Friday, July 15, 2011

Critiques Critiqued: Aliens Can't Count?

Skitter
Like all other episodes of Falling Skies, last Sunday's episode has brought out a new crop of complaints from various nitpickers. One complaint in particular caught my attention enough to dedicate a new Critiques Critiqued post to it - the notion that the skitter didn't realize Hal wasn't faking being harnessed.

7 > 6

So one of the seemingly obvious flaws in the scene is that the skitter should have been able to notice one extra kid. Even if it didn't really pay attention to the fact that Hal was a different kid, the skitter should have realized it had one extra kid-slave right? Well, not necessarily.

Do you think the skitters count each and every kid each time they look back at them? Of course not. Why would they? Up until this point, nobody has tried to "fake" being a harnessed kid so the skitters had no idea to even watch out for that kind of thing. The skitter may have even counted the kids before entering the hostpital, but since Hal snuck in passed the mech, the skitter was caught off guard and unaware to the notion that somebody would have somehow slipped in. So it's actually a lot more unrealistic to think the skitter would notice an extra kid when there's no reason for it to think of such a thing.

Out of Control

Another possible issue would be that we know the skitters control the harnessed kids so it should have noticed Hal wasn't being controlled. Of course, the problem with this concern is that we still have no clue how the skitter-harness-kid control thing works. Seems to be radio related, but maybe it's some sort of one way broadcast that is just picked up by harnessed kids and the skitter has no way of knowing which kids it's being sent to. Think of it like talking on a radio on a certain channel. You broadcast out some instructions and they are received by other radios but you have no idea what radios. So if that's how it works, the skitter would not be able to tell what kids are harnessed or even how many are harnessed.
continue reading...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Critiques Critiqued: Ricky's Dad

This entry into the Critiques Critiqued series will be focusing on probably my own biggest critique of the show so far - Ricky's dad. If you've been reading my episode reviews, you've likely noticed my frustration with the character and while I am still annoyed by him, I will attempt to play devil's advocate and defend his actions.

Rescued Ricky, Sacrificed Karen

So the dad's first big FUBAR was the botching of the rescue mission in which Mason and his group were going to try and grab Ben so that Dr. Harris could try out a new harness removing procedure. Once the group spotted Ricky and not Ben, it didn't take the dad long to shout out to him and blow their cover.

Obviously his actions were boneheaded and frustrating to many viewers (myself included). However, if you really stop to think about it and try to put yourself in his shoes, you should be able to see where he's coming from. Imagine your kid being abducted by aliens and for the last few months you've had no idea whether or not he was dead or alive. Miraculously, you see him when you're in a position to save him. Not only that, but you had just learned earlier in the day that there's a method that should be able to save harnessed kids. Also keep in mind that Ricky's dad is probably not a soldier so the overwhelming emotions and hope just take over during the spur of the moment and cause him to recklessly run out to save his kid at the expense of others.

Was it a stupid thing to do? Yes. Is it that far-fetched to imagine a father that's been separated from his kid for months would throw caution to the wind and risk everything to save his son? No.
continue reading...

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.
continue reading...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Critiques Critiqued: Maggie

In this second post of my Critiques Critiqued series I look at some of the criticism the Maggie character has gotten. She was introduced fairly late into the season premiere and even though her screen time was limited, she's already gotten quite a bit of complaints.

Hot Girls Can Kick Butt

Some of the complaints about Maggie are your typical whines about how a girl that hot wouldn't be that badass. I have two words for you Gina Carano. If you don't watch MMA, you may have seen her on the reboot of American Gladiators where she played "Crush". Not only is she gorgeous, she can kick some serious butt. Obviously she's the exception to the rule, but television and movie plots are generally portraying exceptions more than they are portraying the rule.

Sure, the writers are trying to real in people with pretty faces, but just because Maggie looks good doesn't mean she can't take care of herself either.

If She Is So Badass, Why Not Escape Sooner?

Maggie had an incredibly rough start to the whole alien invasion thing. As such, many question why she didn't escape sooner if she could so easily do it during the season premiere.

continue reading...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Critiques Critiqued: The Aliens are Too Weak

Whenever a show takes on the science fiction genre, it's bound to get analyzed like crazy and while some critiques are valid, many of the concerns I've seen people have are actually quite absurd. As such, I've decided to start a series of posts here that basically analyze common critques I've seen about the show.

This first post is all about the aliens and how some seem to think they are just not powerful enough. Whether it's the physical form of the skitters not being up-to-snuff or the fact that there are still so many humans around to put up a fight, some people are not happy with how the invading force has been realized.

Superior Tech Does Not Equal Superior Body

It's actually quite funny how we humans think that any sort of alien race that has the ability for interstellar travel must also be physically superior to us. Why would having bigger guns or better spaceships mean the creatures firing those guns or piloting those spaceships are somehow physically superior to us humans? For all we know the most powerful aliens in the universe are most closely related physically to a worm. Maybe it's because they are so weak physically that they've had such a focus on technological advancement?

The skitters in the show may not be giant all powerful world killers, but they also aren't worms. They are clearly more powerful than a single human, so what's the problem?

Big Ships Don't Mean Big Guns

I guess the fact that a single skitter by itself doesn't seem to be packing much heat. But of course, why should it? Humans, for the most part, are defeated. We're pretty much just trying to survive at this point. Skitters only seem to show up when they are backed by a mech or two and unless the humans have a significantly larger group than the aliens, the aliens seem to have no problem. And if the humans do end up having too large a force? Well, we saw what happens during the first 10 minutes of the premiere when the aliens dropped some sort of bomb on a resistance group that decided to fight back just a little too hard.

Sure, the aliens don't have some crazy armor or shielding that makes them almost impossible to kill, but again, why are we assuming they have that technology? Just because they have some cool guns, can travel space, and have some sort of EMP weapon doesn't mean they also somehow built really good ground troop armor/vehicles.
continue reading...