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Update: Netflix is not picking up Away for a second season.
I have to be honest. I’m not really the target audience for Netflix’ new science fiction drama, Away.
Yes, it’s about humanity’s first manned mission to Mars. And yes, it stars Academy Award-winning actress Hilary Swank. Both of those things are great.
But it’s from the same guys who did Friday Night Lights, so there’s a lot of family drama, and lots of crying. So much crying.
It actually took me a couple of tries to get into this show. The first time, I stopped half-way through the first episode because it moved so, so, so slowly, and there was so, so, so much family drama.
But then I figured out how to watch it. For me, the trick was to do something else while the TV was on. This is the kind of show where if you’re distracted by an email or something boiling on the stove, it’s not a big deal, because whatever moment you missed is probably still going on.
Compared to other science fiction shows, the pace is amazingly slow. You get the personal, emotional, interminable backstories of all the characters. You get to listen to long Hebrew prayers. Watch awkward conversations with estranged daughters. Puppet shows. Chinese calligraphy. I’m sure its all beautiful and touching, but not really my cup of tea.
Yet I got caught up in the story, and the characters. When the 10-episode first season ended, I was disappointed it was over. If the second season had been out already, I would have definitely continued watching.
The show’s creators do have a Season two planned, and ended the first season with a big cliffhanger. Season One saw good viewer numbers on Netflix, and rumors are that it’s already been renewed for a second season, and the official word is expected to come soon.
My verdict? I will definitely be watching the second season. The characters are believable and easy to get attached to, the sets are awesome, and there’s just enough space action to keep hard sci-fi buffs satisfied. If you prefer your sci-fi to be a bit faster-paced, do what I did and have the show on while you do something else.
Correction: I guess I won’t be watching the second season after all, since Netflix decided not to renew the show. I’m disappointed, since I would have liked to see how the astronauts fare after the cliffhanger ending of season one.
Check out the trailer below and decide for yourself.
Edited by Amira Loutfi
MetaStellar editor and publisher Maria Korolov is a science fiction novelist, writing stories set in a future virtual world. And, during the day, she is an award-winning freelance technology journalist who covers artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and enterprise virtual reality. See her Amazon author page here and follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Email her at [email protected]. She is also the editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business, one of the top global sites covering virtual reality.