Friday, February 12, 2016

Thoughts on Colony

Colony is a show on the USA Network.  It is set sometime after the arrival of these aliens referred to as Raps.  They have taken over the world(?) and have built giant walls around places like Los Angeles.  For some reason, people aren’t allowed to pass to other cities.  There is a human government that works for the Raps, maintaining order through force of arms.  Nobody sees the Raps, but they do send out these drones that can kill people for staying out after curfew, or whatever.  Other lawbreakers are sent to “The Factory,” which so far hasn’t been explained.

The story follows a family that was in hiding because when the Raps arrived, they killed a lot of the military, or something, and the husband was an Army Ranger who joined the FBI as someone who tracked people down.  Their one son was elsewhere on the day of the Arrival, so he is in another city.  While trying to sneak into the other city to find him, the husband is caught.  But instead of being sent to “The Factory,” he is hired by the government to track down Geronimo, the head of the Resistance.  What he doesn’t know is that his wife has joined the Resistance.

That’s basically what you learn about the show from the first episode.  At first I was intrigued, because all too often we just see the alien invasion and not the aftermath.  If you had asked me what I thought they would do after that first episode, I would have said that there would be flashbacks or specials marking the one year anniversary of the Arrival, or something to let the audience see what happened and how our world was turned into the world of the show.  But five episodes in, that doesn’t look like the case.  I’m sure if you asked the writers and producers of the show, they would say that it is all about how this family deals with this situation.  But as a viewer, I can’t shake the feeling that I missed an episode.  There’s backstory that I don’t know.

For example, we the viewers know nothing about the Raps.  We don’t know what they look like, we don’t know why they are here, we don’t know what is done in “The Factory,” they are villains that we know are villains because they are called the villains.  Part of it, I know, is to show how corrupt and evil the humans in charge can be.  They are the day-to-day villains you really have to watch out for.  If instead of aliens they had gone with a series of terrorist attacks drove the US crazy and in fighting the terrorists we turned into a military dictatorship, they could practically do the exact same story.  Why have aliens in the series if they don’t do anything?  It’s possible the aliens will come out in the next episode, or in the second season, but each episode without them and without explaining what they are doing, makes me less-and-less interested in the series.

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