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"Falling Skies: Live and Learn (#1.1)"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Falling Skies" Live and Learn (2011)

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

It is nothing special and quite boring.

1/10
Author: Dakitaru from Netherlands
20 June 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Cliché, predictable and just sloppy...

From the start it smelled like Spielberg and, no surprises, he actually played a role in the creation. It is meant to be watched by parents with their children who aren't supposed to watch 'adult' series but they 'allow' them anyway, to satisfy some sort of children's need of rebellion.

The first episode consists of a wave of euphoria. The children are acting as if they like to be at war! I don't mind war in a TV-show, but please make the victims believable enough for me to care. From sheer cuddling and friendly happy daddy moments to the over-the-top dramatic struggle between father and son, each moment about this family is forcing you to bond with them. Bond they say. Bond we will? Not this way.

Just a few, in my opinion, non-spoiler moments (spoiler-tagged anyway) that made it completely unwatchable:

- Aliens have weird hearing. Hearing a gunshot from inside a building from far away is no problem, but not hearing a group of people run through a hallway while holding a wounded and screaming man, which are just a few feet away, is a sign of serious alien ignorance.

- A child who has lost a mother is currently in the middle of a war between man and alien. Yet, when ripped from a safe house with a safe room after a nice nap, he seemed to be satisfied with the thought that he has to go back to war, risk his life and risk losing the lives of his loved ones. Such a positive attitude is guaranteed to win a war! Spielberg style *shine* - Oh heavenly skies, the child child has been given a wave-board for his birthday. Now he can ride it a couple of minutes while keeping dozens of members of the group distracted from their war duties. *sigh*

There are far better series to see besides Falling Skies. Avoid.

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12 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Falling skies???...more like falling crap!!

1/10
Author: birdsstone-82-685753 from United States
20 June 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Oh my god....Pleeeeeease cancel this joke of a show..I can't see it airing another season whatsoever...Completely bad acting all across the board..I mean all the characters are so terrible, it's ridiculous....Another Steven Spielberg piece of you know what...I am going to just rant about the random junk in this show because it doesn't deserve a good explanation..First off, the aliens look like a rip-off of Spielberg's Super 8 "alien", just a smaller version. (I hated Super 8, by the way, another BIG joke) The professor's sons are annoying as all hell. I mean, his younger son getting all whinny about his birthday party??? Are you serious? Aliens have taken over the world, and your bitchin' about your birthday?? Oh, and the little kid who's part of the resistance, is a joke..Really? There's all these other men, but for some reason they have this kid as a soldier..And as for calling the aliens "skitters" and "cooties",oh, and the civilians are called "Eaters" (because they use up the food rations)...Jesus Christ!!!..Not to mention the redneck fascists group who apparently complicates matters for the resistance while on their food run..This is the WOrst Sci-Fi t.v. show that I have ever seen!! This show will not last and if it does, I really hope aliens do come down a kill off all the dumb idiots that call this entertainment...And Spielberg? You need to retire and give it up man..You've had your time and now it's run up...This T.V. show is so BAD, BAD, BAAAAD...Do not waste your life on this!!!

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Addictive but pacing is off

6/10
Author: thomd-2 from Zone 5
11 December 2012

There are quite a few compelling characters in this series and the acting is engaging. But, many scenes seem to be stretched to fill time and music is used to fill-in for situations where nothing much is happening. Wish there could be a second editor who could re-cut the series making it move more quickly. The younger actors actually outshine the experienced actors- they are well directed. I enjoy many surprising plot developments but I want to see more light and detail. They may be using dark scenes in order to cut down on the expenses of set development, a lot can be hidden with high contrast night shots. Recommend for all lovers of dystopian fiction but warn the impatient to be prepared for dragging story development.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Thought I had missed the first half of the series?

7/10
Author: dan wade from United Kingdom
16 July 2011

I have just seen the first 2 episodes of the new series falling skies. Well I didn't know that at the time? I thought I had stumbled across episodes 8 and 9. reason why i say that is because there is no real explanation to why the aliens attack? You also don't get to see the initial alien invasion. We are thrown into the story 6 months after the alien attack and it is the aftermath that we get to watch rather then see the white house been blown up or Big Ben destroyed by a hovering battle ship and its single beam of powerful light.

This is an interesting take really, and once I realised that I had to use my imagination of what the attack was like for the poor humans I now get to see how the few remaining survivors there are band together in their united struggle to find food, weapons, survivors and more importantly the answers on how to fight their 6 legged enemy back!!

Lots of politics going on too!! There is not only a war going on between humans and squids but humans are fighting humans in a survival of the fitness trend. Rag tag scavengers are killing for food and weapons. Sounds like a bit of a shame really considering the circumstances? But that's human nature for you! and there is also growing tension between the military and civilians who are now dubbed 'eaters' by their soldier protectors as they are a little bit bitter about all the grub that gets eaten. So a potential under class is developing already. Children are missing play time and the parents are squabbling on who should be squatting in the nice dead family's house :(

What also sounds interesting is that children are constantly been captured by the alien scum and 'harnassed' in a invasion of the body snatchers feel approach to things where if the alien parasite is forcefully removed from its host, the host will die!! sound familiar?

Lets look at what the facts are, or well I gather from the talkings of my fellow survivors; 1 There has been an unprovoked alien attack, they started in the big cities with an arial strike then placed millions of foot soldiers to take care of the rest - why? We don't know yet? 2 They have killed on site and rounded/captured humans in to concentration camps then nuked the camps for good measure 3 They like to 'harness' little kids 4 they respond and are attracted to thermal temperature and noise 5. They have 6 legs but wear mechanical suits to portray the image that they only have two? must be for the ladies as no one like a damp squid. 6. We don't know how to kill them yet but we are going to find out

Anyway, I must say, this has been enjoyable so far and I will continue to watch with much interest. don't think much of the special effects but the acting and 100's of extras who can be seen on one shot has been impressive. Noah Wiley is also an actor I have unfairly critised before actually witnessing what he is capable of. He's much better in this then that library dude!!!

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Yet another bunch of post apocalyptic misfits ...

3/10
Author: Andrew Huggett from United Kingdom
21 July 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Yet another standard action-packed series about a post apocalyptic band of survivors/misfits fighting against an unusual event/enemy/situation. This one is odd in that it starts AFTER the even has occurred and one desperately would have liked to have seen the invasion itself (but I suspect we'll be shown elements in flashback later in the series – so as to keep the show interesting and allow it to drag on for endless episodes and seasons). As with the many other TV series in a similar style which have appeared over the past 5 years or so this one intrigues the audience with odd little tantalising clues about the mystery behind the event (in this case it's the purpose of the bio-mechanical spines the aliens have attached to the children – shades of the BBC series 'The Tripods' from the early eighties and the original Outer Limits episode 'The Invisibles'). I just did not find this start to the series as compelling or as original as say 'Revolution' (2012), 'Jericho' (2006), 'Lost' (2004) or 'The Walking Dead' (2010) – and even with those shows I grew frustrated as they just kept you watching the soap opera style plots (admittedly spiked with lots of spectacular SFX action) week after endless week without revealing very much and without drawing their particular story arcs to a satisfactory conclusion. Indeed, the danger is that you get hooked on the show and then the American network responsible just cancels it mid-flow. However, I will keep an eye on the reviews for this one and may revisit it in the future if they manage to keep it to a sensible length and end it properly after just a few seasons.

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6 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Of course a lot of uninteresting things will happen when aliens invade our world.

2/10
Author: xinix111 from Netherlands
23 June 2011

I expected so much more from this new show, but for me it's like a b-movie that begs me to watch the 2nd part. Some good acting is involved but the horrible storyline breaks it down to almost nothing. The more interesting parts of an alien invasion are skipped, like the arrival and the things that happen prior to an invasion which might be important to the story. Nothing of such kind.The story follows the uninteresting situations that might occur when aliens arrive, like getting some food from a storage or some individual trying to get his son who is enslaved by an alien that lives on his back. The aliens look extremely unrealistic and unpractical, more like robots with mechanical spider legs actually,.... The only reason for me to watch more of this show would be if other shows become even worse. Unbelievable that a team of such professionals can make something so stupid......

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3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Disappointment at the very least

6/10
Author: tomcatjak from United States
20 June 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I planned to watch this series because I thought it would be different from the rest of the alien shows and movies. But its just the same old things, the aliens are "reptiles" and have somehow built huge spaceships and laser firing fighter droids...

There is no introduction to the characters at all, so at the end of the episode, I was left guessing as to who everybody was. If you like Sci-fi you might like this series, but like I said before, I expected this to be better.

If the shows producers have a plan for this show, it better be good because the pilot was a disappointment and some things need to be improved.

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7 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

I can't see where this is going

2/10
Author: u-zirnis from Latvia
21 June 2011

Right, highly anticipated series with two modest names (Wyle, Patton) and one biggie (Spielberg). Noah Wyle and Will Patton both medium actors (Patton was excellent in Session Nine) act as survival fighters of alien-crushed America. Premise itself qualifies for a swell Sunday evening view. Survivalist dramas have proved to be possible traps. Lost started out lovely, but strangled itself in pointless magic and sci-fi traps. We wanted underground Nazis not time warps. The Walking Dead's first season for instance turned out perfect in not just it's genre, but by playing out a possible, true character-driven fable.

But Falling Skies (sigh...), this is just wrong, we live in the 21th century for Christ's sake. You can't push limits, when TV dramas have become more intellectual than medium cinema movies. Falling Skies pushes so see-through buttons, that it becomes as a spit in viewers face. Oh, the brave Americas men, oh the family ties! There is a scene, where the fighters give present a to boy - a skateboard, which they've taken the previous night from a store, during a hunt for food. And They even give him a F*****G helmet! There is a sense that producers have been kissing the feet of MPAA and they've asked for the series to give the 'right' message to American viewers.

All in all, weak acting, pointless heroism (straight out of nineties), bad CGI, terrible, terrible script.

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1 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Refreshing education but by the book alien invasion, poor creativity and average viewer-friendly sci-fi

4/10
Author: igoatabase from France
22 June 2011

Note : This is a review of the premiere, Live and Learn followed by The Armory.

The series premiering the same night as Game of Thrones finale sounded like the worst idea but when you have Steven Spielberg as executive producer and Noah Wyle as lead you tend to get some attention. Still from space, where the audience of George R. R. Martin's novel masterful adaptation has been teleported, the pitch of an other alien invasion didn't seem like the ultimate saler. An Independence Day and Survivors (2008) cross-over ? That's how I considered Falling Skies before its premiere and now that I have seen it well the show is not really more than that.

Because of its survivalism theme the comparison with other productions like Jericho, Invasion (2005), V and even The Walking Dead is inevitable. It wouldn't be a weakness if the show had more to offer but the refreshing ideas that were injected into it aren't numerous. The first would be its protagonist, portrayed by Wyle, an American history professor named Tom Mason. It has potential but for the moment his knowledge was mostly pictured as a running gag. However the analogy between their situation, humans invaded by aliens, and the blood bath that represents America's birth, natives invaded by Europeans – and other great civilizations by extension like Roman for instance. But that's it. A second idea ? There're dozens of them but none surprised me and in general the story really felt like déjà vu. From concepts borrowed from The Puppet Masters (Robert A. Heinlein) and RoboCop to clichés like the hot female doctor and Mad Max mercenaries the unoriginality list is desperately long.

As for the rest we have the usual mix of pros and cons such by the book productions are used to. Yes because that's what happens when you decide to sacrifice creativity and sweet sci-fi to widen your target. At first the military guy reminded me of Avatar, and that's clearly an insult, but thankfully his profile is not all black and it seems the diversity of the cast and other characters contributed to make him more interesting. And other element I enjoyed was the educative arc. Kids go to school and Tom is not the only teacher at resistance camp. Indeed his little chat with a biologist was quite intriguing and should make you wonder about the true origin and nature of the aliens and their metal minions. Actually I couldn't help thinking about Battlestar Galactica even if the universes don't have much in common. Still it was just the excuse I needed to give the show one more chance. If you spot it you should also be moved by an elegant reference to Wyle's filmography. However the episode format worries me because the second part, The Armory, was barely entertaining and his script seemed copied and pasted from the other creations I have already mentioned and the dozens of others you probably have seen or read. Last but not least the production was only good when I was expecting some jaw dropping scenes. I also noticed how cheap some matte paintings looked compared to the CG creatures. In fact considering how video games like Killzone are impressive it's getting really difficult to impress anyone on TV these days with just a bunch of visual effects.

Add conventional arcs like a son to rescue (Survivors), the inevitable love stories or triangles and what seemed to be a plot hole regarding Margaret (Sarah Carter, the pretty blonde next door)… well I can't just list them all ! The idea is that if extra-televisual objects like Lost and Fringe's season 3 convinced you that TV should all be about creative, mind blowing and smart entertainment then Falling Skies can only disappoint you. It has some undeniable qualities but considering Spielberg's pedigree I was expecting the master to open the gate to a new Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

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5 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Worse than Tired...

1/10
Author: bababear from United States
20 June 2011

...the first two episodes are more accurately described as exhausted.

I think that anyone who came up with an original idea for the show would immediately be fired. We've been chased down those same alleys and through those same warehouses by the same killer lizards with the same thunderous music in the background a thousand times before.

THE WALKING DEAD didn't jump the shark until near the end of the opening season, and I'm curious enough to start up when it comes back on. This never got off the ground.

The opener had some 5.6 million viewers. It will be interesting to see if this momentum will hold.

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