tek's rating: meh and a half

Invasion America, on The WB
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This first aired in primetime in the summer of 1998. That fall, reruns aired on Saturday mornings. I had completely forgotten it existed until early 2014, when I was creating a section of my site for programming blocks. I was reminded of its existence while looking up shows that had aired on Kids' WB. Then I vaguely recalled having been aware of it at the time, but I don't remember whether I saw any of it at all, either during its first run or the reruns. But I think it's possible I had checked out the first episode and didn't like it, so I didn't watch any more of it. But now that I remembered it, I felt like I should give it another try (or a first try), so I found it on YouTube. But I didn't get around to watching it until the end of summer. And... I found the writing, particularly the dialog, a bit lame (sometimes a lot lame), which reinforced the thought that I might have decided not to bother with it, all those years ago. But considering it's a short series, I decided I might as well stick it out to the end. Um... some sites will call it a miniseries, but I think it's more accurately a limited series (13 episodes, which mostly aired two per week). However, the end of the season doesn't seem to be the end of the planned series... but it didn't get renewed, so it's not really a complete story, and therefore not technically a limited series, but a regular series.

Anyway, it was created by Steven Spielberg (who obviously has done lots of great things) and Harve Bennett (whose name is vaguely familiar to me for his work on several Star Trek films). The animation was done by DreamWorks, back in the days when they still did traditional animation. (I can't really comment on the quality of the animation, because such things tend to suffer when someone records them off the TV and uploads them to YouTube. I'm sure it would have looked better if I'd watched it on TV, but I still don't think I would have been greatly impressed by it.) Also there were some familiar actors providing voices, including Leonard Nimoy. (While I'm a fan of some of the other actors, Nimoy is pretty much the only one whose acting didn't annoy me in this series, probably because fewer of his lines were as badly written as the other characters.) I cannot overstress how bad most of the dialog was, but also a lot of the plot points were just moronic. The overall story had potential, though. So, it was tolerable. And while I'm mostly glad it didn't get a second season, I'm a bit annoyed about some things being unresolved.

Well, I suppose I should explain the plot. There's this 17-year-old kid named David Carter, whose father had disappeared when he was very young. But now, weird stuff starts happening, and he eventually learns that his father, Cale-Oosha, was actually an alien from the planet Tyrus. In fact, he was that planet's ruler. But one day, Cale and his friend/bodyguard, Rafe, had come to Earth to inspect a project his people were involved in there. He discovered that his uncle, the Dragit, was actually planning to invade Earth, which Cale wanted to stop. But he and Rafe end up as fugitives from their people, and they're helped by an Earth woman named Rita Carter, whom Cale later marries. And a few years later, when their son David is little, Cale returns to Tyrus to lead a group of rebels called the Ooshati, who want to overthrow the Dragit. We learn all this in flashbacks early on, but most of the series is set in the present, when David is 17. He gets mixed up in the fight against the Dragit, who has various Tyrusians working for him, disguised as humans, working in the U.S. government and military. And of course the bad guys will start hunting for David, wanting to kill him. But David gets help from some new friends, both human and alien, as well as from his best friend, Jim Bailey. (I'd list more characters, but Wikipedia has already done that, so... why bother?)

I don't want to give away any details of the struggle, but the good guys do foil a couple of different plans of the bad guys. I will say it seemed odd to me that the aliens are concentrating exclusively on invading America, but for all I know they could have had a backup plan involving other countries that might have gone into effect if there'd been a second season. Or not. Either way, the Dragit himself wasn't stopped, so it still seems likely he'd make another attempt at invasion, one way or another. And... I don't even want to get into any of the other plot points that are left unresolved. But whatever, I'm glad I finally watched the series, I guess.

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