My unsolicited opinion on La Brea
Fair warning, this post may or may not have spoilers. I honestly don't care at this point. The show is only about two episodes in and they pretty much answered all of the big secrets in that hour and a half already.
Plus, I am not sure I honestly expect this show to last more than a year.
I promise you, I did have high hopes for this show, but after watching the first two episodes, I have a feeling it will take the same route as Earth 2, Revolution, Debris, and any number of other shows we have seen over the years with a fantastic plot, but not much else to support it.
I was going to title this post My uncensored opinion on La Brea, but I didn't want to give the false impression that I was going to be writing up an 'R' rated post. The truth is, I don't know who might be reading this some day, so I need to keep it clean lest my family or co-workers stumble across it.
The premise is pretty simple and they don't waste much time getting right to the point. A sinkhole opens up in the middle of LA California. A mom and her two kids are stuck in traffic and the mom and son fall into the hole while the daughter escapes only to be recovered by the father who is "separated" from the wife for some unknown reason.
You get that so far... Mom and son in hole, dad and daughter not.
I was on the fence about the mom in this show. When I saw that the character was being played by Natalie Zea, I was kind of excited because she was pretty spectacular on Justified as Raylen Givens ex-wife.
Anyway, she has been pretty decent so far. I can't really complain too much about her character. I was a bit concerned that we would have to deal with the whole angsty teen "I hate my parents" dynamic that you see in many dramas these days. At least so far that hasn't been the case. It really does seem Hollywood has overly stereotyped that whiny rebellious teen thing lately and shoved it down our throats at pretty much every opportunity.
In case you forgot... Mom and son in hole, dad and daughter not...
As find the dad reuniting with the daughter, we start to learn a bit more about the reason the mom and dad are separated. It ends up not being any of the usual suspects and actually ties in to the mystery of the sink hole.
I forgot to mention the fact that this sink hole happened at the La Brea Tar Pits, hence the name of the show. You might remember the famous tar pits from the Tommy Lee Jones movie Volcano. Clearly they chose to go a totally different direction in this case (literally).
Alright, so this is where I really get into the "spoilers".
You have been warned.
After the first two episodes, we fairly quickly learn that the characters who have fallen into the sink hole are actually about 12,000 years in the past. As you can imagine, due to that fact, all kinds of wackiness ensues. Most notably in the form of wild animals chasing the survivors.
In fact, in the first two episodes we have already seen them attacked/chased by wolves, sabretooth tigers, and I just saw in the preview for episode 3 a giant bear. If the whole show is going to revolve around them getting chased by wild animals I think I might rather flip the tv to "Naked and Afraid" or Bear Grylls.
As scary as that prospect is, my real disappointment lies in the fact that we are only two episodes in and I feel that the big mystery has already been revealed.
I really feel like they should have taken a page out of the "LOST" book and dragged it on just a bit longer. I mean honestly, even after the series finale, do we still really know what the heck was going on with LOST?
At lest so far, I think that is what La Brea needed. No doubt there will be tons of crazy reveals through the rest of the season, but I am not sure any of them will have the impact that the actual when and where has.
If you hadn't noticed, I purposely stopped talking about the dad to save at least a little bit of mystery for you should you choose to start watching this show.
In conclusion I am not sure what to make of La Brea. With the big mystery/scifi twist out of the way, I can't help but think they intend to make it more of a character show. I.E. how do random people who have been thrown together get along and work together to survive. If that is the case, then like I said, "Naked and Afraid" might be a bit more compelling.
Heck, even if it totally sucks, I will probably keep watching. I started it, I might as well finish it, and who knows, maybe they will throw some surprises our way. The biggest one being if this thing actually makes it to a second season...