‘Falling Skies’ Season 1 Review

Summer TV is pretty much understood to be of lesser quality than what airs during the rest of the year. But there are a few diamonds in the rough (I will never be able to say too many great things about Louie). Falling Skies seems to be somewhere in the middle. The potential for greatness is there but rarely achieved. The first season featured ten episodes, but the first five were completely different from the second five in terms of quality.

Falling Skies started slow. There was a fair amount of action for a TV series, but the writing was boring and the characters were on dimensional. The only character that I had any connection to was Pope (Colin Cunningham). He was your typical bad boy working for the good side but Cunningham played the character in a tongue in cheek manner delivering poor lines with just the right amount of flair.

The overall premise of the show was good enough for me to stick with it. The writers raised interesting questions early and gave answers neither too frequently nor sparingly. However, the show’s trouble executing what should have been exciting moments led to a lot of problems with the first half of the season. The episode Silent Kill, where Tom finally goes after his harnessed son Ben, should have been exciting but ended up being bland.

That being said, right after the fifth episode, Falling Skies began achieving what it had been hoping to. The two part story Sanctuary was excellent as it contained a lot of great character moments and plot turns. These two episodes barely featured any aliens and had a very human enemy yet it was some of the best stuff we saw all season.

Pope continued to stand out as the best character (the moment where he tried to save the kids of the 2nd Mass in Sanctuary Part 2 was probably the best of the season) but other characters got fleshed out. Noah Wyle grew into Tom pretty well. Jimmy and Weaver became a fascinating pair of characters to watch. Will Patton did a great job in the last few episodes as Weaver.

The best episode of the season was Mutiny, the first half of the two-hour finale a few night’s ago. It focused on a battle of wits between Tom and Weaver as they prepared to attack the structure of Boston. The climax of the hour was brilliant and finished off with some great cinematography and lighting to show that Falling Skies could be a better show style-wise.

Unfortunately, the final episode was a bit of a let down. Almost all of the action that the season had been building towards since the pilot took place off screen. It’s unfortunate that a show like this can’t get a bigger budget because it would most likely do amazing things with the extra money. The hour wasn’t a complete waste however. Rick’s storyline wrapped up nicely and the season ended on a great cliffhanger with Tom going with the aliens.

A second season for Falling Skies has already been confirmed so next summer the show will return. If they can get a bigger budget and maintain the momentum from the second half of the season next year we’ll have a much better season on our hands. For now, the show is still too much of a mixed bag for me to promise that I will watch next summer. (7.5/10)

photo credit: http://igossip.com/gossip/falling_skies_logo/1378582

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