Editor’s Note: Fifteen hundred posts. That’s crazy. Who knew when I started this site six years ago that it would grow so much and we would have so many hundreds and hundreds of reviews. It’s even crazier with how small a writing team we have. So as we celebrate 1,500 let me thank that team, Sommer, Alice and Wayne (he’ll be returning from sabbatical soon) and the varied guest writers over the years. With that out of the way, let me take off my editor hat and put on my reviewer hat and let’s get to the review.
Julien Neaves, Sci Fi Head Writer
Plot: On his first day as a police officer in a sleepy town, Richard gets drawn into a conflict between two alien factions.
Review: Are you a fan of Edgar Wright’s Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End)? Well, the creators of French Sci Fi comedy series Visitors certainly are, and they even show off that love with a blink-and-you-miss-it visual gag. And while the HBO Max original never reaches the dizzying comedic heights of those fantastic films, it echoes their quirky, wild, irreverent tone and delivers quite the entertaining watch.
The best aspect of the series is the comedy. Simon Astier plays the straight man as Richard Garcia and he is surrounded by a host of oddball characters, including his unfriendly fellow officers, his quirky wife, his estranged video game store friends, a team of highly unprofessional reporters, two agents who are clearly parodies of The X-Files’ Mulder and Scully, a survivalist desperate to find his dog, and a socially awkward female alien. So many weird things happen to Richard, both in his regular life and extraterrestrial-related, and it often veers towards the most ridiculous conclusion. I laughed a lot during this series, and for that alone I would recommend it. The show also has a surprising amount of heart and some touching moments, which I appreciated.
The series is a Sci Fi Comedy, so what about the Sci Fi aspect? That is sadly not as strong. It starts off well enough, with an intriguing mystery of a strange, hoodie-wearing fellow and slimy green eggs. But the revelations walk a fine line between derivative and homage, and in the end it did not add a whole lot new to the Sci Fi world. I was also disappointed in the lack of action in the series. We get a couple of quick scenes but the off-the-wall, energetic fights that we get in the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy are nowhere to be seen here. And I won’t give away the ending, but I found it both overblown and anticlimactic.
The series ends a cliffhanger that would take a second season in a very different direction. And while Season 1 could have been better they did enough well to have me interested in a sophomore outing. So in conclusion, I would say Visitors Season 1 is worth visiting for the many laughs and decent Sci Fi story.
Score: 7.5 out of 10
And you can check out more Sci Fi comedy content below:
Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.