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TV GUIDE: Ask Matt: Big Bang, Grey's, Glee, Terra Nova and More!
Nov 14, 2011
by Matt Roush
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... Question: Like so many readers, I really enjoy your perspective on the ever-wacky world of television. I have a question — maybe more of a comment — about Terra Nova. I don't know that I had particularly high expectations for the show, but I did rather hope that it would make internal sense on some level. I can suspend disbelief as well as the next person, but I don't know how many more of those moments where I smack my head in frustration at the sheer stupidity I can endure. As an example: In last week's episode, Jim Shannon takes little Zoey to a super-secret private room containing all the knowledge of the universe (more or less). Okay, if these people had such an astonishing resource available to them, how come it's super secret? Wouldn't it be housed in some "museum of humanity" or "library of mankind" or something? Like little Zoey isn't going to go tell all her friends about the awesome day she spent with her dad in the secret room containing all knowledge? Also, if the super secret massive brain machine has its own separate power source such that the blackout of everything electronic in the compound wouldn't affect it, doesn't it make sense that the, I don't know, perimeter gate protecting the entire community might have a separate power source too so that everyone doesn't die from some random attack?
And why would settlers in a hostile, primitive environment rely so extensively on technology in the first place, especially given that technology was the original reason for the ruination of the modern world? It seems like they might keep a few old-fashioned guns of some kind lying around in case of emergency. Anyway, I'm sure you see what I'm getting at. I don't seek perfection in a program like this, but neither am I dull-witted enough that throwing a few semi-cool special effects at me will make me forget the sheer illogic of everything taking place on screen. I'm getting really close to giving up on this show, frankly; I had expected something more from the creative minds behind this program. What say you, Matt? — Andrew
Matt Roush: I say you're being a bit nitpicky, which is not the way to be watching Terra Nova, a show that pretty much demands you relax the critical part of the brain to sit back and enjoy a harmless hour of fantasy adventure. Although you make an excellent point about the colony being so tech-dependent, which is exactly the sort of observation someone should be making in this prehistoric world. (Which is why I think the Sixers may not entirely be the bad guys here.) Yes, I do wish Terra Nova were more sophisticated, less cartoonishly written and acted and way less pandering to the supposed adorability of the Shannon kids. But if I let myself dwell on things like the puzzle of that underground library for too long — and I may be wrong, but I didn't pick up on it being super-secret, just that Jim was introducing little Zoey to it for the first time — I probably would start to hate the show. Which I don't. It's fair to say that Terra Nova isn't yet living up to expectations, but it's far from a disaster, and I hope Fox gives it a second season in hopes of sharpening its act if not its brain.