Thursday, January 28, 2016

Some Thoughts on Colony (TV - USA)

As a storyteller, I tend to analyze my TV shows in terms of how well they entertain me. When a show feels like it isn't working for me, I like to figure out why. So here are some thoughts on the new show Colony on USA.

After 2 episodes, I get the feeling this show is more about human conflict than alien invasion. That right there I find disappointing. The show starts after aliens have attacked and for some odd reason cordoned off Los Angeles. There's a monster of a wall and access is restricted. So far we haven't seen or heard about the rest of the country.

"No one has seen them." We are told early on about the alien invaders. So they are mysterious but powerful aliens. Again, kind of annoying. It raises so many questions that I can't get into the human conflict that seems to be central to the show. I'm always waiting for more information on the aliens. One persons says that they will leave when their needs are fulfilled. Too vague. This is too important to ignore. Breadcrumbs could work, but more information needs to come forward fast.

There's a human occupation of LA. Soldiers are enforcing a curfew, hunting down criminals and basically terrorizing the general population. There's an underground rebellion that is plotting in the shadows. It all feels a little too Nazis and French Resistance to me, a very old trope that always ends bloody.

If the story is to be about the rebellion and the soldiers, then explain the aliens and let them fall into the background. A solid story about what people do to each other in environments like this could be interesting. However, it isn't something that I would like to watch. I want to know about the aliens. Why did they come to Earth? What do they want? Why LA? What other damage has happened? Why are so many humans collaborating if they've never even seen an alien? What's the end game?

Leaving the viewer with questions ensures they tune in for the next episode. On the other hand, leaving the viewer confused and annoyed will ensure than they don't.

I'd love to hear other impressions from you in the comments.

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