Friday, July 8, 2011

‘Falling Skies’: Another disappointing TV series with Steven Spielberg’s name attached

Director Steven Spielberg has a great track record with movies, but not so much with TV series.
The TNT series “Falling Skies,” which concerns a band of human survivors after an attack by space aliens, was promoted as being “From Executive Producer Steven Spielberg.”
That sort of billing carries high expectations from the director of such classic movies as “Jaws,” “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Jurassic Park” and “Minority Report.”
Unfortunately “Falling Skies” is another disappointing TV series with Spielberg’s name attached. It joins NBC’s “Amazing Stories” (1985-87) and “SeaQuest DSV” (1993-96) in that category.
TNT has aired just four episodes of “Falling Skies,” but the cable network this week renewed it for a second season. TNT made the decision despite a significant drop in viewership.
“Falling Skies,” starring Noah Wyle, has gotten off to a bad start. The storytelling is weak and the special effects are second rate. The first episodes have been bogged down by maudlin family drama and unrealistic scenarios.
I get that the point of the series is to show the characters’ humanity when times are their bleakest. But the series would be more entertaining if it focused more on the military strategy of the humans trying to retake our planet from the alien invaders.
Quit dawdling and get to the good stuff already. Viewers want to know what the aliens are up to and what their weaknesses might be. Less yapping and more action.
I can only hope that Spielberg’s next foray into episodic television, Fox’s “Terra Nova,” will be better. It’s set to debut this fall.

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