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3 Ratings: 3.3
A television show

Some critics labeled the weekly, hour-long series Surface as NBC's spin on the ABC hit Lost, though in fact it more closely resembled the theatrical feature The Abyss. The basic plotline involved a curious new form of sea life that had appeared variously … see full wiki

1 review about Surface

So promising, but killed after the first season

  • Dec 20, 2009
  • by
We're running through Roku and Amazon's catalog like a demonic ferret on speed, simply because there's nothing on TV - which I shell out $60 a month for - especially since everything is paused for next year. Surface was recommended based upon our excessive (obsessive) watching of Heroes, and in some respects I can't believe I missed it on TV when it happened.

Like all these shows, it gets you addicted through a series of really improbable but extremely delicious situations. It's like writers trapped in a room with too much coffee and words written on a whiteboard: 'aliens', 'genetic engineering', 'evil corporation' and 'North Carolina'. They've covered the demographics - teenagers everywhere (if this were Fox, the girls would be cheerleaders and the guys would be practicing football), dumb parents (bizarrely rich but really f'ing stupid), and for the nerds we have scientists 'doing research' (but not 'my father's research' a la heroes).

In its attempt at originality, I think it sowed the seeds of its own undoing, principally:
  • There needed to be a romantic subplot between the two main characters. What a wasted opportunity to juice up the drama.
  • It should have be shot in LA. NC is too poky and different for TV,  while people like the glitz LA provides.
  • The "visions of my brother" motivation should have been killed earlier. It made the guy crazy and the audience doesn't like crazy.
  • The "trapped in a tin can" home-made deep-ocean-explorer-thing-that-went-wrong lasted way too long (3 episodes - count 'em!).
Surface changed direction several times in 15 episodes in a way that's reminiscent of a cheap airport novel. It went through bizarre sea creatures, 101 genetics, conspiracies and conveniently forgot underwritten 2-dimensional characters like the heroes' kids (except when they needed motivation - "I love you so much!"). It neatly "reimagined" elements from Gremlins, The Abyss, X-Files, The Fly, Deep Impact - you name it - and became kind of a melting pot for 'weird'. The writers must have really liked Gremlins.

Still, we enjoyed it. When 98% of TV becomes talent contests and reality nonsense, it's good to have some good old-fashioned drama. I'm not sure why NBC killed Surface but I think 'V' is trying to pick up where it left off and V isn't nearly as good. Oh well, back to "America's Idol Has Talent Dancing With The Stars' Kitchen".

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