As I’ve said before, I’m only a middling SciFi fan, so I never read Childhood’s End, though I’ve read a lot of First Contact type books. I think I’m a little bit spoiled because when I started reading SciFi, I mostly missed all those “Classics” and skipped right to Octavia Butler and other female writers.
I was an adult when I first heard about Childhood’s End, though I’d read other books by Arthur. C. Clarke. Remember, this was pre-Internet. There were no Rec sites , or Goodreads, when I was a child and none of the people I knew were very adventurous in their reading material, so I had no one to talk to about the what the best books were. I just meandered down the aisles of the library picking out the most interesting covers.
That said, I’m sort of sad I never read the book. I don’t actually have time to read it now, but I’m sure its better than this series. Not that the series is bad. Its not exactly awful. It has a slight problem, though.
I didn’t make it to the half hour mark before I was looking around for something else to do with my brain, like watching something else.
The dialogue was mediocre, the acting and actors were not compelling..
Okay, I know this sounds like a bad review from someone who doesn’t know anything about Childhood’s End, but really its not. I suspect, even people who know the written story will be less than enthused by this series. My point is that I know just enough about SciFi to know what I like to read or see onscreen and this isn’t it.
On the other hand, in the shows favor, its really difficult to make intellectual SciFi entertaining on screen, for two hours. In short bursts, like an anthology series, its acceptable, but it’s really difficult to watch people talking for two hours unless what they have to say is of immense interest. The people in this show are not having those kinds of conversations and what conversations they do have are badly written.
And let’s get this out of the way, now. My feelings about this will probably spark outrage somewhere on the Internet, but I was less than enthused by the plot because it was extremely Ameri-centric in tone, and totally illustrates the outrage PoC have about whitewashing, in the movies. The idea that huge stories can’t be felt, told, or understood, unless there’s a white man attached, for the viewer to identify with.
Out of the 7 billion people on Earth, the aliens decide that the world will trust a bland, lily-white, farm-boy from America’s heartland? Really? And when the alien expressed its reasons for choosing him, that’s when I totally lost my shit and started screaming at my TV: WHAT?YOU MEAN YOU CANT FIND ANY OTHER HUMAN BEINGS WITH THOSE PERSONALITY TRAITS? NOT EVEN ONE PERSON FROM EACH COUNTRY?
Well obviously this alien is stupid and didn’t do his research. He knows enough to spout idioms but obviously hasn’t been paying attention to any of the political situations on this planet if he thinks the average, nobody white guy from Kansas has that kind of clout.
Wouldn’t it make more sense to have spokespersons for each country on Earth? Or people with political experience? The vast majority of the people on this planet are Chinese and the alien couldn’t find one Chinese man with the qualities he was looking for? Not even Chinese-American? Really? Someone who represented the populace they’re supposed to placate. I find it highly unlikely that people in rural China, Africa or South America are going to give two shits about the message from some white guy from Iowa, Nebraska (or god knows where,) let alone trust him to tell them anything useful.
I’d also like to point out that Ricky is possibly the worst public speaker, ever. Nope. His speeches weren’t inspiring anything in me but a sudden urge to turn the channel.
Yep! This was the point where I just became completely exasperated. But it’s not the writers fault, though. No. Its the fault of the people who cast this show., who finally remembered that PoC might actually be looking at it, and decided to throw black people a bone and toss in a black kid with a disability.
On the other hand, the special effects are awesome and I love Charles Dance as Karellan. Unfortunately, in order to listen to Karellan, Ricky had to be present ,cluttering up the scene. Can we make a movie that’s all about Karellan’s backstory?
Yeah,this first episode does not bode well for the rest of the series, but I’m adventurous remember? I’m going to give it another try. Maybe I can swallow my objections and get past all this and see something good or compelling or intelligent about the series.
Cuz it’s like this: I’m a SciFi fan who hasn’t read the book and was bored to death. Imagine what this series must be like for non-SciFi fans.