Netflix's LOST IN SPACE Is Lost in Tropes

This year Netflix released a reboot of the classic 1965 sci-fi series, Lost In Space so I thought I'd check it out. The new series is written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless (Dracula Untold, The Last Witch Hunter, Gods of Egypt). Zack Estrin (Prison Break, Point Pleasant, Tru Calling, Miracles and Charmed) is the showrunner.

The cast includes Molly Parker, Toby Stephens, Maxwell Jenkins, Taylor Russell, Mina Sundwall, Ignacio Serricchio and Parker Posey.

So with the news that Netflix has already renewed the show for a second sesaon and the credentials of the writers and showrunner, you would expect something great out the team. With IMDb, it has a 7.2 and 69% on Rotten Tomatoes. But many suspect it got renewed merely because Netflix dropped too much money on the first season to just let it die.

Still, I went into this experience with expectations of decency.

Within a few minutes of starting the premiere episode, we were hit with tropes such as quotes like "Everyone remember your training!!!" All this while they were playing cards during a space disaster, then gravity hits.

From the first moment and onward through the first three episodes, I was hit with some seriously standard set of tropes, banal, lazy writing and nothing very fresh or new. We were hit with situations that if they were set up well, would have been great, but they made no logical sense. For example...

The ship is stuck in the ice of an icy looking environment. Unless the crew walks for a few minutes into a nice, forested temperate zone. Then there's that clutching moment when one of the family members dives into a pond of water and told they have six hours before the water freezes, but then it starts freezing almost immediately after they dive in. And there were so many moments just like that... it was like a kid in a sandbox playing with his army men and making up rules on the fly to fit the moment.

The ship, Jupiter 2, is kind of cool looking in its simplicity, but so far, instead of being lost in space, the show spent the first three episodes under ice on a planet and then on the surface of a planet. So lost on a planet... in space.

The characters seem to have roles to perform like the daughter who continually does the stupid crap that gets everyone in trouble, then she is always cracking ill-timed to completely predictable jokes like she's a Marvel character in joke overdrive.


The unique factors of the reboot is the reasoning behind why families are flying around in spaceships, we know exactly who Dr. Smith (Posey) is and how we truly hate her. The other curious aspect is the robot. They've replaced Robbie with an enemy alien robot species hellbent on destroying humanity... but this particular one has amnesia or something like that and since Will saved it (somehow), it is now looking out for him and the only thing it has said so far is "Danger Will Robinson."

Yep, I just said something nice about the show.

I'm on the fourth episode and right now the only draw for me to come back to it is not for the characters, but to see what comes of the new robot or alien passenger and it's species. Dr. Smith, I'd just assume see die, right this instant, that's how insidious they made her.

Though to be honest, the robot is the script scape goat for getting the family out of situations that would otherwise either kill them, cripple them or save them from boredom as the new AI is forced to sometimes to mundane chores. This thing has pretty much every trick and tool up its alien sleeve, ready to be used at a moment's notice, from palm blasters to soldering heat leaps in it's hands.

On the issue of lazy writing, when our family gets into danger... it's not really exciting. In situations where our family members get into death-defying trouble... well... they have an entire series to go, so no, they're not going anywhere.  Ho hum, let's move on to the next death defying moment please.

The other factor about why I'm watching more episodes is that when I commute, I have a 90-minute train ride and it is the only time I'll watch it. I won't carve time out of the rest of my day at home for this and usually, the train ride itself makes most things feel better than they really are.

And somehow, it's earned a second season order already by Netflix. Sigh.


If you're into banal, lazy script writing for the sake of specific situations, the new Lost In Space is a wonderful, mindless bit of entertainment. Otherwise, it does not challenge the viewer one bit to watch.

Now I have a few episodes to go before I call it quits on the show. I mean it's so mundane so far that it's bound to get better, even if it's by accident. Right?

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