Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Defiance: Sci-Fi Comfort Food

For about a year now the Syfy network has been pushing their new original Science Fiction show Defiance. It's a first for the network as they are also connected to a computer game as well. So you have both the Show and the game. So for almost a year we have been seeing ads for it, sneak peeks, going to conventions to push the show so that everyone is aware that the show is coming out. And it finally has this past Monday the 15th of April. And it was OK. Nothing stellar. To me it underperformed, but I know a lot of my fellow Snarkalecs disagree with me. They loved the show. Now for me it was just the first 2 hours and it underwhelmed me. But again that's just me.

What my issue is, is that they were pushing this show as being a game changer. And to me it was an amalgam of other sci-fi cliches and story ideas, I did not find it all that original. The characters are all ones you've seen before, the lovable rogue, the hooker with a heart of gold, the outsider, the Romeo and Juliet couple, the fresh faced mayor following a beloved mayor, a, at first glance, a kind person who turns out to be the main bad guy of the show, the rivals, the love triangle, a town filled with different species living together under one town happily,The outnumbered and outgunned people taking on an unstoppable army have been done before. The story was a set up for the series which is fine since it is a pilot, but to me it did not seem all that interesting. Calling me cynical but that is what the first 2 hours were. What I like to call Sci-Fi Comfort Food.

Did I like anything about it? Sure, the effects were good, the sets were good, the aliens were interesting looking and a lot appear to be aliens made up with make-up and not CGI. Plus it is just the first episode, I will keep watching, but even the previews for upcoming episodes seem to be following other storylines as well that we have seen before.

The acting was ok, though some of it was really wooden. The main hero Nolan played by Grant Bowler seemed very wooden as was Julie Benz as Amanda the new mayor. So that sort of took me out of the show. But we did have some good acting especially from the veterans such as Graham Greene as Rafe, and Fionnula Flannagan as former Mayor Nicky. Again not all actors can be great, but add that to the list of all the issues I have had with the show.

Again I will give it a few more episodes to try to get into it's groove but for me I was disappointed. I was expecting a new kind of sci-fi show that would bring about some new ideas that if mixed in with some of the stories that were in the show, I could overlook the cliches because I was seeing something new. I also know that there are only so many story ideas out there but the good writers can breath fresh air into a stale story idea and here is hoping that maybe Defiance can do it down the line. But for now it did what it was supposed to do, it got people to watch, it showed them stuff that they were familliar with and maybe they are hoping that the familiarity will keep the viewers around because this is a big deal for SYFY so they want to succeed. And they did, in creating Sci-Fi Comfort Food.

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