Monday, January 21, 2013

Defiance: Worlds Away

So now that Fringe is over, what's a sci-fi tv fan to do?

Way back when, long before the Sci-fi channel changed its name to the stupidest new name ever Syfy, you could have easily looked there, but times change and the joke has now become: Syfy hates Sci-fi. They hate Sci-fi and they loooooove wrestling, apparently. I don't get it.

The Sci-fi channel was purchased a few years back and in the time since, the new owners have made a few changes. They decided to change the name of the channel to something terrible and they have canceled pretty much all the actual sci-fi on their channel, opting instead to add more of the endless variations of crappy reality-game shows in its place. Shows like Faceoff, where they compete like Project Runway, except with Special Effect Make-up and hope the viewing audience doesn't fall asleep from all the tension, or Total Blackout, where they apparently put stupid people in a dark room and then scare them for money. They also can't seem to get enough of perma-blue ball "reality" shows like Ghost Hunters, where as far as I can tell nothing ever happens, but they add lots of dramatic music, or shows like the completely out-of-left field Ghost Mine, all about miners and ghost hunters in a haunted gold mine... yes, really.

And while there are occasional potential bright spots like Robot Combat League, for the most part the ass-faces behind Syfy have been working very hard to try to change an obviously super-nerd-niche TV channel into... I don't know... the TLC channel or something. I imagine there's a lot of nerd self-loathing going on at the executive level of Syfy. It's like they really wanted to buy VH-1 really, really badly, but they just didn't have enough money, so they ended up with the Sci-fi channel instead and they're still upset about it.

But I seem to have wandered a bit from my initial point, so I digress...

So, what I was saying was: You used to be able to find Sci-fi on the Sfi-fi channel, but then it became Syfy and it sucked, but recently... things are changing again. I don't know what happened, maybe everyone who used to make all the crappy decisions all got fired. Or maybe they were all finally forced to admit that only huge nerds watch a channel called the Sci-fi channel, no matter how you spell it, and as a result they have started to tentatively add some science fiction back onto the channel formerly known as the Sci-fi Channel.

There's shows like Lost Girl which is... ah... nevermind. It's terrible. There's one called Continuum, all about a Canadian cop from a corporate controlled Canadian future hunting Canadian criminals who have escaped to the Canadian present and are attempting to change future Canadian history. I haven't watched it yet, so we'll see, but it sounds generally kind of pleasant.

But I digress again...

Anyway, to make a long story short (too late), one of the new shows starting this spring is from the mind of Sci-fi TV luminary Rockne S. O'Bannon, the guy behind Farscape and Alien Nation and... well... SeaQuest 2032... can't all be winners, I guess. Regardless of all that, his new show is called Defiance. It's got a whole video game MMO tie-in thing that I don't give a shit about and probably won't catch on, but the show itself sounds kind of neat.

Here's the synopsis:

"In the near future, a collective of aliens known as the Votans come to Earth seeking a new home after their own solar system was destroyed. However, despite prolonged negotiation, the Votans are not welcome, the leaders of Earth turn them away. A war begins, vicious and brutal, scaring the very Earth. After decades of fighting, a ceasefire is finally declared, neither side able to withstand further losses. Jeb Nolan was only ten years old when the Votans arrived. He fought in the war. Now, the fighting done, he returns to his hometown of St. Louis to discover it is no longer the city he left; it is little more than a refugee camp. Jeb becomes its Chief Lawmaker, maintaining the tenuous peace between the humans and aliens who occupy the wild new-world town."

And here's the trailer:


See? Looks all right, right? Sure, it could be silly, but at least it looks like they're trying. I like the alien designs, the frontier aspect, it could be interesting. We shall see.

Big geekin'
Jon

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