“Lost In Space” — Netflix’s new show has potential but the first episode left me wanting … less

After sitting through the first episode of the new version of “Lost In Space” I turned to my girlfriend and said, “Well, that was a lot of stuff.” The characters are interesting (except for the father, I found him extremely unlikeable), the new version of Dr. Smith played by Parker Posey will probably be a hoot once she’s allowed to shine (she’s barely visible in the show opener), and the new robot’s motivations aren’t quite clear; all good fodder for episodic television. The show keeps the robot silent except for one line and then the show rushes the robot’s classic line “Danger Will Robinson” in a manner that’s actually quite forced, as Will isn’t even the person who was in danger when the robot says it. I honestly felt it was a shame the way it was tucked in and would have suggested waiting until a later episode when the young lad was in a situation where it was he personally who was in danger. But in the rush to catch our attention, one thing was sorely missing from this episode. Humor. In the scramble to introduce everyone, set up some dramatic elements, and start the show with a big splash, they forgot to write some jokes.

When the 90s “Lost In Space” film was announced, it look like it was going to be a gritty remake back in the day when such a thing rarely was heard of. Of course, anyone who’s seen the final product knows what a mess it turned out to be (with some intriguing moments, a ridiculous climax, and truly horrible comedic choices), but of course any movie that can put both Heather Graham and Mimi Rogers in catsuits for a good portion of the runtime will get my attention (I know, that’s a little piggish… I am attracted to women, so sue me). In this new version of “Lost In Space” they have already shown they’re going for the grittier feel, but it still felt strangely antiseptic. In once scene a person is walked through a medical procedure involving a scalpel and the show keeps it strictly G rated. Perhaps that’s so kids and grandmothers can enjoy the show together without being grossed out, and I did feel at about the midway point that the show’s broad strokes were designed to attract the attention of easily distracted youngsters.

So I’ll probably give a couple more episodes a chance, but in an age where creative shows like HBO’s “Barry,” ABC’s “Agents of Shield,” and Netflix’s own “Stranger Things” exist, I’m pretty sure I’ll find myself wandering away from regular visits to wherever “Lost In Space” the Robinsons happen to be.

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