18 June 2013 | atlasmb
Learn from Firefly
I have read reviews on this site by viewers who do not like Defiance, sometimes comparing it to Firefly. Granted, Firefly is a great show, but what did we learn from its early departure from TV? The network wanted Firefly to capture the minds of its viewers quickly, so they did not air the first episode first. Believing that a more action-packed episode would grab new viewers more quickly, they shuffled the episodes--a strategy that alienated viewers and led to the show's demise. When I read criticisms about the pace of Defiance's first episode, I say let the show develop and see where it goes.
Now that we have seen a number of episodes, I for one am glad I stuck with Defiance. Here are some of my reasons:
1. It has an array of interesting characters. They are not interesting only because the different races are interesting. Each character is well developed and multi-layered. They are not one dimensional--all good or all bad---but portray strengths and frailties, positive and negative traits.
2. The cast is wonderful. Starting with Graham Greene, you have Grant Bowler (Hank Rearden in Atlas Shrugged)and Mia Kirschner (great in The L Word) Julie Benz and Stephanie Leonides, etc.
3. The music. I have particularly enjoyed some of the songs they have used as background, masterpieces of mood.
4. The innovation. Some have criticized the weaponry or languages used, for instance. But the action does not take place on an alien world, so it makes sense that the weapons are a combination of past and future, mixed with earth-based technologies (same with the vehicles). Considerable time was spent devising different languages for this show. I find them interesting but not distracting.
5. The various cultures represented are deeply portrayed, with their own music, rituals, prayers, languages, religions, prejudices, and personality tendencies.
6. Although the various races/cultures have distinctive features, characters still seem to live in the same world, coping with the same issues. As one character said, "In this world we live in, there's no place for the fragile." Everyone who has survived to exist in Defiance bears the scars of their struggles, literal and figurative. Defiance is named after the town/valley where it is set, and everyone in Defiance seems to believably come from the same town, living in a hard-won and dynamic harmony of different voices.
7. Defiance is a show about values. Love can overcome bigotry. Cooperation produces better results than warfare. These are examples and I am sure we will encounter more as the show continues.
8. There are also larger story arcs developing, and this gives me hope for much more to come.
9. Last but not least, Defiance has genuinely likable characters--one of the most necessary elements for a show you want to watch.
Update 7/21/14: After many episodes, this show is still good. Good characters and challenging stories.