It's been a year since I marathoned the 2018 Lost in Space
, which I loved. I just checked to see whether it was canceled or got a second season, and to my delight, the later is the case, though we won't get it until July, it seems. Which is as good a reason to rave some m ore about the new Lost in Space
as any, and about why you should watch it, too, especially if you are on the look out for a new canon featuring not one or two, but an entire ensemble female main characters, estranged families findng each other again, cross species friendships, people being really competent at what they do, and last but certainly not least, an m/f long term relationship between partners that's not about getting together but how to live together. So, what's the premise of the first season?
: Robinson family plus supporting cast crashlands on dangerous planet, has to fix each other along with circumstances in order to survive. There are flashbacks and mysteries to be solved as well. Basically: Lost
. In Space.Do I need to know the original Lost in Space tv show, or the 1990s movie?
No, you don't. When you say the main cast is mostly female, you mean...?
Maureen Robinson, genius physicist and engineer (my favourite!), Judy Robinson, her oldest daughter, a doctor, Penny, her second kid and the quippy middle child, and Dr. Smith (not her real name), con woman extraordinaire, main antagonist and very occasional ally. The male rmain characters are John Robinson (the only non-genius of the family, Maureen's estranged husband, a pilot) and their son Will (youngest kid). Of not defined gender, though Will calls them a he: the (alien) Robot. Numbers don't mean the women actually get the meaty narrative stuff. Pop culture osmosis told me the original show was all about Will, the Robot and (male) Dr. Smith. Isn't this the case here?
No. Will and the Robot are an important part of the show, but Dr. Smith's main relationship with a Robinson turns out to be with Maureen. Who is the head of the family, and the one who pushes storylines forward - going into space was her idea, she figures out what's wrong with the planet (Maureen doing science is one of my favourite things about the show, and the icon displays one of the more visually spectacular examples, when she uses a balloon to go up in the air and check her theory about said planet), she figures out what really happened in the seemingly natural catastrophe that is making Earth increasingly inhabitable, and so forth.Judy and Penny are getting as much screen time and development as Will, get to save the day more often, and together they present different stages of growing up - Judy is a young adult who gets the "idealism clashes with reality" type of tales, Penny is a teenager and thus sometimes relates to Judy and sometimes to Will as a peer, and he rin-between-ness also means she's the one most likely to draw others out, and Will is a child with all the wonder, generosity but also unintentional self centeredness that can entail. Let me guess. All these female characters are vey attractive and presented in various stages of undress a lot.
Yes to the former - it's still US tv -, no to the later. They all wear practical clothing appropriate to their situation (which is either crashed on a very dangerous planet or in space, meaning space suits and survival gear, respectively). This includes our villainess, who also at no point tries to seduce anyone by using her sexual wiles. (Her method of survival and advancement is more getting into people's heads and mess with same. ) I'm burned out by female characters first built up and then raped, or at least sexually menaced, or even getting killed. Does any of this happen here?
In a word: No. Again, this goes for all
the female characters, heroines, villainess, minor supporting cast. So far, so good, but I'm also primarily a shipper, not a gen person like you. What's the romantic potential?
In terms of "likely to be on screen or already on screen canon", Judy has some UST with smuggler-with-a-heart-of-gold Don West, and Penny has a brief teenage romance with a fellow survivor. But the main m/f ship of the show is John/Maureen, who start out estranged for reasons gradually revealed but re-connect emotionally in the course of the show. It's basically an "exes still carrying a torch get back together again" trope done right. Note: this does not happen in a Parent Trap
way. The kids, who do their own reconnecting with John, leave their parents' relationship well enough alone.Also: John is played by Toby "Captain Flint" Stephens which was my original reason for tuning into the show last year.
In terms of "not likely to be screen canon but definitely great for fanfiction": Maureen and Dr. Smith have some serious foe yay going in the last few episodes of the season after Dr. Smith has been unmasked. Tropes canonically used are " enemies forced to work together" , "grudging respect", "outsmarting each other at different points" as well as "imprisoning each other and escaping another at different points". I can't help but notice that the canon ships or likely ships are all het,while the subtext one is slash.
True. But Penny's first teenage fling (where btw she took the initiative, much like her Mom) is over, so who knows, she might acquire a girlfriendi in s2. Also: arguably the true heartrendering romance of the first season was the (asexual, don't worry) one between a boy and his robot (think E.T.
with Elliot and E.T. for the type of story this was), so who knows what Will is going to be, orientation wise, once he grows up. Okay. Is this a sci fi show where everyone in the future is a white American?
No. The Robinsons and Dr. Smith are, with the exception of Judy who is Maureen's kid from an earlier relationship (pleasingly, there is no difference John makes between his biological children and her) and placed by a black actress. But virtually the entire rest of the colonists who crashlandwith the Robinsons aren't. The ones we get to know best are a Japanese family (Maureen's scientific bff is the dad) and an Indian-or-Pakistani/British family (i.e. accent British, ethnicity of Southasian origin) (the leader of the community, Victor, and his son, Penny's temporary romance, belong to it), plus there's Angela, the survivor most traumatized by the original catastrophe at the start of the pilot, who is black and US American. Now we've established there are no fridged (and/or raped) women: any other potential triggers I should know about?
Well, the first season puts our heroes through just about any surviving-in-dangerous-natural-
situations suspense you can think of. The first three episodes, for example, milk the "crashed on a glacier with the ice engulfing them" scenario for what it's worth,and once they've left that behind, the joys of tremors, swamps and alien equivalents to dinosaurs await. I should add that the show doesn't forget adding moments of beauty and wonder among all the threatening environment, but what I'm trying to get at: if you, for example, are claustrophobic, what happens to Judy in the first two eps is probably going to resonate. Otoh, since someone asked in a comment to my original post on this show - there are no dead pets, don't worry. This includes the chicken. You may love the estranged/dysfunctional familiies getting back together again trope, but I, for one, am fed up with jerks being forgiven just because they're related. Especially when the show doesn't sell me on these people not being better off far away from each other. What do you have to say to that?
That I empathize. There have been several instances in recent tv years where the balance between dysfunction and closeness/fondness for me hasn't worked, where I either didn't believe the people in question had ever been close in the first place, or that they should be, given how they were characterized. But with the Robinsons, I love that even at the start, at their most estranged, there's still mutual respect (very important to me when I want to root for reconciliation - do the characters respect or belittle each other?). And John, whose fault the original estrangement mostly is, really is shown working for winning Maureen and the kids back. He doesn't take it for granted he has a claim there. And he accepts Maureen's lead throughout the show. That this is a show whose main relationships are between family members who does entirely without that overused trope, the Mean Dad (tm), is another part of the attracton for me. (Not just in terms of John Robinson. Mr. Wattanabe, the Japanese scientist friends with Maureen, has two adult daughters he's getting along very well with. And community leader Victor might be somewhat harsh with our heroes at times - he and Judy have an pragmatism vs idealism/ good of many vs individual life fight at one point, for example - , but not with his son (Penny's fling). There isn't a Mean Dad (tm) around in s1. Okay, I'll give it a shot. Where do I find this show?
On Netflix, though given it's now a year old, there should be dvds as well.