A Love Letter to the Drooling Tower of Stupid That Is Netflix's 'Another Life'
By Wojciech Góralczyk | TV | September 4, 2019 |
By Wojciech Góralczyk | TV | September 4, 2019 |
If you haven’t seen Another Life yet, you haven’t seen Another Life yet. That’s about all it changes in the grand scheme of things. But I’m here to tell you that it’s kind of amazing just how the worst it is. Honestly, it has filled me with an exhilarating, hate-filled joy. There are moments when you feel like you’re about to choke on the dumb, but then the soundtrack slams you with an ill-timed EDM number, and instead you start surfing the maudlin, cackling.
Below is an incomplete list of awesomeness provided by this show. Spoilers, obviously, though I’m not sure that they matter. Nothing does. Not in Another Life.
It’s science fiction. Like, all of it: Alien, Annihilation, Arrival, Space Odyssey, Inception, Gravity, Tremors, you name it. It’s like the writers threw every SF trope they could find into a blender and then submitted a poop drawing instead.
Character-wise, the writers don’t seem to grasp what makes people tick, so instead they have everyone drugged/mind-altered THREE TIMES (over the span of 10 episodes) to make them hit the plot points from the poop drawing.
The ship’s AI doesn’t know what’s going on elsewhere on the ship if its hologram interface is busy jerking off one of the crewmembers.
That hologram also at one point grabs something with its hand and holds it. It’s not what you’re thinking.
That hologram (i.e. the ship) at one point has to be told by the crew that the ship’s sensors just detected something.
People sneak off to boink in an AIRLOCK.
Katee Sackoff, whom I adore, spends the early episodes intently staring into the middle distance. Then her character goes blind for a time, and she does that even more, which makes me think that they edited some of her blind scenes into the first eps, or they were shooting super out of sequence and she got confused.
There’s a Russian guy called Gabriel and an American guy called Sasha. The Russian guy gets an accent, for 2 sentences, when he mentions Saint Petersburg. Then immediately loses it again for the rest of the show.
At one point a character says “You need to take the time you need. Your feelings are your feelings” and you have to swat away Shakespeare’s ghostly boner to keep watching.
Justin Chatwin, who looks like someone put facial hair on a cartoon of an adolescent boy, yells “So you’re saying the aliens gave my kid cancer?!”
Generally a lot of exposition being yelled by distressed people.
The space ship mostly shakes. When the ship shakes, and cables drop from the ceiling, you can’t touch any piece of equipment, or you WILL get electrocuted. Every single time. Also, all of the manual failsafes/overrides are broken by design.
In general, there are about 2-4 crises per episode, all cataclysmic. They’re interspersed with emo angst, sometimes so randomly that the shift gives you whiplash. There’s a scene in which, while everyone’s rushing to prevent the ship from exploding, two characters mope that someone skipped out on their threesome. This is not played for laughs.
It’s a devil’s threesome though.
One of the crises involves the ship splitting into segments. We have to get it back together! But all the engines are disabled! “Not all of them!” proclaims Katee triumphantly. Cut to her face as she’s piloting… something…? Very carefully? And manages to put the ship back together, just in time! Crisis averted. No explanation as to what the %@#$ just happened. No time, there’s a new crisis brewing!
The tone, the plot developments, even the way things are shot is all so weird that on two separate occasions I was convinced I was watching a dream sequence. I was wrong both times.
In general, tone-wise, it’s like you had a block of space opera, and a block of Felicity, and you banged them together really hard until, nope, they still didn’t mesh at all.
The clothes are actually kind of Felicity too, but with space bras. There’s a line in the dialogue that no one wears uniforms anymore, so everyone’s just rocking their best red leather jackets, perpetually electrocuting ship equipment be damned.
There’s a rave. On the spaceship. It’s very long.
The musical cues are insane. Half the time you will not see them coming, and you will applaud, once you clear your beverage from your nostrils.
And that’s just the stuff I could remember off the top of my head. It gets progressively more ridiculous as the show wears on, and whenever you feel they’ve reached peak stupid, the next episode disabuses you of that notion. But you know what? I had a blast yelling at the screen. And they gave Katee Sackoff and Selma Blair a paycheck. So grab some friends, a lot of booze, and smoke this turd. It’ll be fun.
Header Image Source: Netflix