Parents' Guide to

Defying Gravity

By Will Wade, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Slow-paced space drama examines fate, human emotions.

TV ABC Drama 2009
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DEFYING GRAVITY is one part sci-fi and about three parts primetime drama. The space travel elements seem more like today's missions, which means that everything moves verrry slowly. (But oddly, other elements of the show are totally unrealistic, like magnetic clothes to simulate gravity. Star Wars this is not.) The bigger focus is on human interactions in the ship's confined environment, especially on Maddux Donner (Ron Livingston), who joined the crew as a last-minute replacement. Donner has a history with both Nadia (Florentine Lahme), the sexually forward pilot, and Zoe (Laura Harris), a scientist who has unresolved feelings about a secret pregnancy.

The mission is made more complicated by the presence of an unknown force that seems to be pulling some important strings. The support staff on Earth is aware of this presence, but the crew isn't; all they know is that inexplicable problems keep popping up. That's a flaw, because it makes for seemingly random plot complications: A spacesuit safety check becomes a crisis, for example, when the airlock hatch blows mysteriously. If the writers feel the need to manufacture drama, perhaps they should just ditch the too-realistic space travel and introduce a few aliens and blasters.

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