Netflix, in its infinite wisdom, suggested hubby and I would like Surface, a show that only lasted one season, but it had an interesting premise – the discovery of sea monsters — so we thought we’d give it a try.

It wasn’t hard to see why it didn’t last, and it had nothing to do with the slow start.  Sea monsters eating people and scientists trying to find them?  Good premise.  Boy hatching sea monster from egg, and having it imprint on him?  Good premise.  Boy getting bitten by sea monster and start turning into a hybrid?  Less good.  Brand new species occurring on two coasts, but investigations on only one coast triggering scary, covert government intervention like the best conspiracy theories?  Dumb, just plain dumb.  The series couldn’t decide if it wanted to exist in the grand tradition of current SyFy movies, or if it wanted to be an ET-style heart-warmer.  Without choosing one, it was impossible for it to last, even without the TSTL characters.

You’ve heard of TSTL, right?  Usually reserved for the heroine of horror or romance where the heroine does stuff that no reasonable, logical human would, and readers/viewers lose all respect for the characters because they’re Too Stupid To Live.  Partway through the series ALL of the characters ended up TSTL.

Seriously, the number of things that made me shake my head were too many to list, but they really could have used a science advisor, too.  A number of elements of both plot and sea monster characteristics resembled a random luck of the draw, like each episode was chosen with dice like a poorly planned Dungeons and Dragons game.

So, it was amusing enough for hubby and I to stick with it for all 15 episodes, but it was absolutely no surprise it got cancelled.  The question is, did anyone *else* see it?  What did you think?  I mean, besides the fact that I clearly watch too much TV 😉

KC Burn



  1. Haven’t seen Surface, but that TSTL stuff really turns me off, in any TV show or movie. I’ve also heard it called “idiot plot” — when a plot is kept in motion solely because everyone involved keeps doing stupid things.

    I watch a lot of BBC and they frequently do a version of “idiot plot” where main characters suddenly forget their ability to speak during key moments of confrontation. If someone had just opened their gob and said, “He isn’t my lover, he’s my brother, I think you misunderstood,” or “Something really creepy and evil keeps happening and we need your help,” the show would have ended 15 minutes into the first episode!

  2. Funny you should mention the “forget their ability to speak” thing. I’m dong another blog next week that talks about that exact same thing! But I don’t think the BBC does it more than anywhere else – although maybe I’m more forgiving of them doing it with a British accent 😉

  3. ah! You’ve found the TV series that did it to me. It pushed me to stop watching TV. I’ve only just started peaking at some shows again.
    We watched all of Surface, and yep, raised our eyebrows at it, too. Thing is, even with some of the plainly stupid stuff, it at least had some of that SFF element that I’d been trying to find in TV at the time. It was flawed. It rightly got canceled, but I still think about the creatures because that part was definitely neat.

    1. oh, and I forgot to mention, I thought Surface, along with Invasion, showed that you could have a SF television series without spending a lot on special effects. Too bad both of them needed better writing.

      1. Oh, yeah, Invasion. That was some pretty bad writing, too! I was only able to stand 3 or 4 episodes of that. But you’re right, the special effects were rather minimal, but effective.

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