Television Review: Fallout 1

There are plenty of people bemoaning the demise of good television, but that’s a complaint I just can’t understand. I think some of it is that people take issue with how many adaptations of existing shows or games get made, but I’m not sure what the issue with that is. I mean, if it’s nothing more than a money grab, then sure. Complain away. If we were still seeing a flood of crummy sci-fi/fantasy shows being churned out with poor production values and awful acting, then I’d be as up in arms as the next person.

But that’s not what we’re seeing. We’re seeing a steady stream of shows where the creators are really diving in. Where the music, the effects, the action, the plots, the world building–where everything is getting attention.

True, the end results of the adaptations are arguably not always “true” to the source material, and I understand how that can upset some fans. If you’ve been dreaming of an adaptation of your favorite franchise, but then when it arrives, it’s nothing like you expected, that can be disappointing. And there have been plenty of shows out there that I’ve watched and loved that I have no experience with the original material. The Last of Us and Fallout are both huge video games, and I’ve never played either. But I’ve had a blast with both shows so far.

For the record, I had a great time with Fallout. It reminded me in many ways of Westworld back at the beginning (before it got carried away with its plot). It’s a great science fiction post apocalyptic show, with top notch credentials all around. I gave it a 9/10 and am looking forward to the next season.

All that said, I do think there are some critiques that stick for me right now with television series. One is that too many get made and then canceled without giving them a chance to succeed. I’ve made that complaint before, and it still stands. Too many producers seem to want to be able to cash in on a huge show right off the bat, and it’s not always the way it works. Then again, that’s probably a side effect of spending so much money on the shows. If they don’t look like they’ll be profitable, then it’s hard to stick with them.

On the other hand, I think streaming services shoot themselves in the foot when they release the entire show at once. Yes, it can be fun to binge the series right off, but then it’s done. Over. I’m on to the next show as fast as I can watch it. With that approach, there’s not much chance for people to talk to each other about the show. For demand and speculation to build. As we approach the point where more and more media can and will be made with AI, I think having those shared experiences of everyone watching or reading the same thing will become increasingly important. It won’t matter if you loved a show if you can’t share that experience with all your friends. Yes, there will perhaps be some AI material that rises to the top, but with such a firehose of new stuff being churned out, I tend to think that will be a rarity. I already struggle to watch everything I want to, and that’s with the regular production channels still in place.

So slow down, people. It’s not a race, it’s a marathon. Let people enjoy the shows and enjoy talking to other people about them. Not after the fact, but during the season. I really think that’s an important aspect to all of this that’s getting forgotten in the search for money as fast as possible. It would probably even . . . lead to people sticking with your streaming service for longer than a month. What a concept!

Leave a comment