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August 03, 2009

For Your Consideration

I've been waiting for a near-future space show for a while, preferably one set within our solar system. It's something that has been missing from popular media--or even unpopular media--with a few notable exceptions. (2007's "just missed it by that much" Sunshine comes to mind; and I still think it's worth a view, despite its flaws.)

I've always wanted a television show or movie (but, really, a television show) in the flavor of Ben Bova's Grand Tour or even Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy (leftist, I know). You're telling me there's no drama to space exploration if it's not set in the far-future or outside Earth's solar system?

I had hopes for Ronald D. Moore's Virtuality but that sucked big floppy donkey dick. Now I've got my eye on Defying Gravity which premiered last night and can be seen over on Hulu. It's on ABC on Sunday nights, something I did not know. (This might partially explain its middling numbers; promotion, hello?)

Just finished the pilot. Not bad. Strong cast, including Ron Livingston. This episode was mainly introducing characters and the story arc, so it was a little light on plot.

Two things worth mentioning: I understand the need of the production for some type of pseudo-gravity in the non-rotating parts of the spacecraft and the treknobabble explanation was kept brief. Good.

However, the reliance on yet another conspiracy to drive the plot has me tempted to stop watching right now. I HATE lame-ass shows that are all about an extremely unlikely conspiracy involving dozens if not hundreds of people who magically never speak to their spouses or leave stuff from the office laying around where the cleaning service can see it. It's lazy writing. I stopped watching LOST and Prison Break because of that shit.

As of the pilot, the details of the conspiracy are very vague--probably because the writers only know the broad outlines. My advice: keep it that way. Tuck that sucker in a drawer and bring it out only when the meddling executives say you have to use it. There's more than enough tension and drama in being stuck on a spacecraft with eight people for six years.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 09:11 PM

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