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Old July 9 2014, 05:10 PM   #1
DarthTom
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Extant premieres tonight - are you going to watch?

I'm gonna give this a try. Are you?

Time

The first episode of Extant (CBS, Wednesdays) establishes with several quick cues that you are looking at the future. When astronaut Molly Woods (Halle Berry) washes up in the bathroom, she pulls up a news feed on the mirror. The garbage can outside her house is a transparent prism that compacts trash elegantly. Also, the show seems to posit an alternative universe in which CBS airs high-profile new dramas and they’re not about cops or lawyers.


That particular aspect of the near-term future has been ushered in by Under the Dome, the loopy but successful Stephen King adaptation that, now in its second season, has turned a small town in Maine into a menacing butterfly garden under glass. Now CBS is premiering Extant, a Steven Spielberg-produced joint about the eerie aftereffects of a long-term space mission; next summer, the network will air Zoo, a James Patterson thriller about a when-animals-attack pandemic. For the law-and-order-bound CBS, the summer season is like the sleepaway camp in The Interestings, a place where it can let its hair down and pretend to be a different, more adventurous network for a few weeks.
I’ve only seen one episode of Extant, but if that means we get more intriguing experiments like this in years to come, then long live the Dome. (I say this with the caveat that Under the Dome looked intriguing after one episode too.) Extant also has a high-concept mystery at its center: Molly has just returned from a 13-month mission on a space station, alone–yet she’s pregnant. But from the early looks of things, what’s driving Extant is not a single who-or-what’s-the-daddy mystery, but the show’s ideas.
Granted, most of those ideas are nothing new under–or rather orbiting–the sun. Molly’s predicament, explored through flashbacks to her lonely time working in space, has elements of 2001‘s austere spookiness, with a touch of Gravity and Solaris thrown in. There’s an element of high-tech corporate conspiracy that recalls Alien and any number of other sci-fi films. And the series’ compelling Earthbound plot is straight from Spielberg’s (and Stanley Kubrick’s) A.I.: the family Molly has returned to is her husband John (Goran Visnjic), a cybernetic scientist, and their son, or “son,” Ethan (Pierce Gagnon), an artificially intelligent, lifelike robot and the crowning achievement of the ambitious John’s career.
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Old July 9 2014, 05:24 PM   #2
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Re: Extant premieres tonight - are you going to watch?

I fancy watching it, but for here, it seems to be Amazon (Either only or for now, I'm not sure).

At some point, I'll get it arranged
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Old July 9 2014, 05:28 PM   #3
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Re: Extant premieres tonight - are you going to watch?

I'll have to see if I can pry the remote out of Mrs.Q2's hand this evening...

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Old July 9 2014, 05:45 PM   #4
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Re: Extant premieres tonight - are you going to watch?

Q2UnME wrote: View Post
I'll have to see if I can pry the remote out of Mrs.Q2's hand this evening...

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Based on the review I posted there appears to be many similarities to Spielberg's AI. Cyber-boi etc.

I pulled up Berry's film/TV career and it's interesting that she hasn't done a TV series since 1991 - Knots Landing. Either she is taking a huge pay cut to do this show or they're are spending a lot of money to get her on this show.

The premise seems interesting.
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Old July 9 2014, 05:53 PM   #5
Mister Fandango
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Re: Extant premieres tonight - are you going to watch?

Or, much more likely, she isn't getting the type of work she wants, so figures she'd try television again. Like several other "movie stars" have in recent years.
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Old July 9 2014, 05:58 PM   #6
DarthTom
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Re: Extant premieres tonight - are you going to watch?

Mister Fandango wrote: View Post
Or, much more likely, she isn't getting the type of work she wants, so figures she'd try television again. Like several other "movie stars" have in recent years.
Could be. But no doubt she got a shit load of money for X-Men - even though she didn't have a big role. So perhaps it isn't about the money but about the screen time and being the central character on the show.

Edited to add. I didn't post the end of the article in case people didn't go to the link it seems to get a thumbs up at least from this critic.

It’s way too soon to say whether this jumble works, but it’s promising that Extant‘s premiere seems confident enough to play it cool and mysterious rather than hammer us with holy-crap moments. Surprisingly for a TV vehicle for an Oscar winner, the pilot doesn’t give Berry a string of showy, actorly moments. Her performance is reserved, bordering on seeming a little shell-shocked, as Molly works on getting her Earth-legs back under her; the show’s direction is quiet and composed. And the teases we get about the possible cause of her pregnancy have the potential to become either a compelling enigma or starchild hooey.
In the end, Extant may simply be boldly going where many other sci-fi stories have gone before, all at once. But for a summer network drama, it’s at least charting a bit of a different course.
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Old July 9 2014, 06:05 PM   #7
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Re: Extant premieres tonight - are you going to watch?

I have mixed feelings about this. On the plus side, it has Halle Berry in it. Also, it's so rare for CBS to do science fiction shows that I feel I should support its efforts, though I'm not a Nielsen household so I doubt it'd make much difference. (I'm very annoyed at that article for failing to mention Person of Interest as one of CBS's genre efforts. PoI is probably the best, richest science fiction show on network television today, but a lot of people don't even realize how complex its SF content is because they just see it as an action/procedural show.)

But a lot of what I'm hearing about the show sounds pretty dumb. As stated, the premise seems like a rehash of things we've seen before. The idea that Berry's character was on a 13-month solo space mission is insanely stupid; NASA would never send anyone on a solo mission in the first place, given the urgency for redundancy in space, and sentencing someone to effective solitary confinement for over a year would be psychologically sadistic. Even if she started out with crewmates and they died or something, leaving her stranded and alone wouldn't make sense unless she were on some interplanetary mission or something, rather than in Earth orbit, which is the impression I get from the trailers.

And this morning, I read a particularly ridiculous quote from Berry on io9:

I think these aliens have realized they need part of what is human if they want to survive. So many species before us have all gone extinct, but humans are still here. Why is that? I think this other life force realizes there's something about us that they need for them to not become extinct.
This is staggeringly ignorant. The human species is a mere 200,000 years old, which is quite young on an evolutionary time scale. Gray wolves are twice that age as a species, tigers are ten times that age, bottlenose dolphins are ten to twenty-five times that age, and so on. There are species of shark that are over 100 million years old, and jellyfish are half a billion years old. We haven't even come close to proving that we have what it takes for long-term survival as a species, particularly not when so many of us today embrace habits that could lead to our extinction.

Of course, this was just Berry talking, but if what she's saying here reflects themes that actually figure into the show rather than just coming from her own lack of a basic science education, then this may turn out to be a really stupid show.
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Old July 9 2014, 06:08 PM   #8
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Re: Extant premieres tonight - are you going to watch?

I've never been that much of a Halle Berry fan, but the premise does sound fairly intriguing, so I might check it out.
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Old July 9 2014, 06:46 PM   #9
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Re: Extant premieres tonight - are you going to watch?

Definite maybe
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Old July 9 2014, 06:55 PM   #10
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Re: Extant premieres tonight - are you going to watch?

Looks like it could be interesting. I'll be watching.
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Old July 9 2014, 09:10 PM   #11
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Re: Extant premieres tonight - are you going to watch?

Well, it has Halle Berry in it. I watched Catwoman, despite all the poor reviews, because Halle Berry was in it. So yes, I'll be watching this, because Halle Berry is in it.
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Old July 9 2014, 10:02 PM   #12
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Re: Extant premieres tonight - are you going to watch?

Ovation wrote: View Post
Well, it has Halle Berry in it. I watched Catwoman, despite all the poor reviews, because Halle Berry was in it. So yes, I'll be watching this, because Halle Berry is in it.
That's true too. She was the only two reasons I bothered to watch Swordfish.
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Old July 9 2014, 11:22 PM   #13
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Re: Extant premieres tonight - are you going to watch?

Eventually, we'll get to the episode where somebody says god did it, and then the show will be about whether god is actually an ancient alien. Let me know when that happens if you watch this, cause i won't be.
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Old July 9 2014, 11:47 PM   #14
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Re: Extant premieres tonight - are you going to watch?

Christopher wrote: View Post
The idea that Berry's character was on a 13-month solo space mission is insanely stupid; NASA would never send anyone on a solo mission in the first place, given the urgency for redundancy in space, and sentencing someone to effective solitary confinement for over a year would be psychologically sadistic. Even if she started out with crewmates and they died or something, leaving her stranded and alone wouldn't make sense unless she were on some interplanetary mission or something, rather than in Earth orbit, which is the impression I get from the trailers.
Yep.

The trailer makes it look like a mash-up of The Astronaut's Wife with Freedomland with Small Wonder with every horror movie to ever feature a creepy little ki-zzzzzzzzzzz, oops, sorry, fell asleep. Looks like some TV exec saw the opening weekend numbers from Gravity and demanded "quick, something like that, except let's bring her back to Earth five minutes in and put her in a bunch of sterile houses and offices, and maybe some spooky woods! You have three weeks to write the first five episodes", and then went off to play croquet. As for Berry... well, Hollywood's pretty notoriously terrible at making star vehicles for women over 35, especially those who haven't headlined a hit in years.

In short: someone wake me when all the shots of her floating around in zero-g (totaling maybe a minute or two) have been cut together and put to some tasteful New Age-y music. Until then, if you'll excuse me, I'm still only on the third season of Glee.
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Old July 10 2014, 12:35 AM   #15
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Re: Extant premieres tonight - are you going to watch?

Gaith wrote: View Post
Looks like some TV exec saw the opening weekend numbers from Gravity and demanded "quick, something like that, except let's bring her back to Earth five minutes in and put her in a bunch of sterile houses and offices, and maybe some spooky woods! You have three weeks to write the first five episodes", and then went off to play croquet.
Unlikely. The series order was announced on August 8, 2013, whereas Gravity didn't make its debut at the 70th Venice International Film Festival until 20 days later, and didn't have its wide theatrical release until October. It's possible that CBS was gambling on the advance buzz for Gravity; but since this series is from Amblin, it's possible that the network approved it purely on the basis of Spielberg's name and Halle Berry's name.
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