Review: 'Defying Gravity' on ABC - Astronauts are sent on a six...

Full story: Zap2it.com

READY FOR BLASTOFF: Laura Harris plays rookie Zoe Barnes in 'Defying Gravity,' about astronauts sent on a six-year mission to visit all the planets in the solar system.
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1 - 20 of 35 Comments Last updated Sep 6, 2009
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000xyz

Tifton, GA

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#1
Aug 2, 2009
 

Judged:

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if a civilisation can zip around the solar system in 6 years, hopefully it would be advanced enough to ban such a barbaric and outdated practice as murdering children. surely by then they'll have advanced medicine and technology enough to prevent all unwanted pregnancies. that's one of the things that bugged me about an episode of battlestar galactica
Doug in CT

Enfield, CT

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#2
Aug 2, 2009
 

Judged:

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The show would have been great if they left out the religious stuff - I say no thank you to the Hindu teachings and we don't need that taught to us while watching a cool idea for a show.
MaryAnn

Danville, VA

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#3
Aug 2, 2009
 
Well, I have to start with a couple of inaccuracies in the review. It is a trip to Venus -- not all the planets in the solar system. And Zoe does not hear a baby crying -- she is hearing something from the mysterious entity that they have as cargo.

That said, I will have to add I was definitely impressed enough to come back for a second viewing -- although I think the show was way too heavy on the soap elements. And it has little in common with Virtuality that matters -- the tone of the two shows is totally different; Virtuality was dry and boring, and this one holds the interest of the viewer every moment.
OCGirl

Irvine, CA

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#4
Aug 2, 2009
 
I wasn't gonna watch this but then i ended up watching, and thought it was okay. i agree with the above poster that is was too heavy on the soap elements, but i did like the hindu stuff (i didn't feel like it was presented in a preachy manner). i thought sometimes it was a little too cutesy for its own good (imho). i liked the main character the Office Space guy (Ron Livingston?). not sure i'll watch again.
Rena Moretti

Canyon Country, CA

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#5
Aug 3, 2009
 
OCGirl wrote:
I wasn't gonna watch this but then i ended up watching, and thought it was okay. i agree with the above poster that is was too heavy on the soap elements, but i did like the hindu stuff (i didn't feel like it was presented in a preachy manner). i thought sometimes it was a little too cutesy for its own good (imho). i liked the main character the Office Space guy (Ron Livingston?). not sure i'll watch again.
I ended up not watching because of two factors: 1) It sounded like it would be a soap in space and I happen to think that going to space is plenty dramatic without loading the story with artificial drama.

2) The show looked terrible and clearly shot on video.(The Three Rivers promos look just as terrible).

It's actually sad that productions with a lot of money talk themselves into failure by arguing that "the audience doesn't see the difference" when anyone with eyes can see the difference.
Shifty

Albuquerque, NM

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#6
Aug 3, 2009
 
I wanted to like this show because there's nothing else on and I like the lead actors, but it did not hold my interest and I found myself rolling my eyes at some of the dialogue.
OCGirl

Irvine, CA

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#7
Aug 3, 2009
 
Shifty wrote:
[length edited]...I found myself rolling my eyes at some of the dialogue.
*yes*, that's what i was trying to say.

and i agree Rena, as much as i like Alex O'Laughlin, the Three Rivers promo's look awful. i def won't be watching.:(
woof

Cleveland, OH

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#8
Aug 3, 2009
 
MaryAnn wrote:
It is a trip to Venus -- not all the planets in the solar system.
It actually is a trip to all the planets. If you look at the mission trajectory, you can see how it loops around the sun and then outward. Venus is only the first stop.
Aaron R

Decatur, IL

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#9
Aug 3, 2009
 
Besides which, I can't imagine there will be all that much on Three Rivers that is new. Cases in point:

1) Scruffy looking doctor/intern with a deep-rooted caring for his patients, even if he seems nonchalant, check (Trapper John MD, ER, House).

2) Urban hospital filled with tired nurses, grouchy doctors, more trauma in an hour than usually happens in a week, check (ER, Emergency!, Chicago Hope).

3) Soap opera elements to bring in the ladies who the networks insist only watch shows like this for the romances, check (St. Elsewhere, ER, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice).

I'll give the show two episodes, the same as I do with most new dramas (I've stated before that I don't watch sitcoms, because I find them boring and rarely funny), but I imagine it will be the same as the rest of them that have come before it.

As for Defying Gravity, the point of this particular thread, until I read this article, I never even knew the show was going to be on. Not the best way to promote a show.
OCGirl

Irvine, CA

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#10
Aug 4, 2009
 
Aaron R, 2 epi's sounds generous for Three Rivers.(Were you a Moonlight fan?)

As far as sitcoms go, have you tried Big Bang Theory?
Rena Moretti

San Gabriel, CA

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#11
Aug 4, 2009
 
OCGirl wrote:
Aaron R, 2 epi's sounds generous for Three Rivers.(Were you a Moonlight fan?)
As far as sitcoms go, have you tried Big Bang Theory?
We have to define our terms: is it two episodes until it reaches audience levels where it SHOULD be canceled or is it when it's actually will be canceled.

For instance Friday Night Lights reached those low levels with its pilot and is still on the air in spite of nobody watching (same with Dollhouse).

Of course it's CBS, so they won't renew a ratings disaster, but they may keep it on the air for a while because it seems they've internalized the (false IMO) idea that Alex O'Loughlin is a general audience favorite (he obviously has fans but that's true of almost any actor who ever appeared as a lead)
Rena Moretti

San Gabriel, CA

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#12
Aug 4, 2009
 
Aaron R wrote:
Besides which, I can't imagine there will be all that much on Three Rivers that is new. Cases in point:
1) Scruffy looking doctor/intern with a deep-rooted caring for his patients, even if he seems nonchalant, check (Trapper John MD, ER, House).
2) Urban hospital filled with tired nurses, grouchy doctors, more trauma in an hour than usually happens in a week, check (ER, Emergency!, Chicago Hope).
3) Soap opera elements to bring in the ladies who the networks insist only watch shows like this for the romances, check (St. Elsewhere, ER, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice).
I'll give the show two episodes, the same as I do with most new dramas (I've stated before that I don't watch sitcoms, because I find them boring and rarely funny), but I imagine it will be the same as the rest of them that have come before it.
As for Defying Gravity, the point of this particular thread, until I read this article, I never even knew the show was going to be on. Not the best way to promote a show.
To my mind, it all in the execution, and as I pointed out, the dreadful photography and actor I don't care for don't make it a good candidate IMO.
Rena Moretti

San Gabriel, CA

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#13
Aug 4, 2009
 
OCGirl wrote:
<quoted text>
*yes*, that's what i was trying to say.
and i agree Rena, as much as i like Alex O'Laughlin, the Three Rivers promo's look awful. i def won't be watching.:(
Glad to see I'm not the only one who noticed.

Perhaps we should send the link to this thread to that ABC network executive who recently said that viewers can't tell the difference and don't care...
Rena Moretti

San Gabriel, CA

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#14
Aug 4, 2009
 
Speaking of executives, it's interesting to remember that Kevin Reilly is the man who was fired by Jeff Zucker right after he hired him, just so he could bring Ben Silverman.

Kevin Reilly has since done much harm to FOX's schedule and has been as ineffective (if less vocal) as Silverman.

Which leads to the inevitable conclusion that Jeff Zucker is the problem at NBC-U.
Aaron R

Decatur, IL

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#15
Aug 4, 2009
 
I generally give dramas two shows to hook me, then another couple if I can see it has potential. It took that many for me to like The Mentalist last season, for instance, while it only took two for me to despise Warehouse 13.

As for Big Bang Theory, I enjoy the execution of it, and some of the humor is unique, so I don't mind that one. Plus, some of the jokes are funny if you're a fan of things like Star Trek, which is rarely made fun of on any other show (can you imagine The Office attempting to wring jokes out of how many times James T. Kirk gets his shirt ripped on the original series...so much for advanced technology, if they haven't invented damage-proof uniforms by the 23rd century). So I'll give it kudos for being different.
OCGirl

Irvine, CA

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#16
Aug 5, 2009
 
Rena Moretti wrote:
<quoted text>
We have to define our terms: is it two episodes until it reaches audience levels where it SHOULD be canceled or is it when it's actually will be canceled.
re 2 episodes: i was referring to Aaron's giving it 2 episodes to see if it would hook him. i'm giving it zero, so 2 sounded generous to me for this show. at least now i can get his opinion what he thinks about it....

as for your point, it's getting a lot of promotion so i wouldn't be surprised to see a little ratings pop at the beginning and then a general trailing off after the first couple epi's or so (a la Southland). but if i had to make a prediction, think they'll play out a short 1st season and then cancel it. we'll see....

i really do like the compelling Alex O. though.
Susan R

San Francisco, CA

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#17
Aug 5, 2009
 
Just watched the pilot last night…didn’t like it at all. Me and my boyfriend kept a running commentary on how bad it was during the entire show. Bad writing. Bad acting. Bad everything. So many plot holes. Too unbelievable - even for near future. The space industry should be protesting how horribly this show is portraying the industry. Ron Livingston should run away from this show - hopefully he won’t be stuck in space with those stupid cadets.
Rena Moretti

San Gabriel, CA

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#18
Aug 5, 2009
 
It's really too bad. You should be able to make a compelling show about going into space to explore. Certainly From The Earth To The Moon showed how it's done!
Rena Moretti

San Gabriel, CA

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#19
Aug 5, 2009
 
OCGirl wrote:
<quoted text>
re 2 episodes: i was referring to Aaron's giving it 2 episodes to see if it would hook him. i'm giving it zero, so 2 sounded generous to me for this show. at least now i can get his opinion what he thinks about it....
as for your point, it's getting a lot of promotion so i wouldn't be surprised to see a little ratings pop at the beginning and then a general trailing off after the first couple epi's or so (a la Southland). but if i had to make a prediction, think they'll play out a short 1st season and then cancel it. we'll see....
i really do like the compelling Alex O. though.
You've got the pattern down. It's amazing how journalists will still echo the PR and call shows "hits" based on the premiere when the premiere means very little.

Similarly, the Studios have ruined their profitability by the search for empty Opening Weekend grosses for their bad movies.

As little as 15 years ago, they'd spend a now considered small amount to open the first weekend and would count on good word of mouth to carry the film forward, thus generating profits. They would also not advertise the video, thus generating even more profits.

Now they try and buy the first weekend with huge ad campaigns (then report whatever they feel like anyway!), then watch the films drop like stones on bad word of mouth (but call it an unavoidable new pattern, of course) and then have to advertise the DVD to try and salvage sales, thus killing whatever little profitability those bad films may have had in them.

That's how you see all those companies claiming great box-office hits (like the networks claim those big "hits" for ratings-deprived shows) and not showing the money when they report.

And somehow I never read a single article about how this is happening...
Utelme

Calgary, Canada

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#20
Aug 5, 2009
 
Let’s Dumb them down!

If the show is anything like the pilot. I suggest you hire
Denis Leary as the main writer. Least he will not create such dribble. Yak Yak Yak Yak Yak Yak Yak. Put me to sleep. At least Denis can make a soap funny and exciting at the same time. Let me understand between a hundred comerical breaks during the pilot and then Yak Yak Yak. Where is the entertainment. Kick all the soap writers off the show and hire some that can write about space entertainment not crappy love triangles that are held in space.

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