Defying Gravity is a new series about a manned trip to Venus. Well, probably to Venus. There’s some mysterious additional force involved. A mixture of Blatant Mystery and frequent flashbacks to the years preparing for this trip might lead one to suspect that this is supposed to be Lost… in space! Perhaps.
It stars Ron Livingston as the experienced astronaut who finds himself involved in this new mission in ways more complex then he’s aware of. Ron’s a good choice on several fronts… including the fact that his looks are so strong and chiseled, it doesn’t bother you that his character looks the same a decade in the past as he looks now. Ron himself has aged since Office Space., but not in that “ohmigod he’s aged” way.
Last night’s airing was actually two episodes. The pilot episode, in which the ship set off on its journey, was rather blatantly laden with “here is this character, and here is their source for later complications aboard the ship.” This guy has a drinking problem, that woman was once pregnant by this guy, and so forth. The second episode is more of an emotional establishing piece for a couple of the characters. It was not quite compelling, but its watchable, absorbable. They’ve got enough that something could be built here. Im not convinced that they won’t get caught too much in a problem-of-the-week mode, nor that it won’t be too much “everything happens because of the mysterious thingy which we can’t tell you about yet.” But I’ll at least graze through this for a while.
If the “space mission with mystery” spin reminds you of the recent failed pilot Virtuality, here’s the good news: this is better. Yes, there’s darkness of content here, and perhaps a bit less ambition, but it is not so overlayed by an unending Atmosphere Of Darkness.