02 June 2010

TV Meme: Day 1

I'm backed up with a bunch and bunch of posts stuck in Draft Hell, literally months in the making, and I instead decide to do one of these meme things. Call it a attempt to restart my creativity. Anyway, I was surfing around the always awesome Rachel Reel Reviews, and turns out there's a rather nifty meme floating around the net. The TV meme is a 30 day, um, meme, and so this is my first post in the series. The list of the days & categories can be located on the left sidebar (well, the only sidebar). For this topic I was originally gonna put Firefly, but A) someone already used it (how DARE you!!!), and B) it's quite a obvious "duh" answer, so I wagered I probably shouldn't go that route. With Firefly taken, at least I was allowed to come up with another show that I fell in love with and of course found it being canceled rather quickly.

Show That Never Should Have Been Canceled

Created by Shaun Cassidy

Plot: In the wake of a giant hurricane, residents in a small Flordia-based town are infiltrated by aliens that came down in said hurricane.

Surprisingly survived a full 22-episode order by ABC in the 2005-2006 season, Invasion was another one of those serial dramas that were put into production quickly to capitalize on the success of Lost. NBC had Surface (a show that was simply alright, but could have been way stronger), and CBS (I think) had Threshold, another one of those alien shows involving Data from The Next Generation. Basically, a lot mystery, big-questioned, serialized dramas were commissioned that TV season, and not a lot of them were good. Luckily Invasion was. Of course when it aired I never watched it. My interest at the time was Surface (which I also own). But anyway, the Complete Series of Invasion was available for $14, so I made a gamble and picked it up one day, watched the entire series in three days, and I gotta say: not a bad show at all.

In the midst of all these alien take-over plotlines in science fiction shows, Invasion is a rather refreshing new take on it. Yes, we have a 'incident', we have folks in town acting weird, we have plenty of those necessary sci-fi show plot points you just need to hit. But what Invasion offers in these 22 episodes is something not many similarly themed shows can boast:

1) A family unit that's front and center to the show who are NOT annoying, who are quite interesting and their involvement in this big overarching storyline DOESN'T feel contrived or forced by the writers to make their plotlines mix and mingle with the alien storyline.

2) Actual cliffhangers that made me entirely oblivious to the duties of my actual life and forced me to click to the next episode.

3) Amazing, hilarious, layered and genuinely creepy performances by everyone involved. William Fichtner (Prison Break) channels Jack Nicholson-esque creepiness as the town Sheriff who may or may not be 'infected'; Tyler Labine (Reaper) shows us why he's it's a travesty he's the most underused comedy actor in the industry; Kari Matchett (24) brings a layered performance of a woman conflicted, creepy, and simultaneously strong-willed; and Evan Peters (Kick-Ass) shows off his skills as both a comedic and dramatic actor.

4) Great writing and great directing - something Lost has in spades and Invasion boasts as well, and is probably the second biggest component of making a successful program.

In all honesty, it's been over a year since I watched the show (a rewatch is definitely in order...once I conclude playing "catch up" with Stargate Universe, True Blood, Lost, Greek, Fringe, Jericho, The Big Bang Theory, and much, much more...), but the powerful impact of the full series has not been forgotten. If you have Netflix, I implore you to watch the show. After the "Pilot", it does lag a little bit, but when it picks up, things go crazy and every friggin' episode is intense as hell (strange expression, but you get the point). Invasion is highly recommended.

RUNNER-UP: Point Pleasant (refer to my review of The Complete Series)

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