Pointless Nonsense

Posted in tv by Bill on April 14, 2013

defianceSyFy’s newest show Defiance doesn’t premiere until Monday but they put the pilot up on Amazon for free, which is kinda cool. I’m hoping it marks a return of real SciFi to Syfy, along with Candian import Continuum, since they’d basically abandoned it as far as original programming in favor of fantasy, horror, and reality shows.

The concept is that somewhere around now, aliens show up on earth, and they terraform (not exactly the right word, since the terra- in terraform refers to making it earth-like) the planet to make it more suitable for their species. Fast forward 30-something years, and Earth is kind of a post-apocalyptic wasteland with aliens mixed in with the population. Which is actually a pretty clever way to do a mix of Mad Max and Star Trek. Or something. The slightly confusing thing is that the aliens that attacked are like an alliance of species, so they have a half dozen or so different types of aliens floating around. But I imagine future episodes will do more work to clear up the various races and names for them.

The one weird aspect is that the show is made in coordination with an MMO game, which has actually already been released, and the connection between the two is somewhat unclear. When I first heard about the idea, I had the impression that events in the game might affect events in the show, but reading up on it now, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

It has an ok cast, with familiar faces Julie Benz, Jaime Murray, and Mia Kirshner (who is still hot). The main character (I think) is just some guy, he’s a very generic Han Solo knockoff character, played by a very generic actor for that type of role. And he has a very generic Han Solo moment towards the end of the pilot “you’re just gonna take your money and leave, huh?” Gee, I wonder if he’s going to turn around and save the day?

My completely shallow complaint is that one of the alien races is basically redheads with a dent between their eyebrows. And they cast a lovely actress as one of them, but the dent thing kinda ruins it. Like I think it’s impossible to be TV-hot with that thing. All sorts of other fictional aliens do pointed ears or green skin or strange markings in ways that still allow pretty people to look pretty.

Totally nerdy praise: the one thing that gives me more optimism than anything else is that they used a song by the Ink Spots, who frequently appear on Fallout soundtracks, at the end. So I figure they might have an approach to post-apocalyptic stuff that I might enjoy.

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