Friday, August 17, 2012

It's Not UFOs, it's Me

By: Erin Jackson

Dear Falling Skies,

Well, it's come to this. Your season is nearly over (I think?) and there are four unseen episodes of you on my DVR. And, I kinda need that space for shows that I, you know, like to watch.

How'd we get to this place? Things seemed to be picking up. The survivors were all getting ready to move South for the Winter and we all know modern survivalist fiction is way better in the the South. And Noah Wyle finally got his kids back and was romancing that doctor and yeah there were still aliens trying to kill everyone, but then there was that one alien who was special somehow and wanted to start a revolution and I was pumped.

Then, Ben's ex-girlfriend shows up and puts a wrench in your momentum and I'm just not into you anymore, FS.

Why? Because you are exhausting. I know that because of our apocalyptic paranoia driven by bleak economic climate and a distrust of government or fear of environmental catastrophe we Americans are in love with this kind of story. We flipped out over Hunger Games and went gaga for zombies and it makes sense to bring back good ol’ alien invasion in a Walking Dead style TV drama.

But, I personally can't deal anymore. I read The Road. I play Fallout. So I have no dearth of post-apocalyptic America in non televised formats. I watched LOST and Battlestar Gallactica, which had this effect on me:

despite the constant peril and shuffling of survivors. I watch the aforementioned Walking Dead which is more of the same. And I watch the news featuring story after story of people struggling to rebuild governments and stabilize society or just trying not to be killed for no reason.

All that I can handle. Then you you show up with your constant scouting trips and illnesses and rescues and it feels like work. When you present all these struggles without the payoff of a story that draws me in every week, I get bummed out. It all adds up, this post-apocalyptic malaise, like a sludge of dread on my brain. It's grating and sludgy and I need a break.

Will I be back? That depends. Maybe if you jettison more of your cast (a la LOST) or focus in more on the inner conflict of the aliens (a la Battlestar) or anything else that shakes things up in a dynamic way, I can't see why I won't. But for now, you're off my DVR.

Best wishes,

Erin Floyd Jackson has been BFFs with TV since she was a wee one when she would play TV Network Executive. She went to school to learn about how and why TV is the way it is and hopes to someday tear someone's creative vision down and re-edit it to her liking. In the meantime, she and her husband live in Huntsville, Alabama and they occasionally blog here when they are not geeking out over all the SCIENCE! in Rocket City. 

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