I’ve been trying to get myself into Falling Skies on TNT, the aliens invade drama that in theory sounds like something I’d love, but I just can’t manage to do it. The show is so slow, the characters so vanilla, that there’s nothing hooking me into it. There seems to be a problem with this genre where it just seems like we can’t really make good shows about the apocalypse, despite it being an incredibly interesting subject.
Another example would be Jericho, from a few years back. I loved the concept of a nuclear war that decimates America, but the final product left a lot to be desired. The characters were pretty flat, and the damn thing was being led by Skeet Ulrich, which could have been one of the worst casting decisions in history. But the show kind of failed to evolve, and wasn’t engaging enough to keep viewers interested, and so the second season was only a third as long as the first. The central mystery? I still never quite understood why exactly the country blew up.
Now we come to The Walking Dead, a fan favorite, but one that still has its issues. I think the fact that a gory, zombie apocalypse show even EXISTS is enough to keep us interested, and it kind of blinds us to the fact that the show itself isn’t quite as amazing as it would seem. If they gave us longer than a six episode first season, I might have more space to judge, but as it stands, I can only be wooed by the visuals and central concept to a certain degree. I’m not exactly onboard with the group of survivors yet, outside one or two characters, and episodes likes the bunker detonation one seemed pretty rushed through.
My favorite apocalypse show? Dollhouse, because when it started, you didn’t even know it was about the end of the world. The two epilogue episodes are perhaps the most creative visions of the apocalypse I’ve seen, but I’m not sure the show as a whole counts in the genre.
So, am I wrong about these shows? Have I missed any better examples?