This past Sunday night felt a little empty, I don’t have HBO so I couldn’t fill that void with True Blood and Entourage; instead I had a mini-Falling Skies marathon at my house. I watched the last 3 episodes of season 1, and while it wasn’t the same as having a brand new episode, it was still nice to see the fine folks of the 2nd Mass back in action. Even if it was just DVR’d. Now as I sit here in my 2nd Mass hat, thinking back about the first season, I can say I really did enjoy this show.
Falling Skies came to our television screens with a tremendous amount of hype this year. I’ve been excited for the show since Comic Con 2010, Noah Wyle was the prefect choice to play Tom Mason; so right away I knew the show would have quality acting from the lead. I was excited for the web comic that came out every other week between January of this year and the series premiere. One thing that did worry me, a SciFi show on TNT. I was afraid we would have week after week of Syfy Saturday Night Movies, just an hour at a time. I’m happy to say I couldn’t have been more wrong. The effects, aliens and CGI was excellent, and the coolest thing about FX in the show… practical FX!
I’m a sucker for using puppets and models when showing aliens, it stems from being a big fan of the Muppets as a kid. It is the reason I was so drawn to ‘Farscape’, because the Jim Henson Creature Shop created the aliens. The “Spider” Skitters in ‘Falling Skies’ were actually puppets in some cases. TNT actually released video on how the Skitters were made.
As good as the series was on screen, I think where they succeeded the most; promotion. The show was hyped, oh yes it was hyped, but by teaming up with sites like Klout.com and offering Klout Perks and even a chance to win a “Walk-on Role” by tagging your tweets #fsincentivized. ‘Falling Skies’ @FallingSkiesTNT Twitter account held trivia contests throughout the season. They were also able to take the online hype machine and take it offline. For the first few weeks of the season each Tuesday I got a delivery via courier with some new ‘Falling Skies’ swag.
You can see in the pictures above the sweet 2nd Mass Hat, Canteen and Compass; as well as some Skitter fingers and a canvas ‘Falling Skies’ bag. I have to say, receiving these “gifts” only enticed me to watch the show more.
Now, as much as I enjoyed the show, ‘Falling Skies’ was not immune to some of the cliches many of these shows fall into; the commanding officer losing his mind becoming irrational, the humans turning on other humans to try and make nice with their alien oppressors, and finally, adding more and more peripheral characters, most of whom do not matter in the long run. The one thing that bothered me the most, not one of the main characters died. Sure, Karen got the harness treatment, but was she really a main character? She didn’t die and they know how to remove the harness from the kids (if that even matters, apparently Skitters can call them back at anytime). But seriously, how many times can the Asian guy get shot or stabbed and still be patched up and ready to go in the next episode?
If those are my only gripes, I think ‘Falling Skies’ was far and away a success for TNT. I loved the cliff hanger ending, and I can’t wait to see what happens next season. Until then (Summer 2012), make sure to follow along with Falling Skies on Facebook and Twitter throughout the Fall, Winter and Spring; and hopefully we well get a fresh batch of Web Comics to continue the story until it is time to be beamed back into our living rooms on Sunday nights.