TV REVIEW: Falling Skies Series 1 Post Mortem

I’ve been reviewing Falling Skies here for the last 8 weeks and as it has been hard, sometimes, to judge decisions that the show has made on an episode-by-episode basis. It’s not until you get to the end,and you see the full story, that you can form any sort of judgement on the “whole cloth” of a TV series. So once more into the breach dear freinds, for one last wrap up.I think that it is fair to say that the reaction to Falling Skies across the web has been ‘mixed’ and I think that is rooted in the strange gap between what I think are the shows strengths, and it’s weakesses.I’ve found it a show that I’ve too often been writing about with the phrase “I liked it, but…” which leads to frustration, as people want it to succeed but find it falling short, often a fate worse than just plain, old-fashioned, sucking.

What Works

The chief thing I like about Falling Skies is the setting. “Six Months Later” is a good place to start, the many scenes set in the ruins of domestic America are nicely evocative (and very Speilbergian) and by using a more Civil Militia they left a lot of space for the characters to act unprofessional, or off-message, and keep it distinct from more martially focused post-apocalypse fare. I also liked the gentle unfolding mystery of the aliens, the relationship between the Mechs, Skitters and Harnessed, and one of my main frustrations was that the show didn’t do enough with this, preferring to focus on some second-hand “occupation” stories.

What Doesn’t

Which brings me nicely to the stuff that didn’t work too well. Cheifly, most of the characters were underwritten and underused – which is epecially an issue when you make them a focus of the show quite so much. The biggest culprit was Mike, who was killed off during the “Sanctuary” arc, a death with little real impact as you really don’t know much about him. Also, killing off the black guy first – really? Surely they could have done better than that. It all leaves some decisions an motivations a little choppy, for instance when Weaver gets a ton of development later on that could more happily been spread across the whole run, or the fact that Pope seems to have a mysterious back story solely to let him have a somewhat eclectic range of plot-useful skills.

But that’s me. I’d be interested to know what anyone else thought, if they gave up, if they stuck with it, and if they’ll give it another try when it returns next year. Please feel free to comment below.

GS Reviewer: Matt

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