I recently watched the premiere episode of Defiance, the new Monday-night SyFy Channel TV show. I decided to watch it because, hey, anytime SyFy wants to try making Science Fiction, I am more than happy to give it a chance.
My initial reaction to the show was boredom and disappointment. The show feels a lot like Farscape on Earth with better special effects, more fighting and no Ben Browder. TV reviewer Ellen Grey calls it “Farscape meets West Side Story,” a comment which I would say is relatively accurate. Amidst a Romeo and Juliet-esque love story, we have the fear of the potential destruction of the city they live in, the rogue out-of-towner who becomes Sheriff (think Eureka, Once Upon a Time or even Star Wars’ Han Solo) and aliens with crashing spaceships.
Overall, I was not impressed with the first episode. After I conversation with a mentor, I have decided to give it the chance of a second week. Maybe even a third. He reminded me that there are no new ideas. When I see something that is derivitive – which almost everything is in Science Fiction now – instead of looking at it for being “less than” because it is derivative, I need to see what it is and how it is changed and derived.
The other thing my mentor mentioned I should consider are the relationships of the characters, and watching how those grow.
So I am going to watch Defiance until the fifth episode, just to give it the fair chance it deserves. Because plenty of fantastic shows had challenging first seasons.
I’m lookin’ at you, Deep Space Nine.