By Dave B.
Another Life (Netflix) takes place at some indeterminate point in a future that has a mix between extremely advanced and surprisingly contemporary technology. When a mysterious alien artifact lands on Earth and begins emitting a signal towards a distant star, the United States government sends a crewed mission to the signal’s destination in the hope of discovering if the aliens have benign or nefarious motives. During the journey, the ship, captained by Niko Breckinridge (Katee Sackoff) encounters nearly every obstacle imaginable. But the fate of the human race rests in their hands and they won’t be deterred.
Frankly, Another Life isn’t a good show. While the premise is extremely strong, the show’s writing is atrocious. The best comparison that I can make is that Another Life reminds me of bad CW show (as opposed to a great one like Supernatural), but with a huge budget. The writers give some ridiculous reasons for the crew of the ship all being in their early 20s and not having to wear uniforms despite being in the military. The crew is also full of morons who are incapable of following even basic safety procedures. The “science” in the show is so absurd as to be insulting to human intelligence. And the dialogue is so terrible that the it’s difficult to tell if the cast (outside of Sackoff, Samuel Anderson, and Elizabeth Faith Ludlow, who are all great) has any talent whatsoever. All that said…
Another Life also happens to be one of the most addictive shows that I’ve ever seen. It’s the perfect example of the potential power of Netflix’s application of data on viewer preferences. Every episode starts fast and hard and ends on a huge cliffhanger. I accidentally binge-watched the entire show in a single sitting (and went to work on two hours of sleep) because I’d tell myself that I would just watch the next episode until the previous episode’s cliffhanger is resolved and then go to sleep. The next thing I knew, I’d gone through all of the 10, 45-minute episodes and it was 5am.
My point is that despite being a bad show, Another Life does deliver what many viewers want: beautiful people in stupid, but fairly interesting danger, lots of action, and some decent visual effects. I’m not quite ashamed of myself for recommending Another Life (which I am doing) because it’s pretty entertaining. But it’s also pretty bad. So if you’re a hardcore fan of sci-fi, have an addictive personality, and are more interested in entertainment than quality, then this is the show for you. Otherwise, best to stay away.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.