USA network is undergoing a complete renewal of its programme schedule, like a lot of cable networks lately. With the ending of shows such as White Collar or Covert Affairs, USA had to launch a brand new wave of TV shows, that started with the critical success of Mr.Robot last summer.
Colony can be considered as the second piece of this puzzle and takes place in a dystopian but still very grounded future, where the US population has been separated in different districts. Here's the synopsis:
Set in the near future, Colony centers on a family headed up by Holloway and Callies who must make difficult decisions as they balance staying together while trying to survive. They live in L.A., which has been occupied by a force of outside intruders. While some people have chosen to collaborate with the authorities and benefit from the new order, others have rebelled and suffer the consequences.
Colony heavily relies on its characters, who are for the most part engaging, which is a good thing. Will (Josh Holloway) and Katie Bowman (Sarah Wayne Callies) represent the heart of the show and are the ones driving the main storyline. Callie's character is very reminiscent of her role in The Walking Dead, but let me reassure you, where she was mainly used as a plot device in the AMC show, she's here present in a more prominent way and plays an important part of the show.
As I said in the title, Colony is a story of resistance and occupation. The Los Angeles district is ruthlessly ruled by a sort of government instated by the unknown intruders. Colony is said to have been inspired by the french resistance against the nazis during WWII. This particularly clicked with me because as a french myself, I studied this part of history again and again during my years and high school. The propaganda, the repression, there is a lot of elements that can be used.
However, it doesn't quite work the way it is supposed to here. The thing is that we should be able to understand both sides, the reasons why they're doing what they're doing - that's sadly not the case here. The resistance only appears as divided and constituted of selfish individuals, only thinking about themselves, and you will often find yourself rooting for the occupation. What could have been the show's main strength is actually its main weakness.
I'm grumbling but Colony is overall a good sci-fi show. Not The Expanse good, but not very far off. This version of LA is truly immersive, the narration is good, the characters engaging and the show could benefit even more from revealing who the real occupants are. Are they actually aliens or just people acting like it? What exactly is the factory? I don't mind some mystery but I hope most of it gets resolved by the end of the season.
Colony is a show on the rise and is far from having played all its cards. Oh, if you were wondering, the show has already been renewed for a second season!
Colony airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on USA.