8 Reasons Why You Should Watch Defiance


Here at Geekvengers we watch a ton of television. Our tastes are varied, but we all tend to gravitate towards science fiction. This is always something we sometimes dread due to sci-fi not traditionally doing well on television. We get involved, fall in nerd love, then are crushed when the show gets the ax. ūüė¶ It has been a few years since a hard sci-fi show has graced the airwaves. Our friends over at Project Fandom wrote a snazzy review of Syfy’s new show Defiance so I won’t do that. What I will do is give you 8 solid reasons why you should be watching this show.

The Principal cast of Defiance.

The Principal cast of Defiance.

1. It’s an immigrant story. Aliens called Votans escape their dying star system of Votanis in sleeper-ships and come to Earth. Our world is new, strange to them, and far from their home. They had no other choice and were hoping for a fresh start and acceptance by Earthlings. That doesn’t turn out as they had hoped and there is what is called a Pale War that rages for years. The Votans are a conglomeration of 7 distinct species; Irathient, Castithan, Indogene, Liberata, Sensoth, Gulanee, and the Volge. Immigrant stories have been told and lived numerous times throughout history. Whether fictional or real, the struggle for a place in a new world with strangers wary of your motives, customs, and culture is a compelling one. When immigrants come, they bring about changes to their new home, intended and otherwise. This can be seen in the terraforming of Earth by alien technology and the introduction of new religions, laws, and societal norms brought on by humankind meeting extraterrestrials.

 

2. It’s visually unique. Within most science fiction, the setting is either very stark and desolate or futuristic to the point of a lack of any lushness. Defiance has a great look. The world is post-war, but not traditionally post-apocalyptic. The old world is ruined from war, sure, but on those ruins a new, beautiful world rises up. There is strange new flora and fauna brought on by alien terraforming technology along with the familiar. There is color and life! There is technology beyond our wildest dreams of course, but it doesn’t feel that out of place and isn’t just everywhere.

Strange, new beauty built upon the ruins of destruction.

Strange, new beauty built upon the ruins of destruction.

 

3. Little details. The show makers recruited a linguist to create 2 full alien languages for the show as well as a basic framework for 5 others. They aren’t just speaking gibberish. When the languages are spoken, it feels real. Also, the aliens have their own beliefs, morality, and cultural norms as well as idiosyncrasies. When the humans and Votans end their war after the events of a battle called Defiance, they realize that all the races have to adapt to each other. This adaptation affects music, entertainment, socializing, and politics.

 

4. The Music. Famed composer Bear McCreary is responsible for the music on this show and he’s fantastic. Battlestar Galactica and The Walking Dead are just a couple of shows he’s done music for. Look him up or YouTube some shit. Dude is amazing.

 

 

5. Interesting scientific concepts. Bio-engineered super-soldiers with off switches, cold fusion, sleeper-ships, mechs, plasma weapons, terraforming, and cybernetically enhanced alien races all appear, and that’s just in the pilot episode! While fantastical, I never thought any of it felt hokey or forced. The characters treated it all as just part of life on a now alien-infested Earth of 2046.

Here's a fun game: Try to find his off-switch before he beats you to death!

Here’s a fun game: Try to find his off-switch before he beats you to death!

 

6. People still do shitty things to each other. Star Trek has always been a favorite of mine, but I always had issue with Gene Rodenberry’s vision of a utopic society where everyone gets along and humanity has abolished things like greed, anger, poverty, hunger, and homelessness. It always seemed unrealistic to me. Human beings will always have a tendency to be shitty towards each other and our base instincts and desires will always on occasion lead us astray. Defiance shows us that just because there is a truce between 8 races of beings, doesn’t mean they like each other or aren’t still trying to fuck each other over for profit and other passions. This shows me that there is room for character growth, both good and bad.

 

7. Shtako! Frak! Frell! P’tok! Shol’va! Who doesn’t love alien curse words?! Bonus points to you geeks and nerds out there who can identify what shows those are from and what they mean.

 

8. Rockne S. O’Bannon.¬†He has created such awesomeness as the movie Alien Nation, television shows SeaQuest DSV, Farscape, and the less than awesome recently-canceled Cult. The thread that connects all these together is his ability to create a deep, fictional world that you just want to always know more about. Well, except Cult. That shit sucked hard. Hey, they can’t all be winners.¬† Cult aside, he’s very skilled at creating back-story and history. Personally, that’s what I like a lot about science fiction I enjoy.¬† If you are familiar with Mr. O’Bannon then you will recognize his style immediately. If not, get acquainted!

I make shit you like, nerds!!!!!

I make shit you like, nerds!!!!!

 

So there you have it! I watched the 2-hour pilot episode and I really liked it. The hype for the show is well deserved. Selles says give it a watch. Mondays on Syfy! Check your local listings!

Until next time!

 

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The Action Movie Handbook


We all love a good action movie don’t we? I know I do! Gosh, ‘splosions, gunplay, and painful villain death is a cornerstone in what I look for in my cinematic entertainment! I also enjoy gratuitous nudity and potty humor, but that’s for another blog. Now, we all know that sometimes belief has to be suspended for the sake of a good movie. Realism and accuracy just get in the way. We all love a good cliche, right? Hot damn we do! So here is a list of the standard shit you will probably find in any action flick.

 

1. Never, ever, ever assist the hero in his quest to defeat the evil overlord, villain, or terrorist. Horrible things WILL happen to you….such as a painful death. You are the sidekick. The comic relief. Do not help. You will die. Embarassingly so. Remember Bucky Barnes? Robin? (1)

When you dress like this on purpose, you are asking for death.

 

2. Under no circumstances¬† should you go on a mission in which all of the important people on your ship or vessel or base are also going on. Especially if your last name is Johnson, Jackson, Smith, James, Johnston, or any variation thereof or you are wearing a ‘red-shirt’ or anything on your person is also red. Also, if you are ‘short’on your enlisted time in, have just had a baby, got married, are a virgin, or are going to start a business when you get ‘back to the world’, stay away. You will die. Again, embarassingly so. (2)

 

3. Always park your car out front of your desired destination. There will always be an empty spot no matter what time of day it is.

 

Never trust a black man in a cape.

4. Never let strange mechanics fix your ship/car/boat. Be extra wary if said mechanics work for an ‘old friend’ whom with you go ‘way back’. They are going to sabotage your shit, take your woman and your pet/co-pilot, your droids, freeze you in something, then hand you over to the bad guy; who in turn will turn you over to another bad guy, usually his boss.

 

5. Never make a deal with the villain. He will alter it. A lot.

Seriously, what'd I say about black dudes wearing capes?! Are you listening?!

 

"There's three minutes on the timer. We've got time Chuck. You wanna get some ice cream?"

6. Do not ever cut the green wire until there is less than 10 seconds on the bomb clock. Anytime before that and the bomb will explode, killing everyone in the building except you. You have to stay alive so that you may feel the guilt and anguish, fall into a drunken stupor, get kicked off the ‘force’, and redeem yourself by catching the evil bastard that got you in the first place. (3)

 

7. If you have a choice between taking the long way around or jumping an impossibly wide chasm with your ‘way too cool and heavy to be jumping’¬†car…choose the jump. Be sure to scream or whoop something unintelligible while you are airborne. Also, fire all your weapons out the window while doing it. This also works when you have to take out the enemies’ plane, boat, helicopter, or evil lair.¬† Just jump your car right into that shit!

Car-1, Chopper-0

 

8. If your father has a dispute with an evil landowner/overlord/mob boss or is the lead cop/soldier hunting down a terrorist, your entire family will be killed for your father’s big ass mouth. You will, of course, be the only survivor and will be taken by said landowner/overlord/mob boss/terrorist, trained in the ways of evil, grow up to be the potential second in command at which time you will exact your long gestating revenge by killing the evil landowner/overlord/mob boss/terrorist. (4)

 

9. The hero needs a catchphrase or stupid one-liner. Yippee Ki Yay motherfucker, Get away from her you bitch, if it bleeds we can kill it, I’m your worst nightmare, there is no spoon, etc. Without a good tagline you are naked and incomplete. (5)

"It bled, so I killed it. Wait, what do you mean it was a puppy?"

 

10. Please try to avoid making out with your significant other, partner, fellow squad member while in the ‘shit’, your parked car staking out the bad guy, during a war, on a boat, or while you are supposed to be on patrol. You will die. Either from a crazed assassin, a crazed terrorist, a sniper’s bullet, a car bomb, or a crazed terrorist assassin with a sniper rifle and a bomb.

 

11. Contrary to popular belief, ugly people do not actually exist. Especially in action movies. The action hero must be a chiseled hunk of exceptional man meat with a large dick and a hair trigger. Otherwise he cannot possibly save the universe and score chicks.

Chicks dig the whip.

 

12. The hero is immune to all explosions including those of the nuclear variety. Grenade? No biggie. C-4? Small stuff. Land mine? Pfft. Thermonuclear detonation? Motherfucker, please!!!  Walking away in slow motion while not looking back at an explosion you caused is also a requirement.

"Come on, I can do this...just be casual....don't look back man...just keep strolling."

 

The most prestigious graduate of the Action Hero School of Unlimited Ammo.

13. Reloading is for pussies. An unlimited clip is an absolute necessity. Otherwise the villain escapes because you had to get more bullets. What kind of hero are you?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whew, this one stings a bit! Lemme walk it off for a minute.

14. Every wound the hero receives is a flesh wound. The hero could be shot 12 twelve times and each one misses a major artery, organ, or bone. However if you are the partner, subordinate, or sidekick…a splinter in your big toe would be fatal.

 

15. If you are the villain, YOU MUST MONOLOGUE. Telling the hero your entire plan for world domination or theft of large amounts of money/bombs/women/weapons can only lead to glorious gun play shenanigans. Also, it helps to tell the hero that you killed his family/partner/dog/pet ferret. (6)

 

16. Inevitably, the awesome 30 foot sentient robot that happens to transform into a 40 ton semi truck will require the help of a douche-bag teenager to stop his evil nemesis. Because the millions of years it took them to destroy their world with their intergalactic bitch fight can be resolved in 2 hours by a stupid kid and his vapid, large breasted girlfriend.

Two of these three are robots in disguise. The other one is a Transformer.

 

17. If at any point in time one of your friends utters, “I have a bad feeling about this.”,…….RUN.

"Bad feeling?! What tipped you off?!"

 

 

(1) Sidekick Syndrome is the leading cause of death among young, impressionable post-teen wannabes.

(2) This is¬†a common phenomenon known as “Red-Shirt” syndrome. You wearing a red shirt? Then you are expendable, jackass. If you aren’t named Kirk, Spock, Chekov, Sulu, Uhura, Bones, Scott, Ripley, Rambo or Bauer then you are fucked royal.

(3) Jack Traven understands this. See Speed for a prime example.

(4) Examples of this include Conan the Barbarian, any Jean Claude Van Damme movie, many Kung-Fu chop-sockys, and most westerns.

(5) Known as The Schwarzenegger Principle.

(6) This is known as the Hans Gruber Syndrome. All villains suffer from this affliction apparently.