Sunday, July 26, 2015

Across the Storm Divide

Defiance may be my favorite scifi show ever. When I started following Julie Benz on instagram last summer, a couple days before the season 2 finale aired, I was reminded of the show a fellow ST: Enterprise shipper* heartily suggested to me. (The lesbian relationship between a white alien and a petite brothel owner was slightly intriguing at the time and was what I was looking forward to in the show. Ultimately I didn’t like Kenya anymore than I liked Jenny, but to be fair I didn’t like much of The L Word.) Luckily it wasn’t the anticipation of girl-on-girl that hooked me on the show. It was Nolan and Irisa’s relationship. I recall that this friend did mention something about that, but it seemed insignificant at the time.

I don’t think you should ever understate the chemistry between Grant Bowler and Stephanie Leonidas when recommending this show to your friends. Their bond, fraught with complications, differences, and arguments is the highlight of the show, because the love between them feels real. “The Devil in the Dark” was an early emotional high-point. I just finished the second season, dear god, and after all that they’ve been through, you can still feel the affection Nolan has for Irisa even after all she’s done and she lies weeping, nearly broken, in his arms. His promise to her is something that only someone could give if they’ve been near where she’s gone and love her as much as he does.

When reading reviews of the show I hear mentions of the words ‘cheesy’ a lot and have trouble connecting them to anything on the show. Are some of Meh Yewll’s lines a little too acerbic, and are some of the criminal subplots a little too silly? Yes to both. But maybe Tony Curran and Jamie Murray and, frankly, everyone else, are so well-cast, the direction is so good that they get us through any rough patches.

Finally, the music. Bear McCreary has written a blog post on it, so anything I say will be dim in comparison. But the main theme makes my heart soar when I hear it, and the selected covers at the end of each episode were spot on and interesting every single time. Particularly noteworthy are Raya Yarborough's Time After Time and Ooh Child.  When season two opened with the futuristic-country number Across the Storm Divide I was blown away.

I’d like to say I savoured every single episode, and I did, until we just got too close to the end for me to stand it and I consumed them all, like the devouring mother.

I plan on playing the game someday and am watching the third season (yay!), so I may review and talk about Defiance in detail again soon. In the meantime I’d love to hear from you if you’ve stumbled across this post.

*Trip/Reed if you must know.

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