Posted by : Wendy B Monday, 13 May 2013

After the first episode, I told Defiance that I'd let it have three episodes to prove itself. It was about to be stricken from my DVR list until the father~daughter moment at the end of episode three that pulled on my heartstrings enough for me to give it one more chance. I was watching the fourth episode, but was distracted by my Disney contract with Electronics Arts feels. About 15 minutes later, I realized Defiance was still on in the living room and that I didn't care to return to it. Technically, that was sign enough that I was done with the show, but I keep giving it excuses:

1. The EA/Disney distraction wasn't fair.
2. Rokne S. O'Bannon gave me Farscape. Surely he won't fail me with this.
3. The game/show tie-in is a really cool concept.

Regarding #3, I had no real interest in playing the game because it did not appear to have any kind of story content in the ads. I assumed that the story content would come from the show, and I understand there are some episode connections that do make things interesting, but considering how dull standard fare the show's story is, I can't say I'm inspired to play the game. I have friends who play the game and enjoy the show and I appreciate their enthusiam for both. I imagine it was similar to how we felt when Master Chief appeared in Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn. Thing is, we don't play Halo. And the Halo movie was actually good. Defiance? Not so much.

Characters. Oh dear. First off, I love Jaime Murray but I'd love her more if she wasn't always playing the same seductive consort who always has her hands on someone's genitals as part of her participation in their scheming. Julie Benz is doing nothing special as the pressed mayor, other than calling out her sister for whoring. Her sister, whom I'll call NOT-Inara, has a somewhat interesting relationship with the main character, Nolan. Or at least, it could have been interesting if either of the characters had any chemistry. For now, visits to NOT-Inara's establishment are just amusing moments of "oh look, they are having whorehouse sex." As for Nolan?   I'd call him NOT-Mal-Han-Crichton-Anderson or any other number of charismatic male leads that he's modeled after, but that would be too long to write.

Ah but then there is Irisa, Nolan's adopted daughter. She has some potential and I'm holding out for her. At least I get an Irisa sticker from Getglue for my troubles.

And then there's the story. Um something about politics. Romeo and Juliet. The Pale Wars (that's where all the PoC were killed). Stolen land. Um. Gods. Something something defiance... My friend Simon was kind enough to sum up the plot of the last episode for me:
Bouncey McJuggs was kidnapped by Big Blue so they could harvest an adrenal drug from them. Boring NotCaptainTightpants and Darla went to speak to Scheming Elf Dude because Big Blue worked for him. Scheming Elf Dude denied it, until he stopped denying it and said well actually okay, I can point you at the person who knows where they are. Using their LEET investigative skills Captain Boring and Darla went and asked the dude who knew where they were where were they, he told them, so they went and got them. The end.
Simon aptly describes Defiance as "the little show that tried really hard and effortlessly manages to snatch the colour beige from the rainbow every. single. time." Only, it's not a little show, is it. I imagine it's got a HUGE budget and it's got the game on the side to deal with. I'd really love to see some of that budget show up in the CGI monster of the week that pops up in each show. Why not just take some footage from the game? After seeing the seamless CGI in Halo 4, I know what a big budget can do now and I expect better, even for a TV show that only has a few moments of monster of the week, unlike Farscape, which was accused of costing too much for all that CGI. Farscape had heart and soul to go with that CGI, but these big budget shows have none of the above. I'm including that dinosaurs Jurassic Park time travel show and that aliens landed and took over people show that aired a year or two ago to big hype but I can't even remember what they were called, so goes to show how awesome they were before they were cancelled. Defiance appears to have escaped their fate, though. Despite dismal viewing numbers, the show has been renewed for a second season already. Let me just go cry in a corner over Alphas again.

So tonight is the last chance. I will leave the following space open for my final verdict. Stay tuned!

ETA FINAL VERDICT: Last night's episode could not have been more predictable if it held up flashing neon lights. It had so many of those ridiculously obvious plot "twist" moments that would have had my grandmother shouting "Lawd god! Look behine yu! Yu nuh know she in on it??" No bad CGI monster of the week this time at least.

Maybe I'll come back in season 2. Maybe by then they will replace the boring actors with people with magical powers who can pull sparkles out of the dull scripts.

WHAT IS THIS?

This is my mindspill. Mostly about comics, books, video games, movies of the science fiction and fantasy leanings. Sometimes recipes and parenting stuff will sneak in, along with a real world rant or two.

I also write about geek culture at Women Write About Comics, and I review genre fiction at The BiblioSanctum.

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