Thursday, May 30, 2013

Defiance on SyFy a Must See

SyFy channel has a new and interesting show called Defiance. In typical science fiction form it is a post-apocalyptic tale of Earth after an alien invasion. What makes this story line better than the average evil alien invaders versus the noble Terran defenders is the hopeful nature of the program.

The story begins a decade after the end of the requisite scifi interspecies war. Here in a small town called Defiance disparate groups of aliens, and humans are trying to eke out a future for themselves and their children. It is a conglomeration of cultures, moraies and ideals that need to come together to form a more perfect reality. And yes there is the constant clash of civilizations and expectations involved in the ever on-going drama.

One interesting observation is that this little town of Defiance reminds me of Tombstone, Arizona and the issues faced in settling the American west. There are laws and rules that govern a people prone to pulling out weapons to settle disputes. We are witness to the temerity of the legal system, the politicking and Machiavellian notions of the central government along with racism, misogyny and financial despotism.

Since, the town is based upon the mythos of the idealism associated with the "westward ho" American expansionism, Defiance even has its own Wyatt Earp. But instead of brothers to support him, our hero has a rescued alien orphan he raised as his own daughter, to help defend and promote our lawmaker-hero's particular form of justice. Interestingly the orphan-daughter, while working through her own psychological issues, acts as a conscience to her adopted father's view of reality. Her world is black and white, good versus evil and she brokers no area of gray. (My kind of girl.)

The mayor, meanwhile, is a young woman trying to bring together the disparate forces of Defiance while keeping the more powerful governments at bay. She works between the lines to keep everything running and everyone happy. And of course, as a survivor of the War, she has a worldview colored by horror, abandonment and protection of a much younger sibling. Her and her sibling share a great bond, which also makes for some very interesting situations as this sibling is also the town madam. Meanwhile, both sisters have a bit of a thing for the lawmaker. What's a good drama without a love-triangle?

Underlying everything of course, is some sinister goings-on; the death of a prominent citizen's son, an interspecies marriage, unusual and interesting characters with all too familiar issues, a conspiracy to undermine Defiance and a search for hidden treasure, think The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

You can catch up on Defiance at SyFy Rewind. It is a fun romp and a different look at a very human future.


By the way this is not to be confused with the movie Defiance, which starred Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber, about hero Jewish partisans during WW2. This movie by Edward Zwick, was panned by the critics, but I found it very informative and very uplifting in many ways. The problem I think for the theater going crowd is that this movie went against the Spielberg inspired, typical Hollywood grain that all Jews during the Holocaust allowed themselves to be victims. Hollywood tends not to like Jews that fight back, either during the 1940s or today.


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