You can argue about what period was the Golden Age of Television — depending upon your age, you might argue that just about any decade since the 1950s should take that honor — but one undeniably great thing about modern TV is that new shows begin at all times of the year. It’s not like the old days, when we were wedded to fall premiere week and the summer was a vast wasteland of reruns.
Tonight Falling Skies begins its second season. The timing is great because Game of Thrones is over for the year and we need something to watch during the 9 p.m. Sunday time slot. Falling Skies isn’t in the same ballpark as Game of Thrones (what is?) but last year it was an entertaining ride.
For those who didn’t catch the show last year, aliens have invaded and a small band of humans is desperately fighting back. They are led by uber-heroic Tom Mason (Noah Wyle), the gruff Captain Weaver, who is wrestling with some serious inner demons, and outlaw John Pope — my favorite character, well played by Colin Cunningham — who isn’t above theft and other criminal acts, is a surprisingly good cook, and also is a deft hand at killing the aliens. Tom Mason has an older son who is helping to fight the alien invaders, a middle son who was “harnessed” by the aliens and is still dealing with that experience, and a young son to whom Tom is trying to give a somewhat normal childhood, which isn’t easy under the circumstances. Tom, who lost his wife in the invasion, also is dealing with a budding romance with Dr. Glass.
Last season ended with Tom deciding to go with the aliens into their ship (implausibly, in my view, yet heroically, because that’s just the way Tom is). We’ll see if he comes out with a harness of his own, and we’ll also be watching for Pope’s latest brainstorm and his inevitable confrontations with Captain Weaver and other authority figures. It’s time to kick some alien butt!