Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Review: Lost in Space, Season 1 at Strange Horizons

This week at Strange Horizons, I review the first season of Netflix's re-reboot of Lost in Space.  Like a lot of people I found the entire notion of remaking a silly little space-pioneering show from 1965 (after a failed reboot movie in 1998) rather bizarre, and I can't say that the show has proved that this was something that needed to happen.  What it does achieve, however, is to demonstrate how you can take an unnecessary concept and execute it with intelligence and sensitivity (something that the makers of, to take a recent example, Solo: A Star Wars Story completely failed to accomplish).  I still don't think we needed a new Lost in Space, but the show we got has interesting characters, good storylines, and does some things that I'd almost given up on seeing in a genre show, such as construct coherent and compelling episode plots.  That said, because this is a reboot that is ultimately an attempt to monetize a familiar IP, the end of the season is a lot less interesting than its beginning, working overtime to get the characters to the canonical Lost in Space form, despite the fact that the new one it had originally presented was a great deal more interesting.

One thing I didn't find space for in the review, but which feels important to note, was my disappointment in the total straightness and cisnormativity of the show.  All of the characters we meet are implicitly straight.  All of the romances presented or suggested on the show are straight.  Though the characters spend a lot of time around other space-bound colonists, who, like them, are divided into family units, none of them have same-sex couples as parents.  All of the children are presumed to be straight and cis, and none suggest that they might be realizing otherwise.  This is particularly disappointing given that Netflix's other big kid-oriented show, A Series of Unfortunate Events, is cheerfully LGBT-friendly, dropping frequent mentions of gay couples into the story, and even featuring a non-binary character.  So it's not a matter of the target audience, but simply the show's creators making no space in their future for queerness, something that we should have long ago moved past.

1 comment:

McAllen said...

I feel like creators and executives still think queer characters are somewhat transgressive, so there's more room for them in works that are meant to be transgressive themselves. That's also why I wasn't surprised Deadpool 2 was the first Marvel movie to have a same-sex couple.

Post a Comment