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Falling Skies

Last year I started watching this show on TNT, Falling Skies—the second season premiered last night. It’s about a band of resistance fighters after aliens invade our planet. Not a new concept by any means. The idea of it calls up V and Independence Day and The Walking Dead and pretty much any post-apocalyptic ensemble drama ever made.

But it has high production values and very good writing. There’s a strong, sustained level of tension, a big goal with small episodic goals, and most importantly, a great cast of complex, flawed characters portrayed by actors with excellent chemistry.

The central character is Tom, played by Noah Wyle (aka John Carter from ER). And I can’t stop thinking about him!

Tom’s a former history professor and father of three sons who has become the military captain’s second in command. His knowledge of history (including military history), his people skills, and his strategic mind have made him a valuable asset to the Second Massachusetts (who at this point is pretty much alone in their fight against the invaders).

But Tom’s motivation is mainly keeping his sons safe. His oldest is a scout and fighter, now about 17. His youngest is maybe 9, caught between everyone trying to keep him safe and wanting to do his part in the fight. His middle son is a young teen who was taken by the aliens, who tried take him over. (That’s what they do—control the kids to do hard labor while slowly turning them into…something.)

Tom comes very close to being a Mary Sue. He’s conflicted and does have flaws, but he pretty much always does the right thing. And I don’t care! Maybe because Noah Wyle is delicious. Maybe because he’s a good actor, or the writing maintains just the right balance so he doesn’t really get annoying. But for some reason, I can’t get him out of my head.

Has anyone ever done that for you? A character on a TV show or in a movie, or the hero or heroine of a book? What made them so compelling, especially if there are logical reasons for them not to be?

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18 Responses

  1. You are such a diehard sci-fi fan! You and my hubby. I started watching this but after a few episodes I left. It just didn’t stay with me like the show does for you. Now hubby? Devoted. Loves it.

    There was a character in the Blackbird Sisters Mystery series by Nancy Martin. The heroine (Nora) has a boyfriend (Mick) who is the son of a mob boss. He’s quit ingrained in the life. They originally met when Mick is hired to kill Nora! Mick isn’t that handsome. He isn’t some musclebound model-like hunk. There is no reason at all for the readers to like him, but we do. I think it’s his love for Nora that pulls all us.

    • I’m not really that die-hard, Cyndi. I like it, but not all of it.

      I think it’s all about chemistry. We talk about chemistry between actors and other performers (or between lovers! 🙂 ), but I think there’s some between the fans and the entertainment, too.

      It would explain why readers can love someone like Mick, or why I don’t like The Walking Dead. I can’t find anything wrong with it, I just don’t want to watch more of it. Lack of chemistry! 🙂

  2. I haven’t had enough coffee to dredge up a thoughtful review, just wanted to say Noah Wylie…yum. Gets better with age, too. And I LOVED the Librarian movies. The first one had the Best Ending Ever.

    Bob Newhart rocked in those, too.

  3. We haven’t had TV in awhile so I haven’t seen the show but I agree Noah Wylie is awesome.

    Strangely enough my TV crush was a former co-star on ER, Goran Visnjic AKA Dr. Luka Kovac. I loved him in every episode. I also liked him in Practical Magic. I think it’s the accent. He could tell me secrets all day!!

  4. I’m so bummed I missed this! My son got me started watching it and we were so looking forward to the premier. grrr..Marking my calendar and setting alarm on phone now. LOL Love Noah Wylie too! 🙂

    • I live in fear of missing a premiere of a show I love, Melissa! Especially since shows start and stop at such odd intervals now.

      See if TNT is re-airing it this week. They usually do that. Or you can watch it on their website, I think.

  5. There are several yummy men on the shows I watch, Shemar Moore on Criminal Minds, Gary Sinise and Eddie Cahill (those eyes) on CSI New York, Alex O’Loughlin from Hawaii Five-O, Alexander Skarsgard & Joe Manganiello from True Blood – and these are just TV shows. The movies are another story.

    I don’t know what it is about them either but they sure are nice to look at. I am waiting for Magic Mike simply for the eye candy of Joe Manganiello & Matthew McConaughey.

    • You have good taste, Heather! 🙂 I love that all those guys are yummy in different ways.

      I’ve got a “girls night out” scheduled to go see Magic Mike. 🙂

  6. Kevin McKidd. Kevin McKidd, KevinMcKiddKevinMcKidd…

    If I ever met him in person, I’d probably burst into tears.

  7. As I sit here thinking about your question, I realize we don’t watch a lot of TV drama shows. There’s Burn Notice. So checks for Sam Ax and Michael Weston.

    And …OH! don’t know his name, but the new doctor on Royal Pains is cute.

    I’m over the fellas on Grey’s and i”m not a diehard fan like I used to be.

    Most of the series we watch is Swamp People, Pawn Stars, Storage Wars and Tanked. Got to be honest, there is a massive lack of Man Candy in those shows!

    • Keri, you crack me up. My husband watches a lot of those. Definitely a lack of man candy! LOL

      I agree, the new doc on RP is cute. In a much more approachable way than, say, Kevin McKidd. 😉

  8. Your description reminds me some of Firefly, which I loved. And an actor that stays with me is definitely Nathan Killian (sp?). Firefly and Castle. Yum! Heath Ledger was that way for me, too. From the first time I saw him in The Patriot, I was smitten. His characters stay with me for a long time.

    • Hey, that could be why I like it, too, Pamela. The whole “outlaw for the good of the people” kind of vibe is similar. I *adore* Nathan, and Heath Ledger was insanely talented, I agree. He’s 89% of why A Knight’s Tale is awesome. 🙂

  9. I just remembered somebody else, Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens. I didn’t get to watch it on TV but I’ve bought season one and two. I love this show!!

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