TNT's Falling Skies: The Show I Want to Like
With the news that TNT has decided to give the post apocalyptic, alien invasion thriller Falling Skies at least one more season, ordering 10 more episodes for the shows third season, you can now safely invest in the trials of the 2nd Massachusetts without fear of premature cancellation… but should you? Let me start off by saying, this show was really made for me, and people like me. The idea of rebuilding society in a world nearly obliterated, the old theme of a rag tag group of survivors versus superior forces, and the focus on the human will to survive in the face of total inhalation. All of this is perfect fodder for a geek like me to fall completely into. Falling Skies has all the promise in the world, yet now that we are midway through season 2, I do not think it has even come close to delivering.
The shows strength is in the fact that it is stories are character driven. They play up the angst, the pain of loss and guilt that the survivors are feeling. The main character Tom Mason (played by Noah Wiley) is charged with navigating his three sons through the apocalypse, and it is his relationships with his sons that produce some of the most genuine, captivating moments thus far. Captain Daniel Weaver (played by veteran actor Will Patton) plays the damaged leader of the 2nd Mass. who spends his time fighting aliens, and is own internal daemons, while some how keeping his crew and civilians alive.
Where the writers and producers of this show have identified and channeled these characters damaged souls, they have failed to fully flesh out the anger of these people, they have tried, but with little success. There have been moments when all of the characters have lashed out, either against the aliens or each other, but more often than not it is shallow and superficial, and the writers tend to let the characters fall back into themselves and their own personal struggles rather than facing the, in my mind, much more urgent external alien invasion and their plan for human extermination. This leads to a very one dimensional approach, that thus far, has not been fulfilling For a show whose main plot distilled is “Humans vs Aliens” they tend to struggle with their own issues more than their alien oppressors.Continued on the next page