Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Defiance Pilot Review, or "This Post is More Interesting Than That Pilot Was"

Wife's away. Time for some 2:00PM  vodka tonic  masturba  alone time, to reflect on the Defiance pilot in all its (unexpectedly absent) majesty.

I heard about Defiance a while ago, but ignored it. Kept confusing it with that other lame post-apocalyptic show where everyone dresses like they just stepped out of a mall. My wife (henceforth, named "goddess") cleared away my confusion just a few days ago. She informed me that the creator of the most excellent Farscape show was behind this whole thing. I squeed, etc.

Fast forward to last night: we were all ready to check this shit out. Yeah! We had that Costco vodka, which is really Grey Goose, but sort of isn't, but really sort of is. We'd just watched Castle, which is sort of like Firefly. Okay, not really. At all. But Nathan Fillion was in Firefly, and Firefly is sort of like Farscape. So, bring it on, Farscape guy. We're ready!

Aaaaaand, the pre-game, tragically, was the highlight.

* Spoiler Alert. Sorta. *

Let's start with the characters.

The Main Guy, or "Hey, Main Guy, how did you get this job?"
He's not a terrible actor. But I really can't figure out why he's the Main Guy. Not cool or interesting-looking, not fascinating, not charming ("obnoxious" would the more appropriate adjective, according to goddess.) Not really interesting at all. What I'm saying is, I cannot have a bromance with this manMain Guy, you must die and be replaced by Ben Browder(In the show, I mean. I don't want you to die for real.)

The Main Girl, or "Likely a previous runner-up for the various redheads in Farscape, but still has potential"
It's true that "feisty-ninja-assassin-thief-girl-with-knives" is cliche, but goddess and I don't mind that particular archetype. She's decent. And she has red hair.

Red hair counts.

Rita, I mean the Mayor
What I remember most about her is that she's Rita. She was okay, though. Rita always gets a pass.

The Black Guy, or "You can fill in as the Main Guy between Main Guy's death and Ben Browder"
Unlike the racist Farscape (you know I love you), they have deigned to put a man of color in this show. Yay for our team. And he didn't even die (See BAD rule.) He's kinda' charming, too. Has potential as a character. Not bad.

The Rest, or "I'm pretty sure I saw you all milling about in some alien bazaar on Farscape"
Really boring, cliche, or annoying characters, the lot of you. No doubt goddess will correct me if I missed someone. But these guys? Long way to go.

Trite. People say that it got more interesting in the last 30 minutes, but my experience was the opposite. Okay, maybe there were potentially some neat plot elements introduced somewhere in there. Fine. What I remember most was a garden-variety "defend the town" scenario, followed by cheers no more convincing than what follows "...and there was much rejoicing." Whatever the converse of schadenfreude is, I experienced it, watching that.

Couldn't find the horrible CGI. Should've stayed in this view, anyway.
Some of it was okay. I'm a sucker for space CGI, and it was passable on that front. At other times, I'd seen better CGI in games five years old. Seriously, man, seeing a jeep drive down a road was not worth how terrible that CGI was. I assume you're on something of a budget, so speaking for everyone in this room (occupancy: 1), don't bother with CGI that inferior. We'd rather watch the hula girl on the dashboard. Not joking.

Is "loathe" worse than "hate"? Let me know. Until then, I {tbd} the cinematography. So sterile. No ambiance at all. What makes it worse is that it's clear the show was envisioned to be quite atmospheric. They need to either figure out how to finesse the limitations of what they're using, or change the cinematography (I bet the Blade Runner gear is cheap now, and it kills Defiance on visual atmosphere.) Remember the dance scene? Ugh, feeling that converse-thing-to-schadenfreude again.

The Verdict
It sucked. It was disappointing. Even had we not had dreams of Farscape reborn, it still would've sucked. Indeed, it's the Farscape guy - and apparently, a few of the Lost guys - being behind this whole thing that ensures we'll give it a chance anyway. We'll keep watching (within reason); you find your voice.

After all, the first season of Farscape wasn't exactly amazing. But the characters showed a lot of potential, even early on. That's what kept me watching (well, that, and goddess jumping up and down about the show.)

Now, Defiance's characters? Not so sure they have the same potential. We shall watch and see.
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  1. Ooooh, you're so much meaner than I would be! Meanie. :)

    Other than the main guy being kind of boring and not fleshed-out (of course,it's brand new), I liked most of the other main characters. They had a itty bitty Romeo & Juliet vibe going on in the town that was kind of interesting. Interesting mix of alien and human races. I felt like the whole "save the town!" second half of the pilot was a simple plot device to ground two un-groundable characters, so as long as it gets more interesting from here, I'm in a forgiving mood. :)

    Plus... I'm curious about the main girl's back story. I smell some good character development on the horizon. I'd give it 3 out of 5 stars for now.

  2. I'll be waiting until you guys have successfully and happily finished the first Season Finale.
    Great write-up, son!