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.
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
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.