REVIEW: Tonight’s ‘Defying Gravity’ has shaky (but promising) launch

Aug. 02, 2009 | 5:51 p.m.

Television critic Robert Lloyd, writing in the Los Angeles Times, says that he “wouldn’t warn you away” from the premiere tonight of the new ABC show “Defying Gravity,” but he notes that many of the characters are “flat or opaque.” Here’s an excerpt from his review:

Defying Gravity

Ron Livingston, from “Office Space” and “Band of Brothers,” leaves Earth this weekend in Defying Gravity,” a sci-fi series premiering Sunday on ABC. I will not be the only observer to remark on its coincidental superficial resemblance to “Virtuality,” the pilot by Ronald D. Moore and Michael Taylor (“Battlestar Galactica“) that Fox recently ran as a one-off TV movie. Each is set around a near-future space mission that confines its characters — some with prior issues and entanglements — in a relatively small space; in each, a mysterious force guides events; and each uses TV broadcasts back home as a narrative device.

Still, the basics of the tale — the haunted spaceship story, broadly — have been rattling around for quite a while. The more productive comparison might be to “Lost,” where a small group of people are stuck out in the middle of nowhere, the unwitting playthings of some greater intelligence, or force, or fate. And there are lots of flashbacks too.

Livingston, an actor of attractive, sometimes seedy solidity — he’s like a less jolly Tom Hanks — plays Maddux Donner, who 10 years before the main action was forced to abandon two other astronauts on the surface of Mars …

THERE’S MORE, READ THE REST

– Robert Lloyd

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Comments


10 Responses to REVIEW: Tonight’s ‘Defying Gravity’ has shaky (but promising) launch

  1. Doug in CT says:

    The show would have been great if they left out the religious stuff – I say no thank you to the Hindu teachings and we don't need that taught to us while watching a cool idea for a show.

  2. Peter Swangren says:

    Your writers need to understand physics better. When the woman gets lost out of the airlock and when Ron Livingstons character pulls her back in he would have needed only one tug to bring her back as there is nothing to slow her return. If he continued to pull she would have returned to the airlock at a rate that would have caused impact damage.
    Is the target audience of ABC programing targeted at people with a 5th grade education?
    This is high school physics.

  3. Daryl says:

    This show stinks! Defying Gravity is on the same scale as fake disaster shows, and takes an interesting idea and trashes it with terrible acting and predictable and pathetic attempts at suspense. I cannot believe that ABC has no better writers than this. What a JOKE!

  4. Bruce Gurnick says:

    Lost in Space

  5. Peter Swangren says:

    Your writers need to understand physics better. When the woman gets lost out of the airlock and when Ron Livingstons character pulls her back in he would have needed only one tug to bring her back as there is nothing to slow her return. If he continued to pull she would have returned to the airlock at a rate that would have caused impact damage.
    Is the target audience of ABC programing targeted at people with a 5th grade education?
    This is high school physics.

  6. Frank P. says:

    Ugh. It's been described as "Gray's Anatomy in Space" and even that is being generous. At least Virtuality built on the foundations of the movie "Sunshine" to give it some depth. The least they could have done was ripoff "Sirens of Titan."
    Defying Gravity is a confusing mess, and their writers and editors all need to find real day jobs. Interleaved flashbacks went from "present" time, to 10 years before, to 5 years after that, to an unspecified point in time, to a dream sequence…then, they throw in a mysterious "It". It's like they're fishing for LOST fans, but they're using feces for bait.
    Because I'm a huge Office Space fan, I'm willing to give Ron Livingston a chance to save this series. But he's no romantic lead, and I hope to hell they kill off Zoey before this gets too far.
    This is why you can't have good Scifi on prime time. It's just unfortunate that Syfy is just as bad.

  7. MightyPen says:

    Why would I want to watch something that the producers have already told me is just like something else I don't watch?

  8. Chris Johnston says:

    Defying Gravity was based on an excellent BBC mockumentary from 2004 called Space Odyssey: Voyage to the Planets, which you can watch on YouTube.
    http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=187E95665

  9. Ben Richardson says:

    the physics of pulling zoey in is legit…if you notice, he didn't pull her in with any real force, he simply collected the rope…who takes physics in the 5th grade?!?!?
    if anything was fake, it was the use of "nano technology" in the clothing, for grounding the astronauts…the suits wouldn't lay naturally, as they did…managing the air leak…that was brilliant idea though, with perfectly valid physics

  10. Pete says:

    I just watched the intro, for God's sake take it off already, what a truly pathetic no-show.

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