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“Falling Skies” TNT – decent sci-fi with too much talk… July 2, 2011

Posted by ronannarbor in Entertainment, TV.
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If you haven’t tuned into TNT’s “Falling Skies” series, you should give it a try. It’s a family-based drama built around Noah Wyle and his family post-alien invasion, and it’s sort of a mashup of War of the Worlds, Independence Day, and V all rolled into one. A ragtag group of renegades and “fighters” go out to face the aliens who have killed most people, and taken children prisoner to act as servants. It’s all a bit bizarre, really, but it holds together well so far.

I’ve seen three episodes now, and the casting here is terrific. Produced by Steven Spielberg, it has the typical family moments that combine both pathos and humor, and it’s all done straight forward preventing too much camp. There are authoritarian military; mysterious renegades; and a slowly unfolding storyline that is richer than it first appears. Each episode has grown increasingly better.

The CGI work is superb and it really makes you think about how far television effects have come. This is motion picture quality here. If anything, there is a bit too little of it! The creatures are well rendered, but they appear for mere seconds in each episode.

The downfall so far: too much talk. Sure, you need to fill out characters and plotlines in a tv series, but it makes you wonder if this would not have played out better with less talk and whittled down to a 6-hour miniseries rather than a full blown season of tv episodes. Minor characters wax philosophical for five minutes at a time, and it all gets redundant.

Still, its entertaining, and better than most of the tv fare out there this summer. Let’s hope that this one lasts longer than Surface, Invasion and V (to which it has many similarities) and that TNT gives the show a chance unlike NBC and ABC respectively. But we all saw what happened with the superb Defying Gravity last season. Keep your fingers crossed.

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