Apocalyptic Entertainment: Terra Nova

Fair warning:

I find it hard to get on-board with shows where the first person to die is Unnamed Black Bad Guy. Quickly followed by the group to teenage idiots suffering the serious injuries of Frantic Black Girl Who Flees and Black Guy Who Serves as Useless Main Character’s Shield.

Do you ever watch a new show and get the feeling you shouldn’t get too attached because it won’t last? Thinking in the back of your mind, maybe six other people in the entire world are watching this.

This is how I feel about Terra Nova. I’ll watch for as long as they air it; though I’m not expecting that to be longer than half a season. Why? Because it’s really expensive and just really okay.

The story and characters aren’t so gripping and compelling that I’m forgetting to eat or even forgetting to fold laundry so I can pay full attention.

The family the show focuses on is a family of five and I can only remember the name of the youngest daughter –because she’s a source of conflict by existing. She had maybe five lines, but Mom, Dad, Daughter 1, and Son are just not super engaging.

Actually, Son kind of sucks. He’s all teenage angst and not an ounce of gratitude or sense or logic or intrigue. At least  be surly and interesting. or surly and talented. That’s totally acceptable. Maybe you have a Dino Whisperer super power or you’re gorgeous and can make me forget how lame you are… Nope. Just lame, follows girls, whines, complains, and shirks responsibility. Hope you get eaten[1. Actually, I hope he falls into some kind dimensional rift for half the season only to return a badass with an eye patch and crazy bushwhacking/survival skills. And a pet Pterodactyl], Son.

While Son might be a weak[2. read: disposable, edible, editable, etc. ] link, the premise is still very interesting. And, because they saw it coming, they explain away that they’re not actually in The Past, but the past of an alternate timeline so they can step on all the butterflies they want. I accepted and appreciated them getting that right out of the way.

It was a bit strange to me that Dirt-Poor-Family-of-Five was headed up by a Cop and a Doctor. A Doctor who was awesome enough to be taped for the colonization program. Whatever. Maybe she’s so average they can afford to lose her through a time hole rather than keep her on Earth 1.

I’m not totally sure what the potential for conflict is aside from Man vs. Nature. There are other people who do stuff  and break rules (the sketchy Sixers who disbanded and made their own settlement), and Son runs head long into danger because Girl-He-Follows thinks it’s fun, and Father-of-The-Family is often seen fighting Things in preview clips. The man is kind of a loose cannon, in my opinion. Son is a bit right on that front, but still an ungrateful little this and that.

Check it out. It might last a whole season–which hopefully they’ll wrap up in a neat bow because a season two seems highly unlikely.


Episode one is available on Hulu.

Edit:  1. After seeing Episode 2, I really don’t thin it’ll even last a whole season. It’s just not very good. I had potential but for what it must cost to make it, they should have put a bit more thought into the writing and plotting and acting and other things that had me eye rolling instead of engaged.

2. They seem to be enemies with The Sixers, the leader of the colony seems to have a crazy son running around but it’s unclear if he’s taken a side or if he’s just gone native.

3. The Colony Leader and The Girl Son Follows Around seem to have some secrets, ouuu (more eye rolling. I’ll be back to Fox on Fridays when Fringe comes on.)

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