"Falling Skies" Commentary: On the Other Hand
Something occurred to me as I was watching the latest installment of Falling Skies – and by “latest installment,” I mean what’s confusingly referred to as “episode three,” since the pilot consisted of episodes one and two aired back-to-back on the same night. Why not just call the pilot “episode one”? Maybe because that would have made it harder for iTunes to justify charging us double for downloading the pilot, who knows?
iTunes, incidentally, is the only way to watch Falling Skies online, bootleg notwithstanding. No free streaming at TNT, which was never the case and continues not to be the case at NBC for The Event, may it rest in peace. Plenty of swag for sale, though, at the Falling Skies website, and plenty of ways to be kept apprised of future swag-buying opportunities.
And because iTunes is the sole purveyor of Falling Skies episode downloads, if you don’t have an iTunes account already, you’ll have to set one up especially for this, which is not cool.
But I’m off-topic.
What occurred to me is that I’ve lost interest in Falling Skies, and after only two weeks, for one reason: truth really is stranger than fiction. And potentially much more entertaining. However well-rendered the skitters or sultry smart the leading ladies, their entertainment value is short-lived and insubstantial. Same goes for the pyrotechnics and the off-planet bugs that I’ve been watching leak brake fluid for decades.
I’ve lost interest also in the increasingly cloying family-friendliness … the earnest parents, the selfless defenders, the courageous struggle, all the skin-deep devices and clichés so cherished by the blue pill-popping, tabloid-fixated mainstream.
The reality of the extraterrestrial presence – yes, I said reality – is so much more interesting, so much richer and deeper and more complicated than skitters or mechs or even that lovely mothership. Why doesn’t Spielberg use ufology as the basis for a science fiction series that’s less like a backseat blowjob and more like a full-blown affair with somebody capable of carrying on an intelligent conversation the morning after?Continued on the next page