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Anyone Watch the New “Lost in Space?”

I try not to binge watch these days. The problem is, you end up watching a whole season in a weekend, and by the time the next season comes around, you forget everything and have to watch the whole thing over again. I prefer spacing things out these days. One thing kids today probably don’t appreciate is that my generation was too small for the entertainment industry to really cater to. Gen X got recycled Baby Boomer culture. We watched the same shit our parents watched when they were kids. So most Xers are pretty well acquainted with shows from the 1960s like “Lost in Space,” “Gilligan’s Island,” “Bewitched,” or “Hogan’s Heros.” My mom watched “Star Trek” TOS as a teenager, and what did I end up watching with her in syndication? We were fans. I remember mom crying at the end of Star Trek II the Wrath of Kahn (Best. Star Trek. Ever.) when Spock died.

I’ve been watching the “Lost in Space” remake. The original series is one of those shows I used to watch on daytime TV if I was home sick from school. It was on Netflix or maybe Amazon for a while, and I rewatched it. I was surprised by how well the early episodes held up. The show went downhill in later seasons, but the early seasons are still pretty good. The remake borders on being really good, but it never quite reaches it. In terms of excellence in remaking old sci-fi shows… the Battlestar Galactica remake before it went off the rails… that was excellent. This could have been that good, because they are using talented actors, writers, and clearly have decent budget.

I agree with the Federalist that the new LiS anti-gun plot line is “forced and ludicrous.” Seriously, your on-board 3D printers can make firearms, and you’re having people fashion spears to battle alien predators? Are you fucking kidding me? In the original series, Will Robinson used guns like, well, of course he would use guns. I find myself through the entire series saying to the TV: “You know what would be pretty useful right about now? Some fucking guns.”

I don’t have any issues making Dr. Smith a woman. There’s no reason that character has to be male. But the original Smith sometimes had redeeming qualities. I find myself wondering why they don’t just suck the current Smith out an airlock and be done with it. She’s cartoonishly deceitful. She’s like Hillary Clinton without all the Chardonnay. The Smith remake could have been pretty excellent if they wrote her better. They almost wrote a compelling character.

Men in the show have been dumbed down. This is something the Battlestar Galactica remake did not do. It introduced strong women characters, but without diminishing the male characters. In the original LiS, John Robinson was a capable person. In the remake, he’s not really. He’s kind of a brute. Everything that John Robinson was in the original series has been transferred to Maureen Robinson. She’s the brains. She’s also a bitch. I find the reboot Maureen to be very unlikable. And it’s not like the original Maureen Robinson was June Cleaver, so why did they feel the need to do this, other than virtue signaling?

The new Robinson dynamic detracts from the story. They even dumbed down Will a bit with the unnecessary subplot that he didn’t actually qualify for the mission, and mommy had to pull strings. I actually like the Don West remake. There’s a bit of a swindler element to him that I don’t remember in the original character, but as a whole his character works.

Despite the problems I’ve outlined, the show is very watchable. Some of the other SciFi series on Netflix I just can’t get into. Good acting and writing makes up for a lot, even if there are aspects of the characters that are eye rolling.

Has anyone else been watching it? What do you think?

23 Responses to “Anyone Watch the New “Lost in Space?””

  1. Todd G says:

    Generally agree, at least a few episodes into it. Squishy male characters up and down the cast, with the possible exception of Don West. Still, it is watchable, and the primarily on-location outdoor sets are a great change from the usual cramped ship scenes. The biggest problem is Dr. Smith. Parker Posey makes a great psycho-evil-btch, but the character’s over-the-top nastiness is too distracting. I fully expect her to grow a handlebar mustache and begin twirling it devilishly.

  2. Brad says:

    I only watched the pilot. Hated hated hated it. Doesn’t surprise me that later episodes are stupidly anti-gun. The only things that seemed decent about the show were the special effects and the acting.

    This detailed review by a friend of mine pretty much sums up my feelings…

    http://www.robertmitchellevans.com/2018/04/18/pilot-review-lost-in-space/

    More to my tastes is the SyFy show, The Expanse. Space Opera/Noir story line set within the Solar System, but with a nice Hard SF edge. They are just starting their 3rd season? I’ve only watched the 1st season, but thumbs up so far.

    • Sebastian says:

      I agree with your friends the kids are better done. I don’t mind bending science so much as long as it’s believable. They definitely could have done better with the things mentioned. They could have even made for greater suspense. But I think most of that isn’t as grating as the new Maureen and John.

  3. kahr40 says:

    I’m generally fine with reboots as long as they attempt to maintain the spirit of the original material. A female Dr. Smith bothers me not at all. Ignoring the original except for a loose adherence to characters with no adherence to the original premise plus modern virtue signaling just pisses me off and there is other stuff to watch that doesn’t screw with my childhood memories. I can’t say I won’t watch it but…

  4. Brad says:

    I agree with those who say this is the Golden Age of Television. Overall quality is higher, so the best shoes are just fantastic. Who doesn’t love Game Of Thrones or Breaking Bad?

    One show that I believe is one of the best ever, right up there with Breaking Bad, but was never highly popular, is the period-piece spy drama, The Americans.

    It is even more enjoyable for anyone who lived through the Cold War, or who is knowledgeable about the era. Since the writers weave real life historical events into the story line.

  5. CarlosT says:

    I watched five episodes, half the season, but I started to hate the characters more and more. And yes, the anti-gun plot, which apparently only gets worse, from what you’re saying, is massively idiotic. What really killed it for me was the interaction between the the characters, especially Dr. Smith and everyone else. She gives off extremely sketchy vibes in every single interaction, which should be setting people on edge. She’s a bad liar, who’s made self-contradictory statements to people repeatedly, which they just don’t seem to notice. It makes the characters look like idiots.

    Then there’s the constant passive aggression. Maureen and the kids are always treating John like he’s an oxygen thief, and somehow about to run off at any minute, even though they’re in space together, with nowhere to go. He’s apparently a Marine officer, quite a useful guy to have around in an emergency situation on a dangerous, unknown planet.

    It got to the point where I was rooting for whatever beast/disaster of the day to kill all these morons, and that’s when I knew to throw in the towel.

  6. Erl says:

    I enjoyed it to a degree, but couldn’t help telling myself that I’d have taken a hammer to the control computer before allowing it to not let me make a weapon to defend my family.

    And the wife found it annoying how Maureen was basing all of her martial strife on John’s military deployments and being gone; yet, it is pretty well implied that she was the type of scientist who would be doing long hours away from home working. So she felt it was a bit hypocritical.

  7. Jeff the Baptist says:

    “And it’s not like the original Maureen Robinson was June Cleaver”

    Of course not, June Lockhart was the mom from Lassie not the mom from Leave it to Beaver.

  8. Jonathan says:

    I didn’t even finish the first episode – yes, the scenes were visually stunning, but the interaction was so forced, stilted, and stupid, along with the over the top music trying to build suspense that just wasn’t there. I’ve got better things to waste my time on!

  9. Patrick says:

    OK, I was stuck home alone and was going to do LiS or some other Sci-Fi series. Glad I chose the other. So thanks for that.

    If we’re talking golden-TV, I like “The Expanse”. I went through the audio books on a few really long drives and the main character starts pretty naive/whiny/anarcho-peacenik but over the series of books ends up more cynical and willing to do Tough Things(tm). It didn’t come completely across in the series, but Jim Holden had some serious issues with other characters’ willingness to just kill people without moral qualm. It doesn’t take long before Jim gets to the ‘some people just need to be shot’ stage of life, himself.

    Also has the best character I’ve had in a book or show in a while: Mrs. Chrisjen Avasarala; the UN Deputy Undersecretary who talks like a sailor and thinks like Sun Tzu. The series keeps her true to the book. Just wish there was more of her.

  10. SPQR says:

    It’s fundamentally bad due to moronic writing.

  11. Ian Argent says:

    We’re 5 or 6 episodes into Altered Carbon, and have been enjoying it; though it is fundamentally different from LiS. And you’re not expected to like any of the characters, though you are expected to respect a few of them – and I kinda like the Raven. (Also, gratuitous nudity and sex).

    I read an article the other day about when and why the BSGF reboot went off the rails, and it matched up with when I drifted off of watching it.

  12. “I know NOTHING, NOTHING.” I thought the original series was stupid. There was one episode where Dr. Smith plants seeds in native soil, not the Earth soil beds that they brought with them. Next morning there are enormous (many feet long beans). They open one and there are hydras inside. Aggressive hydras.

  13. TS says:

    Is it still taking place in 1997?

  14. Zermoid says:

    Yeah, come on, will has a robot that shoots bolts that blow things up, but the are worried about a pistol?
    I’d be printing a minigun and crates of ammo belts if it we’re me….

  15. Will says:

    I read an interview of the original Dr Smith actor, some years ago. Apparently, he was the reason that the show got silly and weird. He was doing a lot of ad-libbing, due to bad writing, and the viewers liked it. He ended up becoming the focus of the show. The other cast members weren’t happy about it, of course.

  16. Johannes Paulsen says:

    Just based on what you wrote here, why waste your time on this show? It’s already insulting your intelligence.

    Plenty of other forms of entertainment that don’t do that.

    Plenty of other ways to spend your time that will increase your overall knowledge and skills, too.

    Life’s short.

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