The rest of the world is giving US a break. This summer, three series were sold to the United States that were funded and produced outside which gave us both brand new programming at a reduced rate. The first flopped in Mental on FOX, the third comes to NBC next year called ‘Persons Unknown‘, and the second premieres on ABC tomorrow. Check out my review of ABC’s Defying Gravity.
What ABC says: “From executive producers James Parriott and Michael Edelstein comes “Defying Gravity,” a sexy, provocative space thriller set in the very near future against the background of our solar system, in which eight astronauts from five countries (four women and four men) undertake a mysterious six-year international space mission covering eight billion miles. The adventure begins on SUNDAY, AUGUST 2 with a two-hour premiere from 9:00-11:00 p.m. The series will air regularly from 10:00-11:00 p.m., starting Sun, August 9 on the ABC Television Network. Hurtling into the vast challenge of infinite space, the eight astronauts and the ground personnel who support them are on a mission that has a powerful and awesome mystery at its core. The intimate and interconnected relationships among the astronauts and the ground crew, as well as their past actions, have a strangely karmic effect on the present. Episodes are divided between the present, as the Antares travels towards Venus, and the past, with flashbacks to earlier years when the astronauts were in the grueling selection and training process.”
Fun Facts: As said before this was shot and produced from Canada and was not going to air in the United States until early July when ABC premiered.
Quick Synopsis: 8 men and woman are trying to redefy the human race. They all come from different backgrounds and lives, one a geologist, a psychist, engineer, and even a teacher trying to teach her kids something new. They are hoping from plant to plant, testing the boundries of what we can do. Of course, the trip does not go without its bumps. Something very mysterious is complicating the mission and only the people at Mission Control know what these astrounts are going to have to go through. Very tricky.
The Good and the Bad: Whenever we get a scripted original drama during the summer but when it is about space and the journey it brings it makes me even more happy. The story in this drama that is weirdly similar to the failed aired FOX pilot ‘Virtuality’ is compelling in a very surprising way. The cast is strong with both the male lead Ron Livingston and the female Laura Harris giving a fun but awkward relationship for two people that are going to spend 6 years together but cannot admit there real love. Also, the set is refreshing but also not to futuristic that it becomes too unbelievable which makes the show nicely grounded along with the constant flashbacks to pre-flight qualifiers and turmoil. The real strength here is the mythology which leaves the second episode with a OMG wanting more ending but that not to say the show is perfect by any means. The writing and some of the acting is mediocre at best and often I feel it gets bogged down in the cliches especially in the mission control scenes but I find that…
Overall: The intrigue alone is enough to make me comeback but with fairly interesting characters and an interesting premise I will stick around for the rest of the summer because it is a nice welcome break to the reality fare that overcomes summer TV.
Defying Gravity airs this Sunday at 9/8c with a two hour premiere on ABC then airs at 10/9c after Shark Tank next week.