This article contains minor spoilers that you might find in a trailer.
Netflix has recently released its newest science fiction saga, “Lost in Space,” a reboot of the television series from 1965 of the same name, and the film from 1998. It follows the Robinson family as they have crash landed on an alien planet unfathomable distances away from mother Earth. Together, they encounter deadly obstacles of all kinds — a mysterious robot, an unforgiving and unknown planet, and the ulterior motives of other survivors.
This is a fantastical Robinson family adventure. They must overcome problem after problem, putting their bright minds together and working as a team. It hearkens back to the days before “The Walking Dead” or “No Country For Old Men” — I love movies and shows that show the gritty, harsh reality of life, but much of modern cinema has forgotten what it’s like to watch a good old-fashioned adventure. If you need 100% realistic odds in order to enjoy a story, or if you want to watch as at least one or two good guys get torn limb from limb, then maybe this show isn’t for you. If you want a family adventure that still has incredibly intense and compelling moments, some twists and turns, humor, and honest-to-god good cinematography, then you might enjoy this one.
However, it manages to balance that adventure and youthful awe with some pretty heavy and profound themes. PTSD, grief and divorce are just a few ideas that they tastefully manage. Like Netflix’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” one theme I particularly enjoyed is the idea that every single person must be a functional and useful member of the team in order for the team to survive. Whatever brought them to these horrific moments on an alien planet, they are there now and the problems must be overcome. The theme of “personal responsibility” is one that, in my opinion, needs to be shared among children (and adults) in today’s society, and not in the form of self-righteous Twitter warriors complaining about tide pods and preaching about the old days.
“Lost in Space” tackles some ideas that one might expect to be overtly political in this day and age — it features strong women characters, the value of science, and the hardships of families being away from a service member who is deployed, to name a few. However, they manage to deal with these issues without being overtly political, something a few Netflix shows have been sort of pioneering. Again, a departure away from preaching and embracing good storytelling.
If you’re looking for a gritty science fiction show exclusively for adults with blood boiling action, sex and mind bending plotlines, I would recommend “The Expanse.” It’s a great show that I love for very different reasons than why I loved this show. Netflix’s “Lost in Space” takes me back to my childhood, addresses some very real and adult issues, and teaches people that no one is going to solve a problem for you — you have use your skills, smarts and strength to do that yourself. And you do it to contribute to the group.
Images courtesy of Netflix via IMDB.