New!:Falling Skies Fx:Thoughts 29th July 2011

Not exactly sure which episode i started watching it. Didn’t mean to. It is a bit crap. Has annoying continuous moving as in emotional music. Also very jingoistic. Lots of loving talk about C4, guns, R.P.G’s (don’t ask me) and playing with them. The guys that is. In later episodes they add hot chicks with big guns. Then children. Yes, we get it, child soldiers..

For example, the hero, Noah Wyle (ex ER guy) who still looks the same age but with a beard)
“What about the RPG? the C4! great! where did you get it?”
the guy having just thrown the C4 at him (err).

“Are you sure about this?” (psychobabble alert!)
“Weaver’s keeping all the heavy stuff”
The guys have a jolly in depth conversation of what they would use to blow up the Alien ships.

background:imagine the scene
I forgot to mention that the world has been attacked and taken over by Aliens. Nuked, the works, and they are some of the few survivors, all around America.
The Aliens have ‘skitters’ patrolling the ground which look like giant beatlesque versions of Ridley Scot’s Alien.

There are also shiny silver sphere shaped ships darting quickly like comets around the night sky. These are the ships. Then there are ‘the Mechs’, giant clunking sentinels of silver metal, like Robo cop went on steroids. These just blast everything with giant laser type beams from their many giant arms. Like the Terminator turned giant. None of these things appear visually to be very original.

This is everything i picked up along the way having missed the first few episodes.

Oh yes and everyone looks like they have had special dirt rubbed in their face, you know, to signify that things are very rough and they may well be half starved even though they all look impossibly well and clean and healthy. It’s the apocalypse look.

The hero i will keep calling Noah, until i find out different. It may be the actor’s name. Falling Skies is ickily evoking that this back to basics stuff is so very deep and meaningful. And moral. So i wouldn’t be surprised if it was his name in the show. For ex. an annoyingly beatific girl who keeps praying everywhere, leads a press ganged prayer session around the dinner table and spouts biblical quotes for the day, is called Lourdes.

Noah is a History Professor specialising in ancient military history. It’s obvious he is going to apply his knowledge of ancient military manoeuvres to practical use. Meanwhile he keeps boring everyone with his historical stories at the same time as sounding unwittingly patronising. He has been told already:
“Enough with the history lessons Professor, maybe tone down the lessons, in front of the guys at least”! Why?, is it too pussy for the macho ones?

OMG is there way too much emotional mood music to denote it is all so meaningful. It is really getting on my tits. So are the emotional scenes with kids..

I think The Walking Dead has been there done that, all a lot better and a way more cool. Just Zombies instead of Aliens. (not sure why i keep giving the alien a capital and now i feel it’s unfair to the zombies)

in later episodes, ok, i succumbed, there is nowt on on Tuesday nights, i am telling you, and it is done by Stephen Spielberg ( i keep telling myself) we get up close and personal to a beetly ‘skitter’ alien and he is really quite interesting and becoming quite sympathetic as a character. In fact i vote the hissing, screeching alien, all shiny green multiple tentacled things and quite cool integral warrior style headgear to be the best character so far…

more episodes later and the tale of the quip-cracking urban marauder chef and how they try to talk to the alien by holding up a picture of earth in one hand and a maths book in the other, urging him:
“point to one of them, point”!

nb. One of the actor’s name is Moon Bloodgood (possibly the Lady doctor) which i really like and has to be one of the coolest names since Sydney Youngblood. Also discovered that there is a Guardian Blog on Falling Skies.

There is also a serious Confederates in the War of Independence theme going on. Not quite sure what to make of that. The survivors have army fatigue wearing Generals in charge, the main one being Weaver, whenever he is around soft military style music plays. He has divided the areas around them into names like Masschusetts 2 and so forth. It took me awhile to get this reference but it dates from the American Civil War. hmm..

There is also a permanently candle lit wall of photos of ‘The Missing’ which i have a bit of a problem with. The full of the Lord girl, Lourdes, keeps pressing her palm on this wall and praying a lot. The wall of missing photos i felt was unnecessary and even in bad taste. It conjured up twin associations of 9/11 and for some reason, for me, the film The Missing from years ago set in Argentina.

Together with the extremely syrupy and somehow a little fundamentalist portrayals of the happy children playing and receiving ‘Biology lessons’ which sound unaccountably like lectures in Intelligent Design it all feels uncomfortably message laden. So heavily laden to be banging us over the head with it. However i find it a little distasteful. Never did like moral lessons in Drama.

What it is all supposed to mean is unclear but is certainly chock-full of war and victim references which i find slightly abhorrent. Jingoistic certainly, but something more, which feels particularly relevant to America or should i say Spielberg?

Perhaps i just don’t like seeing a wall of photos of the missing which pertains to people suffering in real life now and in the past being used in a Drama for dramatic purposes. I know, it’s just a drama, but the more i feel a moral/emotional message hammer over my head in a Drama the more i get resistant to it.

Plus, where did they get the inexhaustible supply of candles?

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