Catching up on new TV.
Falling Skies is off to a wise start. It’s an alien invasion story which starts after we have already basically lost the battle; the aliens have killed our power, enslaved our children, and destroyed our population centers. The series focused on the survivors, who are fighting back or running away, trying to find survival in this alien-dominated world.
So the story, at least at the start, is less about the battles and more about the people, and how they interact under these circumstances. That makes it more of a modern series, more of the 21st century Battlestar Galactica than the 20th century Battlestar Galactica… and it’s off to a better start than that one was to me. No sign of actual bad guys among the good guys (yet), just people with differing focuses, and that’s reality. Very non-human aliens suggest that it won’t be about them, won’t be V… although there is at least one vital clue that There’s More To The Alien Story Than It Appears.
It’s attitude is, well, a bit Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, with the man with book learning and serious intellectualism is more the right man for the modern conflict than the experienced warrior is. That’s appealing for me, but I admit that it’s appealing as a non-warrior book-learning man. The reason I like Liberty Valance is it values people more like me (although more heroic, of course!) Noah Wylie does a fairly good job being the non-aggressive academic who finds himself needed. But when I see Wylie, the first words in my mind are always “John Carter”, the character he played on E/R, so frequently refered to by his full name. And then the next three words in my mind are always “Warlord of Mars”, which, if it doesn’t make sense to you know, Disney will make sure you understand in the next few years. Edgar Rice Burroughs’s John Carter books were filled with six-limbed aliens, so to my, it just seems right to see Wylie battling six-limbed aliens in this series.
Smoothly made, but it’s definitely one of the shows that is now designed for the big HD sets which all of America but me seems to have…
Will be watching this for at least a while.
Wilifred is an odd duck of a sitcom. Elijah Woods plays a suicidal tightass who sees his neighbor’s dog as a man in a dog suit, able to converse with him on dog topics with the full foulness of a dog. If the first episode was funny, it wasn’t ha-ha funny, it was “does that smell funny to you?” funny – really, do they think there are seasons of humor to be had in this? I admire its conviction in itself, its choice of style, but if this were a Saturday Night Live skit, I’d groan when I saw it was recurring.