Jesse Katsopolis And The Spiders From Mars

Wil Wheaton and I got excited and made a thing! Check out our University of Gallifrey Fighting Time Lords Shirt over at Sharksplode.

Gallifrey University Fighting Time Lords Shirt - Doctor Who parody, geeky tees, funny t-shirts, nerdy shirts

STORE NEWS: The HijiNKS ENSUE Store is closed for a few weeks so I can make some big, exciting changes. [READ MORE HERE] In the meantime you can still get shirts from Sharksplode and HE Book 2 from this very site.

INTERVIEWS: I did a really fun interview with Lauren Davis for Gamma Squad, and the full audio of my interview with ABC Australia’s Nerdzilla Podcast is HERE.

[Posted 6/23/11 ] I’m still a few comics behind. Thanks for your patience.

Alternate Title: HAVE MERCY! [on the human race]
So just to be clear, Josh is going to giving TNT’s new alien invasion aftermath sci-fi series Falling Skies a shot when it features a crossover with popular Lady Cop Black Mamabazo drama Rizzoli and Isles [also my favorite dish at The Olive Garden besides those fettuccine steak medallions], but only if it stars greek Gleek god John Stamos? Maybe if it gets a season two.

I watched the first two hours of Falling Skies last week. Most of the ground they covered in the pilot is well trodden. Aliens invade, presumably for Earth’s resources, wipe out 90% of the population and, much like the last 10 pounds of a diet, can’t seem to shake that last 10% of humanity from their new pre-owned planet. A resistance is formed and tries to strike some kind of balance between “run and hide” and “fight back a little.” I can tell this series is going to be a slow burn, so I am going to reserve judgement for at least a few more weeks.

Two things about the show that I didn’t really care for are 1) Noah Wyle, who never seems to show any emotion or charisma at any point during the pilot, and 2) The fact that the invasion which killed nearly everyone happened just 6 or 7 months ago and the remaining humans seem pretty well adjusted. I would expect there to just be clumps of people sobbing until they die of a lethal combination of dehydration and sadness. A couple of things that stuck out as neat are the idea that the aliens sent a massive EMP upon arrival so the survivors have no access to grid electricity, computers, radios, electronics of any kind or cars made after 1987. I like this plot device because it creates a need for ingenuity but I feel like it could become a burden on the show’s writers. [SEMI SPOILERY COMMENT IN THE NEXT SENTENCE] The pilot also alludes at least 3 times to the fact that the aliens may not be aliens at all, but some kind of precursor or descendent of humanity. I won’t be surprised if the big mystery is that the “aliens” are just returning home to see how their ant farm is doing. [END SPOILERS]

Over all I give it a B+ and sugest the sci-fi fans among you give it a chance.

Side note: When Internet was still young, and all this you see before you was just corn fields, I had a brief email exchange with Dave Coulier. He was gracious and kind and it was the first time in my life (that I can remember) when the Internet allowed me to have a one on one communication with a person I had idolized as a child who would have been otherwise completely inaccessible. For those interested, he used to run a “Caption This” photo contest on his website, and one week my submission was the winner. He emailed to let me know he enjoyed the caption and I emailed back thanking him for all he’d done to expose people like to to the world of stand up comedy.

COMMENTERS: Did you see Falling Skies? What did you think?

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  1. I mostly have the same opinion as you on this pilot. There's nothing that seems completely ground-breaking and out of all the characters thrown at us only a couple seem actually interesting for now, but it has a lot of potential. It can either turn out to be great on the long run or boring as hell as the weeks go by. I'll give it a shot for a few more episodes before making up my mind.

  2. I was just happy to see that Hannah Griffith survived, I mean after her dad sent her to boarding school in Vermont for seeing Logan, I figured we'd never see her again.

  3. I'm a sucker for an apocalyptic film, and the EMP is great when it shows up as a plot device, but I couldn't get through the pilot.

    And lest I give away my not-geeky-enough-creds, what's with the hand signals in the final panel?

      • I thought my husband was the only person who threw these would be gang signs. But he does it all the time, usually twice in a row narrating the first time and letting his hands do the talking the second time

  4. The big problem that struck me was that its WAAAY too happy! They've even said they arent going the BSG route and that the ppl's situation isnt as bad as them… huh?

    The series atmo seems to have no balls- everything is fine and dandy apart from occasional alien.
    And of course most common complaint – why are they out in sunlight? Hundreds of ppl moving in the day along roads and clearings! Aliens would have bloody scouting parties and satelites!

    My only guess for this is that, as you said, the Aliens definitely seem to have some connection with humanity. From what i gathered in Pilot and promo for nxt time, it would appear they are turning the kids into new "aliens". The twist i see is that the "aliens" are endangered (pos from a war that might come to earth latter) )& are recouping on earth and raising numbers, but that's hard to do with a huge opposing force of humans throwing cans over the fence, so they cut us down into a more manageable number to use.

  5. I haven't seen the pilot yet (half the fam wants to watch it together in spite of some of us being in a different state for a week)

  6. I watched it and was struck with a serious case of "meh". The part that I didn't like was how everybody acted like they were walking somewhere because their car had just run out of gas, not because humanity was being exterminated.

    The series just simply didn't deliver a real sense of desperation that people would really have in a situation like that.

    To me the best scenes of human desperation were from the original terminator. with all those people living in holes and wearing scraps.

    Not ten year old boys whining that their dad wasn't going to be around for his birthday, cuz heaven forfend his father actually bring him back food to eat.

    I will not be watching the rest of the series.

    • that all really bothered me as well. The whole "are you going to be here when I eat my Twinkie and wish for world peace, Dad."

      "Sure am, son. Right after I rescue your brother from aliens! Be home by supper."

      I just don't buy anyone's attitude. Are the alien's pumping antidepressants into the atmosphere?

      • I think a many of you maybe "spoiled" or "desensitized" by a lot of recent Sci-Fi/drama shows angst'ing it up hardcore, to the point where plot movement takes a backseat to prolonged interpersonal conflict/torment/melodrama. So that now when you see a show doing otherwise (and yes, maybe underplaying that side of things) it seems even more lacking then it really is.

        I'm not against realism, or trying to portray "real human conflict/torment" in a story, but recent trends seem to get so caught up in that, that they forget it IS actually possible for people to suck it up, adapt, maybe work together instead of drowning in angst and constantly being at each others throats.

        As to the kids birthday complaints, I don't think that's too unrealistic. He's a 10yr kid, of course he still cares about his birthday and his dad being there. And wanting to celebrate it just fits into a normal craving for normalcy. They did say he had just started opening up again, so it's not an unbelievable way to portray a kid who's no longer expecting his dead loved ones to come walking back through the door, and is no longer quit so certain he's going to die any second himself.
        They did try to make the scene of him playing with his new skateboard/scooter/thing all touching and inspiring, "the healing miracle of kids getting to just be kids again, if only for a moment, blaa blaa blaa". Even though it did come off a bit thin and cheesy (which is good in pizza, but not in plots)

        "I would expect there to just be clumps of people sobbing until they die of a lethal combination of dehydration and sadness".
        I get the impression that those people already ARE dead at this point, and the handful left are the ones who were able to some degree, to cope.

        I think this show is trying to focus more on the whole "indomitable spirit of humanity" thing, as opposed to the fore mentioned drama and torment.
        I'm not saying they're doing a great job at it, that it's the most realistic choice, or that it's very original. I'm still undecided on this show too, and I agree that they rushed the time frame of events. I just thought I'd point out the other side of some of the things being said.

        • when I watched "Earth 2" I called it "Californians in the desert."

          I am now officially calling this show "Californians in the forest."

  7. Joel, same sentence: did you really mean "decedent" (dead or deceased person) or should that have been descendant?

  8. The second half of the pilot just seemed like a throwaway episode. "Hey, it turns out that everybody in post apocalyptic Earth doesn't have the same agenda, people are greedy, and we don't all get along."

    They tried to salvage my interest with the cliffhanger of "I'm going to find Walt", but I think it needs to pick up the pace.

  9. At first, when I was just glancing at the comic before reading it, I thought the hand gestures were some sort of sexual reference. Upon reading the text, I realize they are still just sexual references cleverly hidden behind the seemingly good-natured antics of Uncle Joey.

  10. Sounds like if Warren Ellis had took over writing The X-Files.

    . . . Which would have been AWESOME.

    Joel's totally peeing in the pool in that last panel.

  11. Or maybe the aliens' DNA was incompatible with 6 billion humans' and all of them just died so they realized "Maybe we should get this right before we kill everything off."

    If that's the angle they're going for, of course. If it IS just "aliens come, kill humans, take resources," then I'd say 90% of the population is still an A. An A-, but an A.

  12. I'm waiting for Jerry O'Connel to come "sliding" and then find out that Noah Wyle is that earth's version of him. I hope he can save the earth from them pesky Kromaggs.

  13. Maybe this was their vacation planet. Sometimes when you open up your vacation spot, you've got to do some exterminating. Can you blame 'em? They take off awhile, come back and WHAM, humans all over. Time to spray for tool users.

    But no, didn't watch the program.

  14. the first episode was recorded in my hometown….
    In one of the scenes you can see a big Oshawa sigh in the background…
    and thats in canada

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