Another Life (series 2)

[3 stars]

What you first need to know about this series is that it does manage to pull itself together (barely) by the end. There are issues with that ending and getting there, but I’ll come back to that.

The first season of this show was honestly somewhat forgettable and not particularly well written. However, there was enough in there to bring me back for another round. Well, that and getting more of Katee Sackhoff and Samuel Anderson, who were two of the rare stand-outs in the first round. And while I was dubious through most of this second season, they, again, helped make it worthwhile. Not that there aren’t other interesting characters, but those felt more forced and purposely provocative, though they are handled in stride. JayR Tinaco and A.J. Rivera are the main focus of this comment, but are not the only manipulation in the tale.

Basically, the writing is still shaky…often. But to rescue the show from its beginnings, Aaron Martin and crew performed a hard reset on its concept, characters, and story. Over the first several episodes, it brutally and coldly goes about recreating itself in order to take us in new directions, even while hanging on to some of the original stories and expanding on them. For that, I give them a lot of credit.

But even halfway through the season the story was no clearer about what was motivating the aliens and general actions. And the surrounding stories were a hodgepodge of stuff, reflecting previous shows from Lost in Space to Galactica to god knows what else, V I suppose. It does seem a story in search of a purpose for much of its season. It isn’t that you can’t see some bigger arcs and plots, but the show feels like it can’t decide if it wants to be episodic or epic. The result is a very weird rhythm and not a lot of answers provided as it goes along.

As I mentioned, though, it eventually does try to answer the questions raised starting with the first episode. Getting there is rushed because they spent so much time lining up all the pieces and because of all the side-plot’s and shimmed social commentary. Ideas-wise, the show had a lot of fun exploring, but as entertainment it’s more than a little fractured and diffuse. If you were at all intrigued by the first series, you can get some sense of closure with this second go-round…eventually. And that ending feels complete even as it does allow for a continuation if they want. But it felt very much like a series finale…and that is just as well.

Another Life Poster

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