Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Sky is Falling: Coming Soon to TNT

It has never been a secret that Flaming Nose founders Jane and Lisa are quite partial to the Sci-Fi genre. So it would be extremely out of character for us to neglect a few mentions for (Falling Skies on TNT) making its debut about a week from now.

I've seen an extended promo for Falling Skies On Demand, so I've had enough of a taste to make a few comments.

The premise is as well worn as an old VHS cassette tape of the original 1953 War of the Worlds. Aliens have landed on earth, and they are not friendly. They've pretty much blown every major city to smithereens, and sent a pulse that has destroyed all electronic communications. Inevitably they are going to get hungry and guess who's gonna be on the menu? Just once I wish somebody would make an alien that wants to eat NY pizza or Sprinkles cupcakes.

Nevertheless, there is nothing more exciting than aliens coming to visit, although I must say I prefer the versions that like us (ET, Close Encounters, Avatar when we are not killing their trees of life) to the ones that want to have us for dinner. These aliens look like big spiders, which is both derivative and icky. They've been given a clever nickname (Skitters) by the surviving earthlings. Steven Spielberg is the Executive Producer, and although he has weirdly not had much success on the small screen his name brings cache to any effort and you can triple that when the story is a sci-fi adventure.

The bad news? Other than Noah Wyle, who plays the resistance militia leader Tom Mason, the cast is not familiar. If they were at least interesting (like Sawyer or Hurley or John on LOST) that wouldn't be a problem. But from what I've seen so far, Falling Skies suffers from forgettable attractive cookie cutter TV cast syndrome. They all look like hot models from an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog. Apparently the Skitters already ate all the fat and ugly people. It's so tiresome when everybody in a post apocalyptic world looks like they just fell off the cat walk. For contrast, I offer up the cast from Super 8, which I just had the pleasure of viewing yesterday. J.J. Abram's science fiction love poem to Steven Spielberg (who also executive produced) features kids who look and act exceptionally real. You can practically smell their sneakers, and that makes it all the more poignant when they are in peril.

Bland cast aside, I'll still be there with bells on for the first few episodes of Falling Skies. I'm drawn to sci-fi like a moth to flame, and until I know otherwise, I'll hope that this is a summer series that will grow stronger as the days get hotter.


Lisa said...

It's always good to check out all the SF on the tube! Truly I think J.J. Abrams is a genius with casting which means everything else is, as you say, full of bland model-types. Hard to care about them, and even Spielberg's name might not bring enough oomph to this one. I might check it out -- that old Turner boycott still goes for me -- but I'll catch it online someplace! :-)

Jane said...

Lisa, your stubborn tenacity about Turner reminds me so much of my Dad. No wonder he always liked and admired you so much. He always thought you still worked there and after a while I just had to stop telling him you didn't. He could never stop watching MASH on TNT or TCM anyway, those were his two default channels. The rest of the time he watched ABC because I used to work there. A sublime mix of stubborn, loyalty and habit! But I digress...back to Falling Skies...I have a feeling I'm not going to last long with this one. Characters are everything and I'm just bored to death of the supermodel star babies.