[Television Review] Extant (minor spoilers)

extant-poster

Extant on CBS is SyFy’s Helix for women. Minus the vampire vectors and the black goo.

It stars Halle Berry as an astronaut, Molly Woods in space on a 13 month mission when suddenly, something happens!

Back on Earth she re-adjusts with her inventor husband and their robot child she until the NASA doc played by Camryn Manheim tells her some news: she’s pregnant!

But how can this be? She can’t have kids!

Meanwhile, her superiors have a shadowy boss played by Hiroyuki Sanada who played a shadowy boss on Helix.

Meanwhile, her hubby happily shows off his learning robot child until someone during the demonstration bluntly asks: And what’s the contingency if they all go Skynet on us? He blows a gasket since this robot isn’t a robot it’s a child.

But it turns out everything will be fine due to shadowy boss is going to fund the hubby’s research privately, shadowy.

Meaneahile, someone is lurking in the ever concealing shadows outside their home and it turns out to be . . .

Sorry, I won’t ruin the entire pilot.

Mostly due to we’re running out of tropes to use.

I didn’t catch The Astronaut’s Wife, so I can’t make comparisons . . .

Having said all this, I enjoyed Extant so long as I ignore the use of flashbacks the began and started with a iris in and out and ignore the fact they didn’t open the show with the inciting event that should have kicked off the show.

The space station set was nicely done. The rotating ring to zero-G was perfect. And the inciting event was very . . . Contact comes to mind.

Yes, I’m backseat writing.

Backseat writing meaning: Hook your audience in the first 5 minutes. You want edgy but not bloody edgy. You want fun without the technobabble.

I wanted a linear plot and I got a show with flashbacks that were completely unneeded.

Sci-Fi is my bread and butter. I’d watch a show like this, The Last Ship and Leftovers until the end even if there are clunker episodes because those shows are still better than what’s on network television.

If this show had been on AMC, FX or SyFy, Halle would’ve been in a rubber room ala E.T. or The Stand.

And that’s the widening gulf that shouldn’t exist between network and cable television shows.

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