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Marina Antunes [Cathode Ray Mission 02.06.14] apocalyptic scifi drama



For months "X-Files" fans have been buzzing about Chris Carter's return and though Amazon hasn't had the best of luck so far with their original programming (anyone else remember the terrible "Zombieland" pilot?), the combination of Carter and the studio could prove to be a big step in the right direction.

"The After" begins at the moment of the apocalypse. By apparent circumstance, a group of eight strangers are thrown together when the power goes out in a building and thinking they're the only ones affected, they try to break out of an underground parkade. Two make it out only to discover that there's far more wrong with the world than just a simple power outage.


For the most part, the pilot episode of "The After" is exactly what you'd expect from any urban apocalypse drama. There's mass chaos, the police have lost control of the situation, there are people everywhere trying to get out of the city and no one really knows what's going on. It's familiar and though nicely shot, a bit dull in places. The first episode doesn't cast the net too wide with details on the various characters but the two that are emerging as the leads look promising. There's Gigi, (Louise Monot) as a French ex-pat who was in LA for an audition at the time of 'the event' and D. Love (Aldis Hodge), a prison escapee who claims to have been wrongly convicted. The rest of the group could emerge as interesting characters on their own, there's a bit of a "Lost" vibe suggesting that "The After" will focus on all of the characters as the show progresses and that each will play an important role and with a cast that includes Louise Monot, Arielle Kebbel and Sharon Lawrence (we'll overlook Jamie Kennedy for now though his character could be interesting), it has potential to go in some interesting directions.

As to why these particular individuals are thrown together... Carter mixes in suggestions that the supernatural is at play and though some of it feels squeezed into the plot, the closing scene feels much more like what we've come to expect from Carter, it's reminiscent of a really great opneing for an "X-Files" episode.

I must admit I'm not wowed by the pilot for "The After." I was expecting dark and apocalyptic and well, the kind of weird scifi goodness that Carter has delivered in the past and what we get instead is a first episode that borrows from a number of other shows (most notably the opening of "FlashForward"). And yet, there are some things of interest here: good performances, a large scope (though it's not outwardly stated there are hints that things have gone bad everywhere) and Carter works in a couple of angles (some more subtly than others) that suggest the show is headed in some dark and interesting directions. Now we just have to wait and see how the rest of it progresses.

The pilot episode of "The After" is currently streaming on Amazon and is also available through Amazon's Instant Streaming Video App on various devices.

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donc48 (6 years ago) Reply

First I would like to say I haven't seen the pilot. I'll see it this weekend. If anybody who remembers the start of the X Files it was a slow burn and rumors FOX was thinking on axing the show. I would give this a little time. This is the first I've heard of the show. I heard Amazon was doing something in the PA sphere when that horrible Zombieland pilot came out. I look forward to looking at it.

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Koolz (6 years ago) Reply

and they never gave Flash Forward a second season.

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chuc k (6 years ago) Reply

It's not perfect, but it's way better than that Zombieland fiasco.
This is the future of episodic entertainment. We don't want to be tied to a network schedule, decide what to dump from Tivo to make room for something new or go to some back alley of the net to download a pirate version- we simply want to watch a show when we want to watch it. Yay for the future!
That said, I hope (spoilers) they focus on the PA aspect of the show and not some spiritual Rapture story. The demon thing was cool and very reminiscent of an X Files opening. When it did that spider walk thing it creeped me right out. I just hope the spiritual questioning they set up in the characters has a good pay off and not the usual good vs. evil cop out.
Time will tell.

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x-man (6 years ago) Reply

So.. how do you review a show, mention some of the actors and don't include the most recognizable one? Did 'Heroes' leave such a bad taste that you could ignore Adrian Pasdar being in the pilot?

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Marina (6 years ago) Reply

'Cause I never watched Heroes.

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donc48 (6 years ago) Reply

I saw After and liked it. (Spoilers) There are some plot holes, and lead actress bugged me. Yeah she's easy on the eyes, but I can live with her. I just wonder why they cast a French woman in the lead. There is a black cast member I like a lot he's full of surprises, and he written with a pragmatic streak I like. He's no T Dog of the Walking Dead. There is a Irish cast member written to be an A hole, and a Hooker who's pretty interesting. There are three other cast members I don't think they're red shirts but we'll see. Both the Hooker and the Irish guy have something in common. I like the supernatural aspect of the show, the ending was killer. I agree with Chuc K it beats the hell out of Zombieland. I hope it gets made.

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Hussman (6 years ago) Reply

I like dit as well. The writing got a little lazy at the end, way too many dropped f-bombs. I get it, it's cool that you can curse in that manner with this type of entertainment - but use it sparingly so it has an impact. I'm with Chuck too, I hope they focus a good amount on what happened, and what is going on elsewhere. Looking forward to more.

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Bob (6 years ago) Reply

"I have a condition!" lady was a bit annoying. How are they going to keep her around if she can't even see.

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donc48 (6 years ago) Reply

I think she's a red shirt. just my opion.

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chuc k (6 years ago) Reply

Maybe, but I'm hoping she has a more complex story arc ahead of her. At first she presents as a self centered whiner, complaining about needing something to eat, but then we see her passed out from a legitimate medical condition. Then we begin to think of her as kind of bossy, with her passive aggressive comments about the others harsh language, but then she invites everyone back to her home and offers them safety. When she calls the maid on the gate intercom she comes off as a little entitled, but when the maid shows up we see real concern for the maid's safety.
It could just be me reading too much into it and really wanting a PA TV show with some depth, but I think her character is going to evolve into a leader or symbolic elder for our group of survivors (if the show follows the ensemble formula it seems to hint at). I see an underlying strength there.
The more I think about it, the more I want this show to succeed. Carter has provided some solid entertainment before, and X Files had a few really iconic stand alone episodes, so fingers crossed.

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synocrat (6 years ago) Reply

So, a gay clown, a tough latina policewoman, a french bombshell, a drunk irishman, and a rich old white lady walk into an elevator.....stop me if you've heard this one before. This looks like its going to be a piece of garbage, amazon is never going to be able to compete with netflix original content with this kinda crap. Also, people want to binge watch things now, amazon should get a clue and put up the whole series like netflix does.

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donc48 (6 years ago) Reply

I think they don't want to spend a crap load of money on a series nobody is going to watch. How much money would Amazon had wasted if they came out with six episodes of that Zombieland disaster. I think Amazons approach is smart put a pilot up there and let people vote.

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di187 (6 years ago) Reply

when can we expect ep 2

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Marina (6 years ago) Reply

Hopefully we'll know more soon! Amazon has removed all of the pilots and speculation is that THE AFTER is on the list for series order. Fingers crossed!

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Marina (5 years ago) Reply

What is with al the swearing in this?
I won't be back, give me some adult dialog.
Post apocalypse or not, doesn't anyone with class survive.


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