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Starting watching Another Life on Netflix - wow, can they hit any more cliches? SPOILERS


Wow. I think this is a first. No one is coming to the defense of this show. Yikes.

Um.... Altered Carbon sucks too... The Expanse is overblown... :p :D (One of those is a lie and one of those is true.)
The Expanse books are better than the show. Probably the Altered Carbon books are better too.

But Edgar Allen Poe was the best thing about the Altered Carbon show.

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In baseball they have a stat called "Wins Above Replacement," meaning how good a player is relative to a "Replacement Player," which is basically a scrub: the type of guy you can easily find in the minor leagues to fill your roster in case of emergency or work stoppage (thus "replacement").

I kind of see your typical SyFy channel show as the "Replacement Player" equivalent of a TV show. It is the type of show you watch if you're caught up on the premium shows and your personal favorites. A SyFy channel show has a certain vibe of mediocrity - casts that tend to be filled with C-level talent, OK but slightly below par CGI, mediocre to poor writing, etc.

Another Life isn't absolutely awful, but it is about what I've come to expect from a SyFy show - or CW - and thus worse than what I'd expect from Netflix/Amazon, which tend to be a bit better.

So to some degree it is about expectation:

HBO has the highest level of expectation. I've come to expect that when they come out with a show, it should be really good, even if the subject or theme isn't your thing.

Below HBO are the other premium networks - Showtime, Starz, etc. Some are HBO quality, but not always.

And then you have Amazon and Netflix. They're more hit or miss. Many are quite good and approach the premium level, but some are more mediocre. But generally, they're pretty good.

Then you have the network and non-premium cable TV shows - NBC, CBS, CW, SyFy, etc. These are mostly pretty mediocre and don't try to be otherwise. Occasionally you'll find a jewel that rises up, but for the most part they're the "Replacement Players" of TV.

Another Life is only disappointing in that it really belongs more in that last group than in the more typical Amazon/Netflix level fare. It feels very much like a SyFy or CW show, with all the usual warts. You do have a couple B-level actors in Katie Sackhoff and Selma Blair, but for the most part they are C-level or even D-level. The biggest problem, of course, is the writing. That can be improved upon, but my guess is that it is too late.

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