I seem to swing back and forth on Defiance a bit, I loved the pilot but was then a bit under-whelmed by the rest of the first season, now I’m swinging back for a cheery review of the second season.
As I acknowledged previously, some of my positivity about the series may be a slight desperation for some actual science fiction on television. While superheroes and even fantasy are pretty ubiquitous on television these days, space ships are still a pretty rare sight. Space ships accompanied by good writing are even more uncommon (I’m looking at you Extant), so when a new season of a Rockne S. O’Bannon series hits the schedules I breathe a sigh of relief.
What O’Bannon manages to do is create fantastically rich universes and populate them with believable characters, putting makeup and weird languages on talented character actors and giving them dialogue that’s both utterly normal and completely alien.
The storylines cover pretty much everything from giant world-destroying spaceships and alien possession through to grief, jealousy and what people will do for love. As previously, I could do without some of the “wibbly spiritual stuff”, but at least you can sort of ignore it if you want and just watch the practical outcomes of it. Or just laugh at the dialogue and care about the characters. It works on that level just as well.
Defiance is a show that’s great entertainment to watch but also stands up pretty well to more intense study and discussion. Personally I’m more about the entertainment, but it’s very nice to have the choice.