1. There isn’t much on TV during the summer.
2. Falling Skies is produced by Steven Spielberg, so there is a small chance that at any moment, raptors could attack and slaughter everyone. None of us would see it coming, because that’s the thing about a raptor attack, it always happens when you least expect it.
I would draw a pretty close parallel between the 1st season of Falling Skies and the 2nd season of The Walking Dead. We enjoyed the first season of The Walking Dead so much, and the premise has so much potential that although the 2nd season was objectively boring and pointless, the show had so much potential for awesomeness that we stuck around and patiently waited for things to get good.
Falling Skies has boat loads of potential: a talented cast, a post-apocalyptic setting, and aliens. The problem is that for every part of the story that you can’t help but like, there are just as many heavy-handed cliches that are impossible to ignore. From the gruff bad-but-sort-of-good-guy-who-can’t-be-trusted-but-in-the-end-does-the-right-thing to the stereotypical older guy “scientist” who is somehow the only one who understands how a radio works, and of course its his innovation that saves the day in the end. And don’t forget about the hot-but-tough-as nails-blonde-who-pretends-not-to-care-about-any-of-the-main-characters-but-really-does. I want to like these characters, but in order for this show to rise from tolerable to awesome, they must to move away from cliches and happy endings. What is the point of developing a character and putting them into a firefight with an alien death machine if you aren’t going to make the audience think that they might be in real danger? If we know that any conflict will eventually work itself out and everything will be OK, then it isn’t really a conflict at all. (ahem, every romantic comedy ever, ahem) This first season also didn’t involve much, if any character development. We get it, this guy loves his kids, you know who else would look out for their kids in a post apocalyptic hellscape? EVERYONE WHO HAS KIDS! The writers of Falling Skies have given each character one (at the most) motivation, and they will beat us over the head with it until the explosions start about three-fourths of the way through any given episode.
***SPOILER ALERT*** No, I just can’t gloss over the fact that the aliens who killed billions of people and defeated the joint military strength of the entire planet in just a few days have a weakness that we can exploit, real original everyone, nice work. Does Jeff Goldblum hack their system with a mac that has slightly more RAM than a good calculator? nope. Are they inexplicably allergic to water? nope. Do they suddenly get home sick and decide to leave? nope. They are actually amazingly sensitive to something that is almost as common on earth as water: RADIO WAVES! Do you have any idea how many frequencies of radio waves are not only bouncing around the planet 24/7, but are also being shot into space in every direction! All our military had to do to defeat a far superior race was jam ONE radio frequency? And instead of instantly switching to a new frequency, or, I don’t know, turning their radios off while they slaughter this group of humans, they run away! As if the idea that anyone could jam a radio signal is TOTALLY NEW TO THEM!!! Radio jamming technology is approximately as old as radios. So the answer to saving the human race was cutting edge technology from the 1930′s. What an amazing twist, guys. Great work. ***END SPOILER ALERT***
Hopefully, season 2 (premiering June 17th) will lead to some much-needed character development, bigger explosions, and hopefully a few raptor attacks. But if it doesn’t, I’m done with this show. On the other hand… I guess there really isn’t much on to watch during the summer…