21 June 2011

First Thoughts: FALLING SKIES is definitely familiar

Falling Skies debuted yesterday with almost six million cable viewers. It's so far, the highest rated cable show debut, since last year's Rizzoli & Isles (btw, Season 2 is coming next month!).

The premiere was aired for two hours. Total action involving aliens as a whole took about 10-minutes worth of scenes only. The rest of the time though? There were lots of conversations between characters.

Watching this show just right after I took vitamins that put me to sleep was a mistake. I tried to keep my eyes open, but failed and dozed off. I think I missed a fourth of what this story is about.

That's not to say the show is boring. It probably isn't. I wouldn't really know because I was, uh.... under the influence of Vitamin B12. :P

But what I did get was all those conversations were important to the series premiere. Because Falling Skies takes right in the middle of what has already happened. The conversations were set up to ease us, the viewers, into the premise right away. The episode is told without flashbacks and narration. It's all right there, in the present.

It's been six months and the earth has been invaded by aliens. The human population is trying to survive. These aliens are like descendants of the Terminator. They partly robots. They're equipped with armors and guns. How can humans survive against that?

The central character is a father of two boys. Noah Wylie plays a history teacher, who has to learn how to handle guns and command a small army...because that's what he needs to do to keep his family alive. He's lost his youngest son to the aliens and his eldest saw that youngest brother is still alive.

And this is where the heart of the show is.

Falling Skies, more than anything, is a story about survival; of a father desperate to save and keep his children safe.

This series brings something very, very familiar. It's actually like watching The Walking Dead, War of The Worlds, Terminator, Firefly and Battlestar Galactica combined.

The first two hours feel longer than it should, and I blame that on my meds. I really have to watch the next episode with eyes open wide. But I did read somewhere that the series gets more exciting as the episodes unfold. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

The other thing to note about this show is its special effects. It's definitely so much more than I've expected. I feel like it should be shown on IMAX. That's how amazing the visuals were (of course, it's Steven Spielberg's team!).