Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Survivors Episode Two

On its second episode Survivors started to come into its own, whatever that might be. I am far more positive and optimistic towards the show than Quiet Earth's Survivors review and I'm holding out to see where they'll take it next. The acting isn't all that great, but neither is it terrible. Compared to a show like Jericho where they have 20 episodes to get into a story arc and develop the post-apocalyptic world, Survivors has all of six episodes and they seem to be using them well.

Character development started in earnest in this episode, with Al, Tom and Greg all going their own ways. Tom's turning out to have more depth than I expected, and although the secondary characters are essentially two-dimensional tropes that I can identify from a mile away they're still interesting.

Any post-apocalyptic story that begins before things go to hell needs to do a good job of portraying the steady breakdown of society (which they're doing) and the potential rebuilding (which they're hinting at.) The only thing is, it feels like they're doing it in lurches and bursts rather than as something gradual; there are some significant plot holes and the subplots are like tertiary brush strokes that bleed through the canvas and stick out more than they should.

I actually thought this was a better episode than the first, and it looks like there's going to be some meta-story going on behind the scenes as well, with the scientists locked in their holes. The interesting thing will be to see how the series goes when there are no more shops and warehouses to loot, when people like the guy with the shotgun end up doing more than driving around in a Land Rover, and how our plucky little group of civilization-loving survivors deals with those developments.

Next Tuesday, more action!

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