Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Best Shows You Didn't Watch: Defying Gravity
Okay, "best" may be stretching it in this case, but for all my trepidation going into the series, Defying Gravity ended up defying (HA!) my expectations. Created by Shonda Rhimes, whom also created Gray's Anatomy, Defying Gravity follows a team of astronauts in the near-future (2052) on a grand tour of the solar system. The narration duties are handled by Maddox Donner (Ron Livingston, yes, the Office Space guy) an astronaut that 10 years prior had to leave his lover to die on the surface of Mars. He's haunted and damaged, which is pounded into your head.
In fact, each character is a walking cliche. There's the religious hispanic, the horny Russian incapable of lasting emotion, long range Indian tech support, the big goofy white guy and the stern, no-nonsense boss that's a little sinister. Besides Donner, the majority of screen time goes to Geologist Zoe Barnes (played by Laura Harris, might recognize her as Daisy Adair from Dead Like Me, or the hot, creepy photography teacher one of the most disturbing CSI episodes ever), see, Zoe and Maddox had a one night stand. Feel the sexual tension! It's not at all like Meredith and McDreamy's character arcs on Gray's Anatomy, no, not at all!
Okay, despite the cliche characters, the show actually grew on me. It's just so hokey, so dramatic, that I got sucked in. Stick with it, get it on DVD so you can see the unaired episodes (5 of them), which take the series in a new direction. They add some very classical sci-fi elements towards the end and get into some Battlestar-lite philosopy.
All in all, it's available through Netflix and while it starts slow, it gets better. For an overly dramatic network series, it gets better.