TV talk

Defiance, from yahoo to oh no.

Last week I went to the movies. While I was there I was feeling pretty shocked and ashamed.  No, it was NOT the kind of movie you’re thinking. I was shocked by the price for a matinee. Tells you how long since I’ve been to the movies.  I was ashamed because I went to see Olympus Has Fallen instead of seeing The Host—which was SFR and I could have blogged about it. *sigh* One good thing did come from the experience. Before the movie started there was a promo for Defiance, the new SyFy Channel series starting April 15.  This was the first I’d heard of it. Not sure how I’d missed it, but missed it I had.

I immediately came home and started researching. SyFy has a cool little “the making of” series of videos on their website. As I was watching those, my son walked by and mentioned he’d been playing the game for several weeks. Yes, we live in the same house and I had no idea. And no, I’m not a terrible mom. He’s a grown-up and I stopped monitoring his games and TV when he moved out at age 18.  We’re one of those families where the kiddo has come home again during economic hard times. I can’t complain. I did the same at one point in my younger years.  Besides, I actually like the kiddo.

arisaBut back to Defiance.  The series takes place after Earth has been devastated by war and aliens have come to live among us. Defiance is a town that is making the best of things and everyone is trying to live together in peace. There are some good actors involved with the project and it seems to have a large cast.  There are competing families, one human and one alien. There is the mayor of the town and her brothel-owning sister.  Newly arrived in town, an ex-military officer and the alien girl he raised as his own. The girl, Irisa, looks the most interesting me. The girl has many, many knives, a bit of a temper, and not much of a sense of humor.

So, everything was looking good and then it happened. They said the words that made me cringe. They likened the central storyline to a Romeo and Juliette story. The two warring families apparently have two kids in love. Why is this a problem for me? Well, Romeo and Juliette is a tragedy. I’m not much a fan of tragedy. Sure it is a romantic tragedy, but I like my romance with a happily ever after. I know when I watch SciFi TV the happily ever after isn’t likely. TV tradition says that if a couple gets together happily the show will fall apart. I accept this, but try to avoid shows were the romance is central. For example, I knew FireFly would never have gotten Mal and Inara together (even if it had gone on for years), but their relationship was not the center of the show so that was fine. Putting a Romeo and Juliette story at the center of the show is a big red flag for me. And this is very sad considering how little SiFi is on TV right now.

The dilemma: should I give the show a chance? I hear from the game players that the game is tons of fun. Will that translate to the show?

Rae Lori has promised to post on the game side of things, so be sure to keep an eye on her blog.

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12 thoughts on “Defiance, from yahoo to oh no.

  1. Hmm, I was excited to hear of a new sci-fi show, except I’m not a fan of tragedy either! This is why I’m tending to wait until shows have been going for a while before I start watching. That, and then I know they aren’t going to be cancelled at the end of the first season.

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    • Oh dear. You know that doesn’t help them suceed, right? 😉 I’m not sure how many episodes have already been filmed, but would love to know! Also wondering how many episodes in a season. This 5 – 8 episodes per season thing that is becoming so common is killing me!

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  2. Oh Charlee, you are def not a terrible mom! The game has been in beta for weeks so it’s been on the hush hush except to beta and alpha game testers (sounds like this is the case with your son – lucky him!) and folks who follow game news closely. I didn’t know they had an ad in the movies though! They must be really heavily promoting it everywhere.

    I also say bleah on the Romeo and Juliet aspect. On the plus side, they described the same theme with the first Underworld movie as a selling point and the story is definitely more than just that. I’m hoping that description is just for the high concept bean counters who need a high selling point to secure viewers and advertisers. Hopefully the story offers much more in the world and doesn’t rely on cliches or melodrama to sell the show. There is a lot of potential there and they seem to be making an effort. One cool thing is the theme and the rest of the soundtrack is done by the awesome Bear McCreary of BSG fame. It’s pretty inspiring.

    Maybe I’m just desperate for some good sci-fi tv but hopefully this sticks around and has a chance to grow into something good in combination with the game.

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  3. I will definitely be watching it, with high hopes, and paying little attention to whatever marketing buzztalk surrounds it. The R&J subplot/conceit may be only a minimal part of the story’s scope and content. And keep in mind how few people actually think of R&J as a tragedy, focusing only on the out-of-context-and-reality idea of young love conquering all to unite two warring factions. If that’s the case with the marketing genius behind that particular angle, the tragedy element of Defiance’s young romance may be more of a hardship element, with ever the hope of a HEA.

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    • Interesting that the trailers don’t mention the R/J theme. Hmmm…..maybe that is a good sign. I got a funny feeling they were trying to cover all the bases.

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  5. Hi, Charlee! I watched without having any preconceived notions whatsoever. It was a lucky turn of the channel at just the right time! I hadn’t heard anything about Defiance, but admittedly, I only tune into Syfy for Being Human and Ghost Hunters.

    No worries at all about the R/J angle. I think it’s a minor sub-plot if the first episode is any indication. We’ll be tuning in next Monday. (Even the husband was sucked into the storyline and visuals.) 🙂

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  6. I wasn’t blown away, but it’s early. I thought they tried to take on too much and didn’t succeed in establishing a solid foundation. (Although, I was blown away by what they put into production for a cable TV show.) But the writing wasn’t exactly riveting. Some of the characters are interesting. I’m hoping that it will come together in future shows, because there is so LITTLE sci-fi on TV, sigh.

    I really miss Caprica and Dollhouse. Being Human is just too bloody for me. Shows my age, I guess. I’m currently re-watching Battlestar Galactica and enjoying it the second time around. My husband never saw it and he’s liking it, which makes him open to other sci-fi in the future.

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