Falling Skies Review: Live and Learn/ The Armory

For the past couple of months, everywhere I went or everything I watched seemed to have an advertisement for the Spielberg produced, Falling Skies. TNT went all out trying to get people to watch this show, and, well, it worked. I was skeptical at first, mainly because it looked a little cheesy, and oh great another alien show and wait…what is it doing on TNT? Don’t they just do quirky procedural law/criminal dramas? This is bound to be a disaster.

However…

It’s not bad. Quite frankly, it is a very well-produced summer TV show; heck, it’s better than some of the crap that premiered during the regular TV season. One thing that this show does well is show you how human nature deals with the alien invasion. They skip over all the invading crap we saw in films like Independence Day, War of the Worlds, or more recently V; instead the show picks up 6 months after the invasion; the aliens have taken over, the humans have lost, and a resistance has begun.

Seeing the series premier has really made me think how interesting this premise is. Yes, you get the typical Spielberg influenced characters: a family torn to pieces by the invasion, in this case it’s the Mason family. At the head is Tom Mason (played by Noah Wyle, who seriously rocks the beard), an American history professor from BU who lost his wife in the invasion and is now a part of the resistance. He has three sons, the oldest being Hal (Drew Roy) who has a strained relationship with his father but is still fighting alongside his father in the resistance. With Drew and Roy is the youngest son, Matt, who is still very young, and is trying to grasp his new surroundings.  However, the main reason Tom and Hal are in the resistance is to find and save the middle son, Ben, who was taken by the aliens along with many other teenagers who have a strange device implanted in their back.

To save his son, and the other kidnapped teenagers, Tom and Hal join the resistance and are assigned to the “Second Massachusetts,” comprised of 200 civilians and 100 army members and is led by General Weaver (Will Patton), whose second in command is Tom. Since Tom was a history professor he knows a lot about past military invasions and wars. He spends more time lecturing than he does fighting, and while to the people at the camp may find it annoying, I find it very intriguing. I myself am history major and if a summer TV show can find a way to give people history lessons in an entertaining way, I am not going to complain one bit!

I’ve gotten side tracked, I’m sorry. Anyways, back to why I feel Falling Skies has a very intriguing premise.

See what is so intriguing is that this show is showing how humans have been reacting to them no longer being the aggressors, but the victims. After thousands of years of different civilizations invading other civilizations because they think theirs is better, the tables have finally turned. So what happens to humanity when this happens? They fight back, as any normal functioning civilization would but not without complications. Because so many have died from the invasion, the military and the civilians have had to band together to fight back. As expected, it doesn’t always work out well and Falling Skies shows this perfectly, in the growing conflict between the two camps. The military sees themselves and their fighters as the only ones who can save humanity, while civilians, like the resident doctor Anne Glass (Moon Bloodgood) and the outlaw John Pope (played by a very good Colin Cunningham) see it differently. I have a feeling that Pope is going to become one of the most interesting characters on this series.

There is a story here in Falling Skies and what is so great is they’ve grasped it so very well. I am already emotionally invested in these characters storylines and I am excited to see what happens next in regards to the teenagers that have been taken hostage by the aliens. I do hope, however, that we get to hear more about who these aliens are and why they came in and took over planet earth. What made them leave their home for ours? Are they just villains, or are do they have an agenda? Either way, I am excited to see where this series is headed.

Other Thoughts:

~Typically I am a little over the whole fractured father-son relationship that every alien movie/TV show has but I don’t mind this one. The dynamic between Noah Wyle and Drew Roy is quite compelling.

~ So there are two types of aliens, Skitters (the creepy multi legged aliens) and the Mechs (the machine looking aliens). One controls the other, I am sure of it. My guess is that the Mechs are the real invaders, and the Skitters are their soldiers or slaves. Or maybe it’s the other way around, either way one is controlling the other.

~ I really don’t care for the little love triangle that is building between Hal, fighter chick Karen, and Anne Glass’s daughter Lourdes. I get that these shows have to have some romance, but let’s not make it too prominent OK?  Let’s just have Karen be some bad ass fighter chick and leave it at that.

~ I’m still iffy on Weaver. He seems a little too cocky and naïve. It’s going to end up getting him hurt or worse, killed.

And finally and probably most important:

~Noah Wyle is sooooo hot with a beard. He needs to keep it always

I don’t know yet if I am going to review this show weekly, but we’ll see. If the episodes are as easy and nice to watch as the first two episodes were, then there is a very good chance I will be.

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