Saturday, August 8, 2009

Space Anatomy

Just watched the pilot (only the first of last week's two hour premiere) to ABC's new "space opera" Defying Gravity, and if you heard it was Grey's Anatomy in space, you heard right. The problem is it's not a great fit. With one foot still in sci-fi mode, all the jokey sex talk, ponderous narration, and cheesy pop music feels like it's been forced in to get the show a slot on ABC's schedule (even if it is just over the summer). If you're waiting for a sci-fi show to take BSG's place, this isn't it.

The show centers on a six-year space mission to seven planets staffed by a crew of young, attractive, and international astronauts all with their own emotional baggage. The twist? "Something" is on board they're not supposed to know about, that presumably explains why two crew members suddenly get heart murmurs, the blonde one hears babies crying, and the Indian one feels the need to float off into space.

At least in the first hour though, that "something" isn't anything too important. Not when we've got flashbacks to Blondie's one night stand with Ron Livingston's lead five years earlier, who, by the way, seems to be trying to make us forget Sex and the City and Office Space with his best impression of what he thinks someone on Grey's Anatomy would act like. And a lot of talk about how he's "fated" to be on the mission after those heart murmurs get him added to the crew at the last minute. And a geek's quest for porn. And floating tomatoes.

It's actually a fairly watchable show, and I totally could have finished the two hours. But as with anything living off of something else's success, there's not anything too special about it either. So if you've got nothing better to watch this summer than Dance Your Ass Off, this might be a pleasant alternative. Just don't expect them to make it to the end of that 6 year mission.

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