There was some hype surrounding this show when it first aired, it being a new sci-fi show from J.J. Abrams, who also produced Lost. The show got off to a slow start though.
The only reason I sat through the first season was for the science fiction topics, an interest of mine of course, though most of the unusual occurences in this show are over-specific and not very inspirational. Most episodes didn’t feel like they added much to the overarching story either, which left me feeling stuck. The other thing that should’ve kept me attached to this show was the characters, but I found they all lacked the charisma necessary to make me care about them. Then the first season ended with a twist that made me say, “okay, now I’m interested in these people.”
It really picked up in the second season. The actors became more comfortable in their roles, and the episodes started to link together in a way that felt like they were progressing toward something. Toward the end of the second season Olivia becomes a much more interesting character, for obvious reasons.
It was evident early on that this show was conceived as the new X-Files. I think it does a good job. Few would-be couples can compare to the chemistry of Moulder and Skully, but these guys aren’t bad. A lot of drama though. It’s left the audience asking themselves some very weird questions about relationships that I’m hoping nobody will ever have to deal with – though it would make an interesting Jerry Springer episode.
Things for viewers to be cautious of:
Umm, well there’s a lot of drug reference. The professor uses a wide variety of substances (and by “wide variety” I mean drugs, animal parts and strawberries) to tweak the way he sees things – which I’m sure they do.
Violence includes gunshots and occasional dismemberment. Most of the blood and gore is shown after an event, rather than during.
There’s very little sex – at least that I can recall. Getting it on doesn’t seem to be as much of a priority in this show as it is in most detective dramas.
The mingling with spiritual subjects seems to be kept at a minimum. Occultic references are few. And when something in the show addresses faith it is often done briefly, or with a respectful tone. I know Walter got mad at a preacher once but I forget why. …something about the preacher forgetting a Bible verse.
If I may use a microscope; The episode Marionet dealt with the topic of reanimation, in other words, bringing the dead back to life. And far from just turning into a zombie episode, they dealt with the topic in a very believable way. I should warn you, it’s a very disturbing episode – possibly the most disturbing episode they’ve done. They’re not usually too bad but this episode was really nasty.
But yeah (SPOILER ALERT) This guy brings a girl back to life through scientific means, a girl that had been dead for a very long time, and I was very impressed with the way the writers handled it. The reanimated body behaved in a manner that was very believable from both a scientific viewpoint and a religious viewpoint. I was satisfied on both accounts. (And no, I’m not talking about the part where he attaches strings to her limbs and “reanimates” her. Nice first attempt though. Also creepy.) Her behaviour is exactly what you would expect from a person whose been clinically brain dead for ages and then suddenly forced back to life – and yet it’s not what you expect because you expect the same rubbish you see in other sci-fi stories. I suppose the words I’m looking for are Original, Accurate and Refreshing. I recommend future writers of such material to watch that scene for reference.
The rest of my comments deal with some of the major revelations that have happened in the show, so I might aswell keep the (SPOILER ALERT) turned on for the rest of this post.
One of the main recurring topics in this show is the parallel universe. Unlike most sci-fi stories, which deal with an infinite number of possible parralel universes, this show works with one of the current leading theories, which is that there are only two parralel universes. “Our Universe and Cowboy Universe.” (Obscure Futurama reference. …Also the last name of Walter’s lab assistant is Farnsworth. Coincidence?)
P.S.: If he calls parralel Walter “Walternate”, and parralel Olivia “Fauxlivia”, shouldn’t he call his son “RePeter”?