If you’re a big science fiction fan, I imagine you’d be very excited to find that Hilary Swank stars in a new Netflix series as a NASA astronaut leading the first human expedition to Mars. It sounds amazing, right? Well, hold your horses, because it’s really not as good as it seems.
The team that was assembled to go to Mars is multi-national and so we have not only a diverse cast, but also a chance for plenty of international politics that can create a lot of drama. We also have five people hurling through space in a big spaceship, so plenty of exciting scientific problems could occur there. But if you’re thinking The Martian, think again.
First off, most of the drama in this show is created by a) people in space missing their families or partners, and b) the fact that NASA seemingly picked the absolute worst people to send to space. They’re constantly fighting with each other, they don’t follow the chain of command, they have a plethora of health issues and apparently, teamwork is a totally new concept that they discover in one episode to everyone’s amazement.
They also don’t seem to be particularly busy. Most of their time is spent calling their friends and families on the phone (yes, no delay there whatsoever), or they follow one of their hobbies, like playing with puppets or playing poker and gossiping about people. Sure, if your journey to Mars takes a year, you’re bound to have some downtime, but wouldn’t they be kept busy to run long-term experiments (and to distract them from the fact that they miss their families)?
If you think the crew is terrible, wait till you hear about their ship! It’s terrible! Apparently something as simple as fixing a water pump or water filter turns into the most complicated task you could possibly ever have to run, and nobody ever expected that any system could fail. You know what? I’m not a scientist, but if I were sending people to Mars, you could be sure that I’d make sure every system is redundant and that fixing one of them would consist of taking out a module and slotting in a new one.
As for the lesbian content, I don’t want to reveal too much here, but let’s just say that in one episode in the first half of the season, there is a relevant lesbian subplot. I enjoyed it and thought it was done very well. It’s very tame, though, and with little lasting effect, so that’s why it only gets one little gay star from me.