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  1. #1

    [Other] Is good Sci-Fi being held back by pandering to teen audiences?

    Over the past years we've seen a sore lack of good Sci-Fi on TV.

    Instead we were given the likes of
    -Terra Nova
    -Revolution
    -Falling Skies
    -Defiant

    Now all of these shows have very interesting premises that are actually quite engaging. However they all fall short in terms of drama and suspense. And that's what really defines good TV. I think a big reason for that is because they make teenage drama a central part of their plot, which wouldn't be so bad if done properly, but somehow always falls short. Their attempts at family appeal also ruin what could have been a great franchise.

    Looking at more successful Sci-Fi, BSG is the best example of how a grown-up approach to Sci-Fi can yield good results.

    Blaming it on teenage drama may be a little simple as budget constraints and reliance on CGI are equally important. But I feel that teenagers are just such a huge turn off in Sci-Fi, because they're angsty, behave irrationally and are mostly annoying that I can't recall an example of them being well done.

  2. #2
    The Patient Ladey Gags's Avatar
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    A recent Sci-Fi show with drama and suspense? "Lost" comes to mind. While it may not be full-fledged Sci-Fi, the whole premise of the show is science vs. faith.

    People may say that the writing is lacking, but as far as my experience with it, it is the most engaging show I've ever watched. So engaging that I remember having week long debates on internet forums about what the past week's episode meant. Only to be completely shocked days later when we find out it's something we never would have seen coming.

    However, the show is truly about the characters when it comes down to it. While not spoiling anything, this is quite evident with the series finale (which is either you love it or you hate it with most people). That's why it remains one of my favorite shows, though. It's full of thought-out drama, romance, and character development while also having very high action, suspense, and cliffhanger moments.

    I also recommend Doctor Who. That is definitely more Sci-Fi, though.

  3. #3
    the reason tera nova and falling skies failed is because they are pushing for a wider audience buy adding the family unit...makes it like Eastenders in a sci fi setting.
    Not saw the other 2 though, and you can lump the walking dead in there as well.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Lagwin View Post
    the reason tera nova and falling skies failed is because they are pushing for a wider audience buy adding the family unit...makes it like Eastenders in a sci fi setting.
    Not saw the other 2 though, and you can lump the walking dead in there as well.
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  5. #5
    Yeah, there's probably something to that.

    But then again it is easy to forget sci-fi series like Firefly which was also considered a failure by TV companies, yet it and Serenity the movie was a huge cultural hit. Unfortunately, even with all that it only just broke even.

    I think they learned their lesson and these days they do not commit large resources to anything less than well-known franchises, e.g. BSG, which was an enormous hit back when it was first made too in a time when there were far less choices.

    The world has moved on. There are too many forms of alternative entertainment. Did you know that gaming alone is a larger and greatly more profitable industry than all of Hollywood?

    So, as TV becomes less and less important, comparatively less resources will be devoted to ordinary productions and most of those that do get made will either be derivative or cheap, which is a vicious cycle.

    It used to be there was an "X-Files" or "Buffy" or Xena or whatever every year. Now days you are lucky if you get a BSG or Game of Thrones every three years...

    I suspect there will be increasingly more digital and animated productions in the coming years to lower costs, increase profitability and cross-over to other media like gaming or proven book series.
    Last edited by squeeze; 2013-04-18 at 10:13 AM.

  6. #6
    Anything with children or teens is going to be iffy, just look at Harry Potter, terrible terrible acting ruining what could be good films.

    The problem with the lack of decent Sci-Fi shows is money. Networks will go with whatever it takes to bring in the ratings, they do not care about quality or innovation, whatever gives them the best turnover.

    Also, don't bother with Lost, it was basically "lets make it up as we go along", it's really was the biggest load of crap.

    ---------- Post added 2013-04-18 at 11:13 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by squeeze View Post
    But then again it is easy to forget sci-fi series like Firefly which was also considered a failure by TV companies, yet it and Serenity the movie was a huge cultural hit. Unfortunately, even with all that it only just broke even.
    Definitely deserves an honorable mention, such a shame it was cancelled due to Fox's incompetence.

  7. #7
    I would say the cost of creating graphics, time to film Sci-Fi, and lack of interest are mostly to blame. Why go to all the work, effort and money when you can someone off street, put them in front of a mic for less cost and get better ratings?

  8. #8
    Warchief Vayjir's Avatar
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    I would say Fringe is probably the most recent scifi show thats good and that one just ended :/
    I find Defiance to be quite interesting but its quite cheesy.

    It is quite sad to see SciFi tv shows to be forgotten and replaced with todays horrible shows but i do have to say that the teenage/young adult drama kinda destroys a show just look at Stargate Universe it had a promising story but most of the characters where just horrible to watch just wanted to punch them in the face.
    Terra Nova with all the horrible family drama just completly destroyed it.

    I wonder when we will get new decent shows like SG:1, Star Trek TNG,Farscape (however a lot of people dont like its a show where you either like it or dont like it) heck even Stargate Atlantis was fun to watch tbh i would actuly have taken Star Trek Enterprise over Terra Nova/Stargate Universe.

    I hope anything i typed made any sense.

    Just edit in i completly forgot Doctor Who it is amazing
    Last edited by Vayjir; 2013-04-19 at 05:03 PM.
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  9. #9
    Herald of the Titans Bigbazz's Avatar
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    Lost was good but annoyed me, they left loose ends everywhere and when you think they were going to get tied up, they just got left behind. The whole show was based around having loose ends that kept you thinking, but instead of tieing up those lose ends they just created new ones.

    I liked it a lot, was really into it when it first came out, but that aspect annoyed me. Doctor Who is technically Science Fiction, I guess that is catered more to an "everybody" audience, but it's pretty good.
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  10. #10
    Legendary! Granyala's Avatar
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    I wonder when we will get new decent shows like SG:1, Star Trek TNG,Farscape (however a lot of people dont like its a show where you either like it or dont like it) heck even Stargate Atlantis was fun to watch tbh i would actuly have taken Star Trek Enterprise over Terra Nova/Stargate Universe.
    I miss Stargate / Star Trek so much.
    But I doubt that something as awesome as TNG could be aired today.

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  11. #11
    I think the problem is that you're looking to TV to fill a void that TV has been completely incapable of filling for the better part of a decade. About the only decent sci=fi now is just in movies.
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Crowe View Post
    Over the past years we've seen a sore lack of good Sci-Fi on TV.

    Instead we were given the likes of
    -Terra Nova
    -Revolution
    -Falling Skies
    -Defiant

    Now all of these shows have very interesting premises that are actually quite engaging. However they all fall short in terms of drama and suspense. And that's what really defines good TV. I think a big reason for that is because they make teenage drama a central part of their plot, which wouldn't be so bad if done properly, but somehow always falls short. Their attempts at family appeal also ruin what could have been a great franchise.

    Looking at more successful Sci-Fi, BSG is the best example of how a grown-up approach to Sci-Fi can yield good results.

    Blaming it on teenage drama may be a little simple as budget constraints and reliance on CGI are equally important. But I feel that teenagers are just such a huge turn off in Sci-Fi, because they're angsty, behave irrationally and are mostly annoying that I can't recall an example of them being well done.
    I think this is just your opinion and nothing more which is fine. Personally I'm enjoying Falling Skies and Revolution. That being said, Lost and Fringe were both amazing shows. Defiance looks interesting, I have the pilot on my DVR but haven't gotten around to watching it. Personally I've not watched it but Dr. Who is doing very well and a lot of my friends watch it. So I don't think what you're saying is accurate, I just don't think you like what's out there.

  13. #13
    Lost and Fringe were good shows, no doubt, but I wouldn't really call them Sci-Fi. Yes, they had some supernatural/metaphysical elements to them but they were very much based in reality.

    I also find it odd that Vayjir would call Stargate Universe childish where it was clearly taking cues from BSG and sold itself as a much more solemn and "darker" show.

    I picked out Falling Skies, Revolution, Defiance and Terra Nova because they all seem very similar in the way they dealt with the characters. I don't really blame it on the acting either. I know child-actors are difficult but it's their writing that makes them such buzz-kills. All too often they're abused as plot devices because they don't have to behave rationally.

  14. #14
    Falling skies is turning out to be pretty decent, 1st season was a bit rusty but second season was a whole lot better. 3rd season starting soon with a nice cliffhanger from previous season!
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  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Vayjir View Post
    I wonder when we will get new decent shows like SG:1, Star Trek TNG,Farscape (however a lot of people dont like its a show where you either like it or dont like it) heck even Stargate Atlantis was fun to watch tbh i would actuly have taken Star Trek Enterprise over Terra Nova/Stargate Universe.

    I hope anything i typed made any sense.
    In my sci-fi deprived state, I'd gladly watch Atlantis all over again over anything we've got now. I miss the Stargate universe so much, except the show Stargate Universe, which I absolutely despised. But I'd give anything for a more classic Stargate show again. Bring back SG:1


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  16. #16
    Mechagnome Window's Avatar
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    Its an Issue all you have to do is look at the writers for defiance and you see a trend
    good Sci fi and shows in general have been thrown to the wayside in place for reality tv garbage
    but even in the Farscape comics they messed the story up badly made Aeryn religious and a heap of character breaking plot points and its seen as cannon
    Im hoping with the new star wars, pacific rim and the robotech movie there is somewhat of a revival of decent shows if the public interest changes enough
    If everything I do is wrong then by god ill do it right

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Crowe View Post
    Lost and Fringe were good shows, no doubt, but I wouldn't really call them Sci-Fi. Yes, they had some supernatural/metaphysical elements to them but they were very much based in reality.
    Fringe..the TV show about time travel, alternate universes, invaders from the future, telepathic and telekinetic abilities and tons of other stuff was not Sci-Fi to you? Did you even watch the show?

  18. #18
    Why is there no one talking about Doctor Who? Is it because it's 50 years old now?

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Systam View Post
    Why is there no one talking about Doctor Who? Is it because it's 50 years old now?
    I referenced it. I've just never seen it so I can't say whether it's good or not. Lots of people like it though.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by NightZero88 View Post
    I referenced it. I've just never seen it so I can't say whether it's good or not. Lots of people like it though.
    Ah missed that i'm so tired ><

    I really recommend it to all sci-fi lovers. Its quite successful since reboot and with something of 30+ seasons since it started in '63 and lots of audios/books and a movie there's a lot to get into

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