Strange Humans: Our Review of ‘Another Life’

Posted in Netflix, TV, What's Streaming? by - July 22, 2019
Strange Humans: Our Review of ‘Another Life’

“I just need to know that she’s ok,” says Nico Breckinridge (Katee Sackhoff), an astronaut asking about her daughter. Her values are, obviously, a recurring theme in Netflix’s Another Life, a science fiction series trying to bridge two different places. Depicting both outer space and earth is as daunting as the voyage to the former. She is en route to a planet called Canis Majoris, the source of a UFO that landed on Earth.

This is Nico’s second stint as captain, leading a crew belonging to different races and gender identities. Two crew members briefly speak to each other in Spanish. Another is a descendant of an Armenian genocide survivor. I hope that subplot survives in the show’s Turkish version.

The thorn on her side is her second in command, Ian (Tyler Hoechlin). Nico wants to be less rash than she was during her first time as captain. Ian, however, is rash, assuming the worst from the advanced aliens. A quick confrontation with the aliens, he believes, will save lives on Earth. He tries to wrestle control of the ship to get there faster. But thankfully William (Samuel Anderson) is on Nico’s side. William is a computer in human form who somehow is able to defy orders and have emotions.

Back at home, Nico’s daughter Jana Breckinridge-Wallace (Lina Renna) is under the care of her husband Erik Wallace (Justin Chatwin). A scientist himself, the government assigned Erik to investigate the UFO, an important step in discovering the aliens’ intentions. Both the space crew and their counterparts at home don’t know anything about these aliens because they’re hiding somehow.

Another Life is a strange title for a show that promises alien life but decides not to show them. It follows the Jaws strategy, making these aliens more mysterious to the humans scratching their clueless heads. These absent aliens means that the show leaves us with its human characters. These humans are insufferable, conflict hungry stereotypes. And the kind of yelling that they do to each other is not fun to watch.

I’ll chalk the aliens’ absence up to the title’s second meaning. One in which the show makes Nico contemplate her other lives. The lives she would live if she made different decisions which mostly concerns the lives of her crew members. These lives manifest in an episode, and the revelation that most of that episode is a dream comes too late.

Three characters die quickly within the four preview episodes, which is its bad way of whittling down its focus. It’s also its way of showing that it doesn’t care about the living yet expendable characters. These characters are always close to needless danger. So if it doesn’t care about them, the question is why should we?

You can stream the first season of Another Life on Netflix starting July 25th.

  • Release Date: 7/25/2019
This post was written by
While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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