Tuesday, February 08, 2022

Lost In Space (2018) (Season 3)

Everything comes to an end.  Even if a show is done well, there’s a time for that show to conclude, preferably on its own terms.  When I started watching Lost in Space, I honestly wondered how many seasons it would have.  You could only keep up the pretense for so long.  You can’t really stay lost in one place forever and hopping around would get tedious.

So, in the third season, the adults at least make it to Alpha Centauri.  However, the children are left to fend for themselves on a strange planet.  Oh, and they’ve still got that robot threat going on.  They want their FTL drive back and they’re not going to stop until they get it.

I’m a little conflicted about this season.  On the one hand, it was nice to have a resolution.  Most of the characters had a happy life ahead of them.  If a main character didn’t end up in a better place, at least you felt confident that they got what they dissevered.

On the other hand, I’ve never really liked a season-long story arc.  Lost in Space usually felt like it was setting up a cliffhanger each episode and the third season was no different.  In fact, some of the children have to climb up a sheer rock face.  And the adults are facing an unstoppable force while having to worry that their kids are ok.

Another problem with the third season is that we don’t get all the answers that we might have hoped for.  The children are on a planet that once had the aliens who built the robots, but not a lot of answers are forthcoming.  In fact, we get very little.  That aspect of the story is focused more on the children needing to get off the planet immediately, or else they’ll be stranded there forever.  So, there’s no real time to study anything.  In fact, it’s not clear why our Robot can’t master English.  (He can talk to other robots in their native language, although I don’t know if it’s their own language or that of their builders.)

A big part of the problem for me was the gap between seasons.  I lost a few of the details, which I had to remember as the third season went along.  It might have helped to watch all 28 episodes at once.  I don’t know.  I probably still would have had a lot of questions.

There is also a sense of disappointment.  We get to see the aliens, but not really.  We get a sense of what the robots were for, but not really.  There’s a sense of suspense, but not really.  It gets to where it’s like a piece of gum that’s stretched too long.  You have some substance  on either end, but it’s a little thin in the middle.

I can see certain things.  It would likely have been too expensive or involved to come up with an alien race, especially if was CGI.  And we don’t really need it for this story arc.  I could see that as a prequel series, though.  Maybe we find out exactly how the robots overthrew their masters.  Maybe we also find out why the robots are so single-minded in getting their tech back.

I really don’t see there being a fourth season of Lost in Space, though.  It would have to be some other project at this point.  That’s not to say that there aren’t other stories.  It’s just that I think this chapter is done.


IMDb page



Sunday, February 06, 2022

Don't Look Up (2021)

There are a lot of conspiracy-minded people.  To be fair, it’s hard to see COVID.  Global warming can come off as an esoteric threat, since we can’t actually touch it, so it’s easier to brush it off.  What would you do, though, if a comet were headed to Earth and was almost certain to wipe out all life on the planet?

That’s the problem that Kate Dibiasky and Dr. Randall Mindy have.  She discovers said comet and he does the math, only to realize that it’s going to hit our planet.  They set off to warn everyone, only to discover that a good chunk of the population doesn’t seem to believe it.  To be fair, not everyone has a giant telescope in their back yards to confirm the observations.  The math is also a little complicated.  There’s also very little the average person could do on their own, anyway.

Enter the politicians and the business giants and the media.  It’s not even a matter of belief at that point.  Those in charge don’t seem to understand or care.  Those in business only see dollar signs.  As for the media, it’s all about fluff and who has the latest hit song.

I’d like to call this satire, but I can’t.  I’m not sure exactly what the movie was going for.  It’s like a bad copy of a mediocre movie.  Instead of nuance, it seemed more like the movie was trying to be obvious about it.  This is why you don’t use the direct path.  You go for allegory.  You go for subtlety.  I feel like I got a lecture.

And yes, it bothers me that this is probably how it would play out, at least in terms of the broad strokes.  Many of the characters are caricatures, but I feel like if a comet could come up and shake our hands before destroying our civilization and we wouldn’t know what was going on.  That’s beside the point.  It seems like the movie was going for something big, but manage to miss the mark.  It felt like I was being talked down to.

The only character I had any feeling for was Dibiasky.  She at least seemed normal and I was saddened to think how much effort she had put into her education.  She would have gotten her doctorate if not for the whole comet thing.  All of that work was now meaningless.

Many of the other characters were unlikeable.  Yes, I realize it’s difficult to parody Trump.  He’s almost his own parody at this point.  But the president here is so indifferent that it detracts from the movie.  The movie also portrays scientists as unable to speak directly to the public.  Those that do speak to the public are too concerned with the next news cycle to really process and get the message out.  Everything is reduced to its simplest form.  It’s the opposite of depth.  By the end, I found myself rooting for the comet.


IMDb page