Friday, September 30, 2016

Pilot Review: Aftermath

Aftermath (Syfy)
Premiered September 27 at 10pm

I thought that “The Exorcist” was going to be the disturbing horror series that I wasn’t going to watch at all. I didn’t expect that from a show billed exclusively as sci-fi from the network of the same name, but it turns out that this new show is a huge letdown. It’s possible that there are just too many shows on the air that deal with a post-apocalyptic world, and therefore the standards of what can be expected are much higher. Part of the problem here is that there was an onslaught of scientific and meteorological inconsistencies hitting all at once, and most of the characters barely seemed fazed by it at all. James Tupper’s patriarch is all about religion, and after fleeing some suspicious characters in a Prius, he got to act shocked every time he found out that the family owned a gun when he should have been far more horrified by what was happening to those they had to shoot. I’m not sure who wants to watch a show about “skinwalkers” and how that constitutes as science fiction, and the family’s reaction when Brianna got snatched up by a random flying guy was laughable. The guard telling the family that they had orders to shoot anyone with blood in their mouth on sight was hardly calming, and the governmental attitude towards this inexplicable global crisis is both aggressive and foolhardy. This show doesn’t know what it wants to be, and the post-apocalyptic drama is such a common phenomenon these days that just focusing on the “aftermath” of some event isn’t enough to substantiate a series. I don’t need to see someone cleaning a windshield with a severed head, ever. I’m definitely out.

How will it work as a series? The meteor hitting at the end of the episode was bad news, and something tells me that an inordinate amount of time will be spent on reuniting the family that was so close to being back together. Anyone who has watched “The Walking Dead” can probably predict what comes next, and these characters aren’t nearly as intriguing.
How long will it last? I wasn’t able to find any helpful data on either ratings or reviews, but my suspicion is that this may have been designed as an event series but it’s probably just the kind of show that Syfy wants to see succeed. A second season is possible, but I’ll need to know more before I predict anything.

Pilot grade: D-

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