Monday, June 27, 2011
I watched the premier of ‘Falling Skies’. It takes a lot to bust me out of a viewing I’ve been looking forward to, but the writers for Skies did it. There were so many holes in the premise of alien invaders with incredibly advanced weaponry having to root out the little human ants it was pretty tough to watch without laughing. Although I did pick up on the hint questioning why the aliens were six-legged and their robots were two-legged as a revelation for future use, the producers sure left a lot of gaping holes to be filled in.
One drama subplot the show tried to cash in on was if faced with an alien invasion there will be criminal human gangs stupid enough to prey on their fellow humans rather than either live and let live or fight with them. I groaned out loud watching that bit of lunacy. No amount of justification by the gang leader made that annoying Hollywood theory believable. I recognize enough threads from the Sci Fi pathos movie ‘The Road’ and ‘Independence Day’ to see an ongoing amalgamation forming of human depravity contrasted with some touchy feely human nature opera.
Naturally, in Skies, every character although having lived through the obliteration of their world, still jumps into clichéd outrage at each encounter placing one of them in danger. One really laughable moment was when a squad went to recon an armory and played fetch with their dog to lure the gigantic alien robot out before giving away their positions in a sudden panic over the dog’s welfare… really? Here are a few behavioral rules of combat when being hunted to extinction. We don’t eat each other until absolutely necessary. We eat them because they probably taste like chicken. At the start of each small recon or mission we write each other off because if you screw up, you die or get ‘harnessed’ to be a zombie alien slave. There will be no rescue. We don’t move in huge dramatic groups down the main roads in broad daylight – it makes for great snapshots of humanity on the brink, but is so pathetically stupid the humans look like they deserve to be exterminated. The first logical weapons to forage with an enemy nothing short of a head shot kills are all the fifty caliber sniper rifles you can lay hands on – they have an easy range of a mile and will pulp the alien’s head without giving away your position. It may be great Hollywood fodder to spray useless bandoliers of ammo at the creatures with no effect, but for God’s sake, try clicking off the full auto and aiming the damn rifle… you morons.
Anyway, I’m sure the great Spielberg will plug all these plot holes up with ET cement, but until then I’m afraid this series is more comedy than drama. It was entertaining enough in a cringing sort of way. I’ll watch the follow-up tonight I have saved and see how it’s going. I like the blonde woman, former criminal gang member. She’s a killer. When she offed her former captors/partners in cold blood, she moved way up over all other posturing nitwits on the character list. For one thing, she hits what she aims at. :)