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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

This Show Is the Definition of Generic

Terra Nova - "Instinct"

We’re not digging this show right now. It’s too shallow and immature. It’s like every generic family action movie, except the whole family can’t watch it, because of content issues. We’re not sure who this is aimed at. We’re not attached to any of the character, and, worst of all, there is no real emotion involved in watching this show. Not fear, excitement, humor, sadness, joy. Nothing. There was almost curiosity last week with Taylor’s missing son and the equation, but that wasn’t touched upon this week. The show is centered on a family, but the family brings no believable interactions or power to the geeky premise.

A mystery alone can’t carry a show. Who is the audience for this? Teenage boys? Maybe. But it might be too sweet for them. This show is trying to please everyone, and we don’t think it’s pleasing anyone overmuch. This is a show that needs to figuring out what sort of reaction it wants from us, because light, fun, cute sci-fi that hardly makes sense isn’t going to elicit a strong reaction from anyone. This show desperately needs to take a risk, make someone unlikeable, shake things up, and get scarier. We are very disappointed and hope it improves. We were rooting for this one, because we are nerds.

Spoilers start here.

Some of Terra Nova’s men get a flat tire at night and then they get killed by little dinosaurs offscreen. Then we see the Shannon family, in the daytime, having a nice time in Terra Nova, settling in. Jim and Elizabeth start taking their clothes off (well, Jim’s shirt anyway), stand close to each other, and look at each other hungrily, but in a rated-G kind of way, so it creeped us out. Then a dinosaur screeches and ruins their good time. We would start to get annoyed with the dinos at this point. Jim goes out to scare the dino off and comes back to find Zoe in bed with her mom. We have already been annoyed with Zoe, who ruins everything but cannot be the target of wrath because she’s little.

Josh seems to have accepted his dad now. Elizabeth meets another science geek, Malcolm, and he’s an ex-boyfriend from college who still likes her! Dramaaaaa. Not really. Jim just calls Dr. Malcolm out for liking his wife and wishing Jim were still in prison, choking to death. Later, Jim and Elizabeth try to do it again and dinos screech. Jim and Josh go out to scare the dinos off, but the little flying things attack! One bites Jim’s hand. Nothing else. But these are the same things that killed the Terra Nova men.

Malcolm figures out that Terra Nova was built on these pterosaurs’ breeding ground, and now they want it back. Offscreen, Jim catches a couple of the pterosaurs so that his geeky wife and her possible boy toy could figure out how to recreate their pheromones and lure them to a new place to breed. Once they make the formula, Jim and Taylor take it and lure the birds away. We don’t see this either. We don’t see any of the action. It’s like an old sitcom where they can’t show the kids fight, just talk about the aftermath. We guess this is a way to save money, and after the pilot, they need to. But without dino action, what’s the point of this show?

Elizabeth and Jim finally get to do it. No one cares. The only plot-advancing thing we learn (that doesn’t involve romance) is that the Sixers have a mole in Terra Nova. Well, of course they do. That plot is a freebie, show. Every show has to have a mole at one time. 24 had, like, a thousand. Also, that was heavily implied in the pilot. Taylor tasked Jim with finding the mole with his “cop nose.”

Funniest lines this week? “Dad, how do you know if a guy likes you?” “You can’t. He doesn’t. You’re 16.”

Episode grade: C-


  1. What the hell was this episode? If they want to have family drama, they need to learn how to do one. Make me cry, laugh, smile show! Also..they shouldn't do an entire episode on just family drama. (specially for a sci-fi show) They should add interesting stuff, give us questions, answers, etc. Why be so lame? I'm not even getting why I would watch this show if it's going to be this kind of family drama every week....Last week felt more PG then this week.

    lol@throwing rock at the pterosaurs. Couldn't you see they wanted to attack you?!

    I'll give it time since I don't have much shows to watch on Mondays. It's entertaining enough but it also has a lot of lame in it but also has some potential.

  2. Monday is a slow night. We mostly have How I Met Your Mother, but that's only a half an hour.

    We totally agree with you. Why would you follow up your expensive pilot with an episode this lame?

  3. They need to move the plot along. The pterosaur thing was pretty lame. I want this show to be good... :(

  4. We're starting to lose hope. So sad. The midseason shows look a lot better than the fall ones, for the most part.

  5. This show might drop more viewers for next weeks episode because of this episode. (Lots of people quit way too soon) If it was actually good, smart and dumb viewers will recommend this show to their friends...discussions and praise will also help bring more viewers/keep the viewers. This episode was just a waste of time and lazy.

  6. Yeah. That's a poor choice they made airing that second. We try to give things five episodes, since Nikita and Mad Men both got food around then (right after we dropped them). Five's been a magic number for us.

  7. They both got "food", ern? What, did they buy you a cheeseburger?

  8. Freudian slip. I was hungry. I meant "good." Too bad you can't edit my comments, haha.

  9. Hmm. I just saw the preview for next week's show and it looks pretty interesting.

  10. Hopefully. The next episode needs to be good, because, at this point, we are only still watching because Monday nights are slow.

  11. Same reason. It's only CBS comedies and cable shows on Mondays won't be back until early next year or summer. I'll probably end up sticking through this show until ratings drop or it's cancelled.

  12. You're making us miss The Big C. If the show doesn't get better, we will drop it. There are always books to read.... One of us in the middle of a Flannery O'Connor re-read. And schoolwork. Bleck.

  13. Heh. I missed The Big C as's weird how Fridays have better broadcast shows then Mondays right now.