularly, the feeling is that the survivors have to be incredibly careful in everything that they do and even then they still get incredibly unlucky -- zombie ambush mid-season that kills what seems like half the survivors. Perhaps what drives that sense of danger so effectively is how easy it is for the survivors to die in Walking Dead, whereas in Falling Skies the survivors face a certain degree of danger on missions but never really at homebase. And even when a survivor in Falling Skies does perish, it is usually only in single numbers. Even the finale of Falling Skies felt safe: Weaver and Tom, standing a short distance from the massive alien base, and not a single alien nearby. Or the assault upon the school and only mechs used, why no skitters sent whilst the majority of the school defense was focused on the mechs?

Perhaps the most effective show for delivering a sense of near-constant danger was the recent remake of Battlestar Galactica. In the very first episode, 33, the surviving ships of humanity have to flee every 33 minutes or face certain destruction. Even though that particular plot point only lasted an episode, it was so effective in conveying the risk of extinction that for the rest of the season you always felt afraid for the survivors, in whatever they did. Perhaps if Falling Skies moved the survivors around more, or killed some more, that might work but it's easy to see why that wouldn't be easy when you consider budget costs for settings.

I'm curious if anyone else feels the same way. Is raising the sense of danger possible, or is how safe the show is part of the appeal, certainly when taken in consideration to a family audience.

#62

Doom

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Posted Aug 31, 2011 @ 7:37 PM

but if the aliens control the sky, wouldn't a random patrol spot the school, and the human sentries positioned on the roof, and destroy it outright? It just strikes me as odd that the human resistence is so...visible; I even remember bonfires lit in some early episodes, that surprised me.

Oh you are right, and this has been cited a bunch of times as a major hole in this swiss cheese slice of a show.

Perhaps what drives that sense of danger so effectively is how easy it is for the survivors to die in Walking Dead, whereas in Falling Skies the survivors face a certain degree of danger on missions but never really at homebase. And even when a survivor in Falling Skies does perish, it is usually only in single numbers. Even the finale of Falling Skies felt safe

The whole show plays like summer camp, yes. The urban areas of most cities come off as more dangerous than Falling Summer School's Skies. I'd feel quite safe walking through their post-alien invasion setup, yet when I turn down MLK in any major city, I feel like "whoa, I'd better be careful". I mean for god's sake, these people ride motorbikes around! I'm trying to think of a common land vehicle that makes more noise. Really, you'd have to take the muffler off of an old buick and put one of those Miami bass soundsystems in to make it as dumb.

I'm curious if anyone else feels the same way

Yeah.

Edited by Doom, Aug 31, 2011 @ 7:38 PM.


#63

CarolinaFiner

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Posted Sep 12, 2011 @ 1:07 PM

I really want to like this show but am having such a hard time. When a show like this is set in an alternative universe and/or time, it's easier to buy the holes in logic/plot than setting it in the here and now in a time/space/geography that we experience in real life.

I was really, really disappointed that they jumped right into the post-invasion world without any flashbacks. Part of the appeal of this kind of show is "what would you do", but without the "how did you get there" I just feel disconnected from the whole thing.

I will say that I can't believe this show is actually making me appreciate many aspects of Jericho, at least the early episodes before it, too, devolved from interesting sci-fi to just another conspiracy show. That's what I'm afraid Falling Skies will turn into.

ETA to correct textspeak

Edited by CarolinaFiner, Sep 12, 2011 @ 1:08 PM.


#64

TVspectator

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Posted Sep 12, 2011 @ 10:28 PM

I have moved my discussion to the Season One thread.

Edited by TVspectator, Sep 13, 2011 @ 9:10 PM.


#65

TWoP Howard

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Posted Sep 13, 2011 @ 12:38 AM

Remember, this is the thread for comparing shows. If you want to talk about the show as a whole, please take it to the Season One thread. Thanks.