Away…a Critique of the Show.

Is there life on MARS?

Away

Netflix released a new show that is billed as a Sci-Fi.

Spoiler Alert…I talk about events that happen in this show and offer advice for a season 2.  Binge watch it like I did before you read this unless you are not going to, then enjoy it.

I usually don’t watch TV, much less binge watch a program.  As a writer, I have a few things to say about this program.

I want to start with a shout out to Talitha Bateman.  Your acting is what made me continue to watch the show.  When I write an emotional scene, often, I will include the ‘strings of snot,’ as we have all been there. Those are as important as tears.  They make it real.  Not only were you visually believable, but for 19 years old, I look forward to seeing what else you show up in.  Don’t lose your soul while you live in the lights.

Some of your acting was a little over the top.  In the scenes in the hospital, when it is mentioned that you are too comfortable, that scene was unbelievable and jarred me out of the story.

Whoever told you to eat with your mouth open is wrong.  It is a total distraction, stop it. If you do that in your real life, go to charm school.  As an actress, you can ill afford bad habits.

Hillary Swank…I was lukewarm about her performance.  There were times she sold me, and times she fell flat.  I think NASA training would have had her emotions totally in check.  The model of Patrick Stewart on Next Generation.  If you need a female model, pick Janeway from Voyager.  Shit happens. As a leader, you have to deal with it.  Emotions are not part of the package in that role.

If you were to indeed fall apart on the moon before leaving on a three-year mission, any competent ‘GROUND’ would have scrubbed the mission.  In my opinion, this show made women look weak, and I know plenty who could be a Katherine Janeway.

Josh Charles… I had totally empathy for him as a character.  He needs to make better progress with his health in Season II. 

His daughter and his wife are the focal points at this juncture. His brokenness is established and turning in to a distraction.

Felicia Patti was adorable, and her part was believable.  I would love to see her more active in Season 2 if there is indeed a season 2.  I would look for other roles quickly, so you are not typecast in that role when your name is mentioned. 

Monique Gabriela Again loved her acting.  While supporting cast, she sold me.   

I have nothing negative to say regarding the other actors.  The ones I mentioned carried the show.

There might be too many characters or POV’s to deal with, which are a distraction. I felt like we were doing a lot of head-hopping.

There were way too many flashbacks ‘information dumps’ slowing the pacing of this show to a crawl.  NASA would never miss something like RAM’s health issues, which made the attempted airlock and subsequent corona viruses PPE hot zone Epstein Barr BS hit too close to home, not allowing us to have that fantasy we all try to have when watching a show or reading a book.

Mark Ivanir was fun, but, again…the daughter drama was just over the top and took away from the story.  From ‘she is not qualified to, I am blind is a stretch.’  The puppet show was amusing, and the character of Misha was likable. I would rather see more of his culture than all of this lost my wife and now I am too broken to be anything but a lowly cosmonaut See, that doesn’t work even in writing.

I have severe issues with him cheating on the eye exam.  The concept of space blindness coming on that quickly seems very contrived. I would think their strict training would have him fess up that he was having issues.  The thousands of bolts and parts made this scene too long and unbelievable.

Drilling a hole through the side of the ship was unbelievable.  Knowing that was a possibility they could have had something to put over the hole with them and ready just in case. If NASA engineers told them where to drill, how could they not hit the water?  Sorry, that is poor writing and lack of technical expertise on the writer’s part.  As soon as the drill punctured the metal, they would have heard the hiss. 

The message of Climate Change was there, but not to the point where it took away from the show itself.  The concept of all of the countries working together was good until you had the Chinese pulling strings for propaganda. 

Who would agree to that?  Why would they agree to that?  It makes zero sense.

If the purpose of a mission to Mars is to bring the world together in a Cumbia moment, just possibly, we should have developed a relationship with the entire crew that they had when they landed before they took off.  Yes, that removes some conflict, but…the conflict on the ship takes away from the believability of the show.

Instead of drilling a hole, have a micrometeorite punch a hole.

Have them fly through a dense area of them damaging things like the solar panels, limiting the power they can use.

The tension on earth, behind the scenes is one thing. Tension and BS with the crew, not so sure NASA would send up a team that might stab each other in the back if given the opportunity.

Everything that went wrong was predictable, and as a writer, I was looking for it.  The only twist, the only thing that I did not expect was the Midnight Mass.  That was refreshing and made me like Isaac.  Whoever came up with that idea.  Good Job!

As a writer, I know what I would do to make a season 2 but, it would change the film from a soap opera into science fiction.

We are Not Alone

When they get to the Pegasus, show evidence that someone or something got to it before them and took most of what they need to survive, leaving, of course, the parts necessary to convert urine into water.  Give them just enough to survive while they wait for the second supply ship.

During this time, they must figure out who or what else is living on MARS.

They must wait for the secondary supply ship because if they leave right now, they will die on the return trip.

This lack of supplies forces them to deal with the natives, and they don’t have guns.  They will have to invent a weapon to protect the ship from the Martian marauders who are looking for more food.

Flesh out the relationship between Emma and Ram while working the same magic on earth between Josh and Monique.

I love the idea of him as broken and her with a special needs daughter that needs a sister, friend, and father figure.  Emma and the crew thought they were going to die and had a fling, making it impossible for them to get back together when they return to earth.  Yes, it is a trope but, you already have us going down this road.  We already want them to hook up.  Emma needs to change the way she feels about Josh. 

His daughter and her boyfriend can further the conflict by having her get on the bike and race for a prize.  This forces her dad to deal with her as an adult and not a child.  Monique assist him with this process and he is amenable because of some strange messages from Emma regarding Ram.  She talks about him in just about every email.

Possibly some bacteria gets into their food or water, which messes with their brains…a little.  I was thinking the water in the skin of the ship came from the moon…How about a moon virus, or bacteria, from that water which they drank?

Think about it, life on the moon too…

Remember, this is science fiction. All of these complicated subplots need to be sprinkled and not flooded on the screen. Focus on the Martians and protecting the ship while you sprinkle.  Maybe they have to track the Martians down to retrieve something they need to make the ship work.  Force them in the lion’s den.

Bring in more science and some tense moments with the Martians, whatever they are.  I would make them underground creatures that only come out at night…  They might look like giant spiders … Spiders that think and act as a collective. Maybe and have a taste for human blood.  There was plasma on the supply ship, and now they are vampires…LOL

Seriously, they could be creatures that act as a collective like honeybees or ants.

Ok, that is my two cents worth.

If you have watched it I would love your take.

Much Love -TW

Netflix Another life continued.

‘But Fortunately’ Should not be in a writers tool box.

But Fortunately!

AHHH!  This story could be so much better.   Netflix, hire a consultant from NASA, would you?  Hire Michelle Thaller, she could assist you in making this a little more believable.

After yesterday, I wrote about the miserable failure of this series and then I slept on it.  Things like this trouble me.  Much like working for someone else, I will give no less than my best, and I expect my employees to do the same.

Today I watched a few more episodes during my lunch and dinner break.

I must say that they seriously need to hire a technical advisor, as anyone with a brain in their heads would know better than to do the stupid shit that they do.  Not only are there mistakes like this but also while they are supposed to be on the other ship, the camera clearly pans past stuff that is from the ship she is on.

Oh, we have a contagion, we must all step into the airlock and be jettisoned into space.

Nevertheless, fortunately, we discover a cure at the very last second.

However, unfortunately, there is not a source of gamma radiation strong enough on this star.

But, Fortunately, there is Gamma radiation on another star, so we are all saved but…We are now all sterile.  Oh no!

We are all going to die because we are drinking recycled urine and the food is running out, but fortunately, there is a moon in the goldilocks zone, which has all the stuff of life.

Oh isn’t this flower pretty let me inhale its alien pollen and sit back and chat with my friend.

Oh, let’s suck up thousands of gallons of alien water and just fill up our water supplies on the ship, which makes perfect sense.

I do have an observation that I cannot resist sharing.  Who in their right mind designed the engineering area to look like some steampunk submarine engine room complete with gauges from the fifties?  Oh and with grease.  They are using tools that would actually fit the era of the submarine.  Is that the best you can do?

The little girl is still adorable, the witchy boss is hateful, and that reporter is just…hmmmm.

The scene in the bar playing trivia did not fit anywhere.   The acting was sophomoric at best. Just possibly, you should consider borrowing some flying sharks.

Ok, I need to say something nice.  It is so hard….

I am glad the bitch died.  She needed to die a horrible death saving the mission and true to the end, she wants the credit for doing so. Much like the wicked witch of the west she just melted….

Please don’t misunderstand that I am glad the character died, she was a bitch.  I loved the actress and I hope they bring her back.

The writers are ‘arcing the characters,’ which I noticed…

The person with the alien bug in his head will probably be the next Dr. Smith, and they should leave his ass on a planet…I digress.

Here is the truth of it.  There is barely just enough to entice me to watch episode seven at a future date.  This is not the kind of thing that I would binge-watch.  If my hands are busy feeding my face, I will watch something.

Note to writers…But Fortunately should not be in your writing. Find other ways to craft your story, where there is not magic beans and happenstance to save their assess.  Have them act, as professionals would be a good start.   You can still have the drama but gees…if this is what future humanity sends into space, we are screwed and will go the way of the T-Rex.

That is my official post on this series…Lol

If you want a good read my novel Earth’s Tipping point is on KU.  It is a shame as it only puts money in Bezos’s pockets but, it is still a good read.

Cheers -TW

Another Life, a Netflix Bomb

As a sci-fi writer on rare occasion, I will see what Netflix or the Sci-Fi channel has to offer.

It has been years since I sat and vegged in front of the TV.  With over 33 Novels, out there, I have a purpose for not wasting time watching mindless stuff.

The last sci-fi I watched that was worth my time was Arrival.  I loved the way the writers came up with depicting ‘outside of time and space.’  They were actually quite brilliant.

As of today, I made it through two episodes of ‘Another Life.’

There can only be two explanations for this writing.

A:  The writers are depicting what the world will look like if we keep dumbing our people down as we are currently.  ‘Astronauts’ by definition represented in this miserable excuse for science fiction would have to be morons.  They are almost as bad as sending monkeys into space.  At least the monkeys would not mutiny. Pffft!

B:  The writers are the monkeys, and are not only a product of common core but, have no clue what goes on to train to be an astronaut.   Never would anyone with mental aberrations ever go into a program like this.  Nobody in his or her right mind would breathe air on an alien world, which by the way would have been Effing cold since it was a rogue planet.  Depicting the moon like a red hot sun…huh?

Didn’t see it when they approached the planet?  What?  Wouldnt they orbit the planet first?  Doh!

This is no slam on the actors or producers, this is just horrible writing.  It is the defacto example of one thing we writers stay away from ‘but fortunately!’  Folks you might as well have brought out a flux capacitor that generates oxygen.

I was turned off by the first episode, but I was in hopes that the second might be better.  I don’t think I can watch a third. Nobody can be this stupid.   Truly, Sharknado is a better film than this. With that film, at least you were entertained.

Let me say something good.  The little girl is adorable, and her ‘father,’ his actions are believable thus far.  The puzzle of the artifact is this series glimmer of hope. Kudos to the writer who is creating that.

Currently, we have a ship full of morons competing to be Gilligan’s island in space.  All we need is the ‘professor and Maryann’….pffft

If this is what we can look forward to with Netflix creating material, it might be time to look elsewhere.

Disagree, tell me why.

I call them as I see them.  I wasted two hours of my life that I cannot get back.

-Chow

 

Lost In Space II

Would you trust Dr. Smith?

Ok, I did it, I binged watched the season with my company. This is the most TV I have watched in twelve months. The cats in my lap made it bearable.
I still love the characters. I like how they are being developed.
The writing is still too predictable…There were no surprises for me as I knew what I would do as a writer.

  • Have you watched it?
  • Were there any surprises for you?

Breaking the laws of physics with the alien thing is a great way to invent your “flux capacitor.”
I actually try to stay within the confines of physics so the plot will be more interesting to those who are nerdy enough to understand that sort of thing.
Until season II is released I guess we can sit back and pontificate on where they will go with this story.

  • I give high marks to the special effects crew.
  • Again I love the characters.

If you have Netflix go and watch it and tell me what you think.

Much Love -TW