The third time is no charm for Apple TV Plus, which expands its line of sci-fi dramas with the bland Invasion. Created by Simon Kinberg and David Weil, the series aims for the broad reach of For all mankind and Foundation, but fails to fill its massive frame with compelling detail or characters.
The visuals can be awe-inspiring, which is good, as the major distribution spends most of the time staring in shock, awe, or horror at something in the distance. Corn Invasion prefers to focus on reaction plans of baffled earthlings rather than allowing viewers to examine the destruction or threats they face. The series is determined to tell, not show, relying on shots of people running away from terror or gawking at something off-screen, and waiting for mid-season to give a first glimpse of what’s going on. world on the run.
Instead of creating suspense, this act of withholding only creates frustration, especially since there’s not much else to grab hold of here. The majority of the dozen characters are animated only by intrigue, their most constant and palpable emotion being fear. It would make sense if the series let us down in the middle of the action, but the first half of the season slips into a pond.rous rhythm. It’s the probable end of the world, but you wouldn’t know it from everyone’s blind responses and the lack of perceptible danger.
A surplus of stories weighs even more on the show, which moves from a small town in Oklahoma, where Sheriff John Bell Tyson (Sam Neill) is considering retirement, to mission control in Tokyo, where the space agency japanese getting ready for a historic launch. On Long Island, Aneesha Malik (Golshifteh Farahani) is already struggling to keep her family together before the first attacks. Meanwhile, US Army officer Trevante Cole (Shamier Anderson) is ambivalent about returning home after spending two years in Afghanistan. College students in London, including Caspar (Billy Barratt), embarked on a class trip that is full of detours.
Attention moves in an almost predefined pattern, going from country to country and city to city, except when it abandons a character who seemed set to play a much bigger role in the series. . A few of these characters manage to escape Invasioninertia. Mitsuki (Shiori Kutsuna, who gives a nuanced performance), a communications officer for the Japanese space program, grapples with grief and hope as she tries to piece together what is going on. In Mitsuki’s story, Invasion finds the balance between global and personal issues, and the momentum to keep his sci-fi drama going.
But its sprawling structure means Invasion has to quickly jump to another location and another plot line, even though none of the others hold up as well as Mitsuki’s. Farahani does her best as Aneesha Malik, a married mother of two, whose thwarted ambitions are revealed along with her husband’s selfishness. Here, the balance between the show’s more intimate ideas and its massive scale is upset, as Aneesha’s family disputes threaten to overshadow the impending event to the level of extinction.
Yes apocalyptic dramas like The walking dead– not to mention the, oh, two to five years of real life – has taught us something is that people don’t automatically “come together” when faced with disaster. Bigotry, meanness, jealousy and selfishness continue to exist in times of great peril. Invasion firmly acknowledges this reality, but does so in the most prosaic way, sometimes having a character espouse their big ideas in dialogue. The show’s themes converge on the Malik family, as they are treated with suspicion by neighbors and military officials, all of whom initially assume that the events are terrorist attacks. But Aneesha, Ahmed (Firas Nassar) and their children bear the brunt of this brutal plot, taking turns in inexplicable ways to move the story forward.
The approach is clear: follow ordinary people as they grapple with extraordinary circumstances. Rather than developing this premise organically, Invasion nods to more successful outings like Leftovers and Arrival. He even prides himself on a sumptuous score by composer Max Richter, whose work on Arrival emphasized the importance of sound in this film, a device which may or may not continue to the Kinberg and Weil series.
Invasion‘s allusions outnumber his original ideas, which can only lead to less than favorable comparisons with its predecessors. And yet, without all these references to War of the Worlds, Independence day, and even Attack the block, among other things, it would be almost impossible to tell where this story is going. The diffuse attention prevents us from learning much about most of these characters, let alone investing in, and shyly playing with aliens in a story about an alien invasion leaves the show without much of a hook for more than half of his first season.
What we have after 10 episodes is little more than the setup, which proved fatal to Jupiter’s legacy, the alleged Big Bang of Netflix’s Mark Millar universe. There is not so much riding on Invasion, like Apple tv More gained greater recognition for his comedies, and For all mankind and Foundation both hold in place. But the mundane Invasion is not going to invade the television landscape.