Netflix’s new show, The Expanse, is extraordinary, visually stunning, and has a gritty, realistic look which makes the show quite unique and creative when compared to other sci-fi shows.
There’s a lot going on right off the bat, with colonies across the solar system, a futuristic Earth, a militant Mars, and plenty of water shortage on some smaller worlds. I would say there’s a lot going for the show.
This being said, there are also a few things which the show isn’t so great at doing. Below are some thing it does well and some things where it misses the mark. All points considered, you’ll feel lost in space watching this show.
Now whether that’s a good or bad thing is up to you.
The Worlds Are Incredible
The production quality is the shows number one quality, hands down. The worlds and ships they show glisten with details and have almost a Blade Runner vibe especially on the Asteroid colonies.
The show also hits well on the realities of space and what could go wrong. One example, is the water shortage on the asteroid belt. There’s moments where shipments of ice are delayed and the people on the belt suffer because of it. It goes even farther to point out that if a second shipment is delayed then people will die.
It was refreshing to see so much thought put into the mechanics of world outside of earth, and see the messy reality, and complications which could arise. The visual aspects of the worlds and the realism they present are both excellent.
Seeing all these real intricate worlds allows you to get lost in them, a feeling which was a pleasant surprise.
Wait, Who Are These People?
After watching The Expanse, I noticed the one thing I didn’t quite like: the character development. Probably the weakest aspect of the film. While the production design is quite superb, the characters fall short, especially in the beginning.
I thought about why this was. The characters are interesting enough, they live in incredible worlds, and the plot is good, so what gives. Well, here’s the deal. While the characters may be interesting, it’s hard to know because they rush the character development.
It feels like we are supposed to know who these people are as soon as we see the first shot. It almost seems like the beginning of the show is the middle of a show. Now, there is development of the characters, a little.
But for the most part, all the introductions are rushed and end up leaving you feeling little connection with the people you are watching. I think to myself, “A spaceship explodes and people might die! Oh no! Wait, who are these people?”
If they want the events to hold any weight, they need to let us get to know the characters, and then put them into dangerous life-threatening situations, or we won’t care.
If you feel stranded and not quite sure how to feel then don’t worry, it’s an effect of rushed character intros.
Feeling Lost Could Be Either Good or Bad
Both the best qualities of the show and the worst qualities of the show will make you feel lost. But which feeling sticks with you? Does the production design and visuals carry you through the hard-to-know characters, or do you feel not knowing the characters takes you out of the show?
Either way, it’s an inspiration to anyone who wants to make a science-fiction show.