Saturday, June 6, 2015

TV Show Review: Terra Nova

(Please note that while I will not be reviewing specific episodes, I will be commenting on the specific trends that most of the episodes followed.)

Title: Terra Nova
Release Date: 2011
Genre: family, survival, dystopia, romance, TV series
My Rating: ***
Official Rating: N/A
Age Group: 12+

The Shannon family lives in a horrible dystopian Chicago in which there is a 2 child policy and air so thick masks are worn to keep from suffocating. But as the Shannons tell their youngest, they love each other and their children so much they wanted another. So they broke the law, and their third child Zoe lived happily with them for a few years before they were found out. Then, the father was thrown in prison, separated from his beloved family.
Then Mrs (Dr) Shannon receives an offer for a new life. She and her family can travel into the past through a time machine where an outpost (Terra Nova) has been set up to give people a second chance. She takes it. Only problem is that Mr. Shannon can't come. But the family always beats the odds, and Mr. Shannon escapes from prison and sneaks his youngest through the portal.
That's when the real excitement comes. The Shannons must learn to deal with family problems, giant dinosaurs, school, friends left behind, strange diseases, rebels attacking the outpost, mysterious deaths, and of course boys (and girls) from outside the family.
Can they make it? Will they remain a closely knit family? Will they all live?

Word of Warning
  •  There is one episode early in the season in which the parents try over and over to get some time alone in their bedroom. While it's pretty clear to an older audience that they want to have sex (they're married and have been apart for years), it isn't ever stated and they only kiss and embrace. They finally do get their moment, but all we see their shadows as they kiss, then the scene cuts. It's actually a rather sweet and cute storyline, but could be seen as a problem.
  • Dinosaurs kill people. In terrible ways. There is a good amount of gore in this show.
  • People steal and sneak out when they're not supposed to and teens drink concoctions that are equivalent to being alcoholic.
  • There are traitors and crazy people and a storyline eventually surfaces that shows how a father alienated his son.
  • Blackmail.
  • Kissing between married and unmarried couples.
  • Death happens all the time. People's close family members die, members of Terra Nova die, people just die. Sometimes main characters cause this. Sometimes it isn't right, sometimes it's the only option.
My Thoughts

Part of me feels that I have forgotten something. But then I remember that all things considered it was a relatively clean TV show, which really impressed me. Aside from the gore, it wasn't so bad. The story was interesting, and as with all TV shows just when you're ready to stop watching because you realized the plot is the same for every episode, it gets more interesting and a twist is added.
And then, after working out that twist, another twist was thrown in, and the show as canceled. So there's that.
The reason I watched it though was not for the twists or the story. Honestly, I am very tired of dystopian anything. I watched it because it was mostly clean and it was about a family. It was sweet, watching the father bond again with his teen son as they learned how to understand each other again. Watching the father protect his family and decide what to do about his oldest daughter's love interest. Watching the mother interact with her children and her husband. Watching all of them interact with each other. There was self-sacrifice, love, fighting, forgiveness, suffering, fear...everything a normal family encounters.
In a dystopian universe where the characters travel back in time. And yes, I am still battling with whether or not traveling back in time counters the point of the dystopian genre.

My only problem (aside from the gore) is that this was not continued. I really fell in love with the family. Not one character and not the plot line. It was the family.

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