BackStage reviewed “Falling Skies”, the new series on TNT, execute produced by Steven Spielberg.
The reviewer, Simi Horwitz, summarizes the show:
“Falling Skies” is set in a post-apocalyptic Massachusetts community six months after aliens—known as the “skitters”—have invaded the Earth. A handful of survivors have joined forces to fight the evil aliens, who look like, well, creatures from a Spielberg film. The insurgents include Tom Mason (Noah Wyle of “ER” fame), a history professor and father of three whose middle son has been captured by the beings from outer space; Hal (Drew Roy), Tom’s eldest and, at moments, hot-headed son; Captain Weaver (Will Patton), a steely, no-nonsense authority figure; and Anne Glass (Moon Bloodgood), a benign and rational pediatrician. There are also lawless, marauding humans, headed by the not-unintelligent thug John Pope (Colin Cunningham), who is only too happy to take advantage of the chaos and spew forth cynical commentary on the human condition.”
The review is mixed offering some praise for the depth of the show, but describing it as dull.
On Noah Wyle’s character:
“…there is no shortage of philosophical musing. Mason, for example, offers learned observations and pointed analogies that consider everything from the American Revolution to baseball games, which embody metaphorical significance.”
Not much praise for the acting:
“Bloodgood’s performance is undoubtedly sincere. But it’s generic. The same can be said of Wyle’s Tom and Roy’s “determined” Hal. With perhaps the exception of Cunningham and Patton, who to try to bring spark to their roles, the actors seem to be sleepwalking.”
“But the central problem is the pilot’s pervasive dullness despite the dramatic setup as well as the alliances, romances, and conflicts that have been established. The two-hour premiere is formulaic and reminiscent of any number of other movies of the genre. That is not to say there won’t be a substantial audience for this series. Indeed, it might conceivably include me, especially if it were telecast at 4 in the morning on a rainy New Year’s Eve following a night of boozing. Even the barely serviceable acting would take on a certain charm.”