– By Paulie Spiceflow –
Sorry for the punny title, but after watching two episodes of Aftermath, that is the best way to describe it. Plagued with bad writing, complete lack of realism, and a mismatched hodgepodge of tropes, and you get a series that should be cancelled ASAP.
Creators Glenn Davis and Bill Laurin present this apocalyptic-style show as science fiction but it is anything but. It has more in common with Dominion then Revolution or Jericho. Anne Heche stars as Karen Copeland, mother and former Air Force pilot who experiences a barrage of world-ending events. Her family lives in rural Washington where they are hit by a hurricane, meteors, demonic possession, a maniacal plague, and a few solar storms. People are losing their minds, killing without remorse. Any one of these would’ve been enough for a post-apocalyptic series but Aftermath felt it needed to include all of them. What they are overcompensating for, I am not sure.
Barely 30 minutes into the pilot, you will notice something really odd about these characters. They all are in some sort of bizarre state of denial about the events around them, breaking up cliche dialogue with awfully timed family banter and character background. When Karen and her sister are shot at by neighbors, they share a laugh then argue about forgiving their father for some past transgression. The world is ending, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good opportunity to give the audience some background on their Daddy issues.
The delusional dialogue was bad enough, but things get even more baffling when it comes to decision-making. When Karen’s daughter is kidnapped by a man who flies, they decide to head to some quarantine zone hoping she’ll be there. They text her and tell her where to go, all without acknowledging the fact they saw A MAN FLY! Why they think she is okay and is in any position to get to a quarantine zone miles away, I have not a clue. The whole idea was insane.
A man drags her out of the house and flies away with her… and they text her “meet us at some town dozens of miles away.” Yep. That is exactly the kind of realism you get in this show. My first thought was that it might be a well-disguised spoof of apocalyptic shows. The pilot is so ridiculous that it had to be, right? Unfortunately, Aftermath isn’t funny either.
The list of problems continue. Despite the Biblical events taking place, characters react like its just some typical natural disaster like a bad hurricane or something. The sight of severed heads, mangled bodies, gunfights, and tons of blood do not seem to traumatize this educated, middle class family. The college professor father keeps quiet and calm, speculating that what is happening is some sort of Mayan or Aztec apocalypse. Anne Heche’s character tries to be a bad ass, take charge kind of woman, but makes horrible decisions. The kids are in a constant state of delusion, bickering like typical siblings while people are shot outside their RV.
Whoever did the audio to this travesty should be fired. Most of the characters are barely audible. Whoever came up with the premise seems to think what audiences really want is a cross between Dominion and Helix. Neither show has been able to really take off, making them poor exemplars. After two episodes, I simply cannot imagine how this series can save itself from oblivion. It has introduced a barrage of simultaneous disasters along with some supernatural creatures and expects us to care about a family that is experiencing some form of collective denial.
No thank you.
Why You Should Watch
- Pretty colors, flashing lights, and some noise help you sleep
Why You Should Watch Something Else
- Bad fantasy trying to pass itself off as science fiction
- Overkill – Five apocalyptic events happening at once
- Horrible writing
- Bad audio
- If it’s meant as a spoof, it ain’t funny
Paulie Spiceflow is a regular contributor, movie reviewer and unbelievable smart ass. He prides himself on his excessive knowledge of movies, TV, books, internet memes, and pop cultural references. During college, he spent minimal hours studying but took full-advantage of the free internet and lack of bills to broaden his knowledge in numerous genres including spoof comedy, fantasy, Shakespeare, military history, zombies, and cartoons.