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A Review and Some Predictions of The New Series ‘Extant’ (CBS)

July 18, 2014 | Filed Under Cable, Entertainment, Gary Krasner, TV | Comments Off on


A Review and Some Predictions of The New Series ‘Extant’ (CBS)

-By Gary Krasner

With great analytical powers, comes great responsibility. Therefore, I’m being responsible by warning you that if you are enjoying “Extant,” the new TV series with Halle Berry, then you should stop reading now. Because I’m going to poop all over it, and make predictions about how it will disappoint you if you stick with it.

Still here? OK, you’ve been warned.

Last Wednesday, after it premiered, my pal Jason wrote me that he liked it. I opined that it was a cross between the movies Solaris (George Clooney) and AI (Spielberg), and that it has signs that it will string audiences along, as Lost (ABC) had done. They both seem to be enticing the same kind of audiences (SciFi conspiracy lovers).

I watched episode 2 tonight. Hearing it mostly, and glancing at the screen occasionally. At the 20 min mark, I pretty much wrote this entire review in my head. Now that I have time, I will lay it all out for you.

I’ll begin with my conclusions and predictions, then provide the analysis to support it. And no, I have no connections to the series. This is all based on guesswork from analysis and experience watching TV.

Conclusion: The series will be about absolutely nothing. Lots of plot gimmicks and visual effects, but an aimless waste of time.

Prediction: just one so far. And it’s easy to see after you read my analysis. Halle Berry’s husband in the series will turn out to be an android (and or the Asian financier who is funding hubby’s AI experiments). You can call me crazy, but you’ll see.

Analysis: I’ll begin with why I know this series is about nothing.

The first clue is multiple unrelated subplots. Episode 1 revealed that Halle’s son was an android, and that she mysteriously got pregnant while in space, and that she saw her ex-husband while she was in space, and that similar weird stuff happened to an astronaut who preceded her.

BTW, as I commented to Jason last week, who would want a robot for a son? A companion, sure. A robot to do work and chores, sure. But to pretend that it’s your child?! What is that supposed to fulfill in a human?

Summer replacements have short runs. Networks usually pick series to run during the summer when there’s not much in the way of plot. The multiple subplots in Extant are not even related. It appears, from episode 2, that we are going to see aliens. How do androids fit in with that?

I also wondered why Halle and her doctor wished to keep important info about her weird experiences in space and her pregnancy a secret from NASA. I realized that this must be yet another subplot–the familiar evil government conspiracy. Sure enough, that was confirmed about 45 minutes into episode 2.

And lets face it, if there was a good plot or story arch, one of the cable networks would have grabbed it. Instead, the network that’s also running a “going nowhere” SciFi series–Under The Dome–goes with this dumbed down SciFi look-like job.

So what you have is a short series, with all kinds of sensational subplots front loaded, to attract ratings in the slow summer months. That enables CBS to see if it’s worth investing in a full season, with decent writing that can convert a nothing story into something worth watching. Get it? Get the ratings first, then invest in story lines that make sense.

Except it won’t happen. Cable TV is where real stories are written. Network TV is the dumping ground for the low-information voters. Hollywood elites see them as low culture idiots, who’ll watch anything. Like an robot son. A wife astronaut who gets inexplicably pregnant in space by a ghost. A government conspiracy to experiment on astronauts. And an astronaut wife who has sex with a husband she doesn’t yet realize is an android.

I guess I should explain that last one. it’s the prediction I mentioned. But why that? Well, why not? It’s the only formulaic, sensational thing left to do. And because as I was glancing at the TV tonight, and looked at the husband in one scene, it occurred to me that he had perfect features–like a robot would have! Think about it: Why would Halle Berry be paired with an unknown actor? It didn’t seem to matter when she had very explicit sex on the (movie) screen with Billy Bob Thornton! She obviously prefers the famous, un-handsome, with hideous features. Why would she agree to be paired with an un-famous, handsome fellow with perfect features? That does not compute. Unless perfect features are necessary. There’s your answer. All androids have perfect features.

So I predict that a spring will come loose, or a wire will short out, in her hubby, while Halle is having sex with him. Or else it will be that Asian financier. He’s seems very robotic-like. or it’s his acting.

So there you have it. it’s a series about nothing. And we’ll see if the low-culture masses will suck it up or not.

PS: It’s funny how Hollywood liberal elites like to make movies and TV shows about secret, evil government conspiracies against the freedom, privacy and other interests of the citizens. Yet in real life, they trust government to be large and powerful enough to run our lives, businesses, and healthcare. Now THAT is a mystery worth writing a TV series about.

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