Sunday, June 26, 2011

Critiques Critiqued: Survivor Behavior

In this next installment of the Critiques Critiqued series I'll be looking at many of the complains some viewers have had over how the survivors have been behaving considering they're on the brink of extinction.

Not Scared Enough

So one of the biggest complains I've seen is that some thing the survivors on the show aren't acting scared enough. I mean, they've been invaded by a powerful alien force, dwindling supplies, have had friends and family members die in front of them, and are facing the very real possibility of human genocide. During the pilot, however, the survivors don't seem to be all that worried. Sure, they have an occasional comment about the lack of food or about people dying, but should they be a lot more scared?

No. No they shouldn't. You have to remember, this series is taking place six months after the invasion. These survivors have had to deal with their circumstances for quite some time now. Seeing an alien isn't much more than seeing a regular human enemy combatant at this point. Also, the survivors have become much more accustomed to losing people and have learned to deal with it. I'm not saying it's easy, but they can't break down and cry every time somebody dies at this point or they'd be doing nothing but crying.

Another thing to consider is that the kind of people that would be constantly scared and paralyzed by fear would probably the kind of people that couldn't survive the six months after the invasion. They likely either died by alien or outlaw hands or just plain starved. What we have left is the kind of people that can find ways to deal with the horrible situation they've been thrust into.

Not Fighting Enough

I've also seen basically the opposite complaint as the one above in that everybody should be fighting and that nobody should just be an "eater". This makes sense on the surface, since you'd think every man, woman, and child should grab a gun and do their part to help humanity survive. However, you have to remember that sometimes you throwing more manpower at a problem could make things much worse.

Let's remember weapons and ammunition are scarce. We know this because Tom Mason and his crew risked their lives on the off chance that an armory might have some weapons. So with weapons being a limited commodity, do you really think arming unqualified individuals is the best course of action?

Now, even if weapons weren't in such short supply, giving an unqualified person a gun also gives them the ability to get themselves or others killed. We already saw the young soldier blow their cover and nearly get them all killed and he is supposedly a "good fighter" according to Weaver.

School is Silly

The last complaint I've seen is about how the children are still attending school throughout this whole ordeal. Some seem to think there's no time for class when the kids could be put to work either fighting or working.

First, you can't expect people to be fighting or working 100% of the time. People would burn out which would either lead to fighting amongst themselves or just sheer exhaustion that would leave them vulnerable to attack. This goes double for the kids.

Second, while survival is definitely the number one priority, you have to remember that after the aliens are defeated, mankind will still need to rebuild. This war has lasted at least 6 months already and with no end in sight, it could last many years. If you don't continue educating future generations during those years, you would have a pretty significant education gap when all things are said and done.

Third, kids basically need to be babysat 24/7. They are prime targets for the aliens since they are the ones being kidnapped to be harnessed. A classroom environment is a great way to keep an eye on them and keep them occupied while giving them something familiar in a time when their whole world has been turned upside down. Kids are going to be incredibly traumatized by this whole experience so anything that can bring their lives closer to normalcy is a good thing.

Closing Thoughts

The thing we all need to keep in mind while watching the show is that we're seeing life six months after the invasion. I know it's difficult to frame your mindset that way since we're so used to seeing the invasion itself, but this show is doing something unique which I find incredibly refreshing. I think what we've seen so far from the survivors is absolutely believable and with only the first couple episodes out yet, I think we'll be getting even more insight into why our survivors act the way they do as the show progresses.


  1. Scott Said:

    Another big gripe that seems to plague the official forum (which is a wreck) is that the kid got cake on his birthday. There is all manner of how did they bake it and decorate it arguments. Never mind that baking was a human accomplishment on day 2, or that packaged frosting has shelf expiration dates longer than my drivers license. The "cake" is a vending machine item which they could have easily found, and would have been just fine in a temperate climate (no leaves on the trees, everyone in jackets) for a few months.

  2. Jeremy Said:

    Yeah, I saw that silly complaint as well. I'm feel kind of sorry for those people that actually get hung up on something as silly as the birthday cake. If you really can't enjoy the rest of the show because of that one thing (which like you mentioned, can be explained fairly easily), then I don't see how you can enjoy any show or movie.

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