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Colony - Season One - Review

For the past few years the USA Network has begun to try hard to branch out beyond it's scripted comedies such as Burn Notice and Psych or it's marathons of long standing crime procedurals like NCIS and Law & Order with more mixed genre shows with the likes of the unsuccessful Dig or Complications or the recently very successful Mr. Robot. Colony again tries to bring the network able to compete with other cable networks' more critically acclaimed series, but it's first season does so with mixed results, depending on how one looks at it.

Colony was advertised as an espionage science fiction thriller with family dynamics. Looking at Colony's first season as a Dystopian family drama with sociopolitical leanings--and with mostly a contemporary setting and lighter science fiction elements, one might feel that Colony had a successful first season, but for others that maybe wanted either deeper characterization, more game-changing plot twists, or plots emphasizing on the mysteries behind it's science fiction premise, Colony almost came up short.

Another promotional positive for viewers was also no doubt the repairing of LOST's Producer/Writer Carlton Cuse and actor Josh Holloway, which I feel is where the biggest success of the series is so far. Josh Holloway is able to channel the better parts of his former LOST character James "Sawyer" Ford (when he is under the alias Jim Lafleur during LOST's fifth season), but his Colony character, William Bowman, also picks up occupational similarities from his previous Intelligence character as well.

Another bonus was suppose to be the casting of Sarah Wayne Collins playing female lead opposite to Josh Holloway in the role of his character's wife, Katie Bowman. Little doubt that "Katie" was also suppose to be wink to LOST character Kate Austen, whom was a unique by being physically active and emotionally expressive, but not always liked character with a criminal background that sometimes was in parallel to sharing qualities with Ford, as they were also pseudo-love interests to each other in earlier seasons.

Unfamiliar with the acting of Prison Break alumni, I found Collins' Katie Bowman a character that was over all depressing, down-weighing, and not very likable. However it is not necessarily Collins' fault. The problem not only lies with Katie's never relenting 'down and out' behavior, but on top of a lack of diversity of emotion or expression, Katie doesn't yet have a backstory to justify her sudden rational to join the resistance at the beginning of the season, where as William Bowman is not only likable and emotionally expressive, he also has a slew of reasons as to why he gets into the situation he does by being forced to join the Proxy Government, but also still in hopes to find his missing son.

But the difference in appearance and attitudes, seems to also stem beyond the sides of the struggling married couple themselves. The resistance characters, outside of Broussard (Tory Kittles), all tend to be undeveloped characters with angry attitudes that are also playing towards objectivism with extreme individualized self interest, as is the case with a resistance leader, Quayle (Paul Guilfoyle). On the Proxy Government side, we get more go with the flow or roll off the back attitudes from characters like Beau (Carl Weathers), Jennifer (Kathleen Rose Perkins), or even the hyper-manic and cartoonish Proxy Governor Alan Snyder (Peter Jacobson), despite those character also being in tight positions. It just seems to be there is more screen time spent with these characters sharing personal things about themselves and/or slowly seeing the inner-workings of the proxy government, which makes them either likable or at least understandable in comparison to the zealous nature of the resistance characters.

As previously stated the science fiction and espionage thriller aspects were not the strong suit or focus when the season started, but as we hit midseason that slowly began to change with learning of the history of Broussard and the identity of "Geronimo" (another LOST reference that is followed through with the made-for-LOST Geronimo Jackson song, Dharma Lady featured in the season finale), as also the resistance group that Katie was involved in (and the viewers followed) turned over with some new members of yet another resistance group providing intell that would lead to the bombing of in-coming train to their Bloc that lead to an abduction of a HOST (Alien)!--and Will no longer able deny his wife's unfortunate decision to become part of the resistance, all came to head in it's final 3 episodes!

Other Bowman family members were also used well to both world build and lead to other mysteries. Bram Bowman (Alex Neustaedter), Will's and Katie's older son, teamed up with other students and his teacher to discover that there was another way out of the LA Bloc and that there was something odd way up in the sky and into space, which viewers learned is where the Factories actually are! Grace Bowman (Isabella Crovetti-Camp) and her similar-aged cousin Hudson (Cooper J. Friedman), spent time with a home-schooled teacher/baby-sitter named Lindsay, whom turned out to have a nefarious religious agenda, exposing the audience to potential upcoming cult. And then also Maddie (Amanda Righetti), Katie's younger sister, found an art job in the ritzy and elitist Green Zone, where she had to politically and sexually maneuver her way through a high-powered couple. At the end of the season, as the flats' of the Bloc's existence was threatened by the Aliens due to the abduction of one of their own, she was successfully able to secure a place for her son and Grace by temporally eliminating the wife, Charlotte,  in an arrest and establishing a good rapport with the husband, who incidentally ended the season as the new chief of staff of the next Proxy Governor!

Ultimately Colony started out a bit slow, had some execution problems, did not have deep character development, and perhaps dragged out some plots to the point of annoyance, but never the less finally delivered what was promised prior the the show's launch. For whatever criticisms one may have with the first season, it's hard to deny that there are several barley introduced and also more established characters sprinkled throughout various unexplored places in it's brave new world,  along with some mythos-related reveals and technological advancements, seeks to really open up the scope of this reality to make way for a potentially great and much improved second season!

The USA Network should also be commended for trying to create more original content like Colony, as film and television are getting more into an over exacerbated fad of remakes and spin offs. I recommend everyone interested in these genres to check out Colony and give it the whole season to prove to oneself, the kind of show one might hope it to be, before thinking too soon that this isn't the show for you!

About the Author - Darthlocke4
Laura Becker (Darthlocke 4) is a long time commentator, TV addict, and aspiring writer participating with other fans on SpoilerTV. She writes reviews and analytic type articles. Some of her other interests include philosophy, cultural anthropology, reading, drawing, and working with animals, as she grew up and continues to work on her family's horse farm.
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