Premiere Date: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 — 10/9C, Syfy
KAREN: What IS all this?
There is so much going on here, and most of it is very, very familiar. There’s a bunch of Armageddon, a dash of The Walking Dead, a whole lot of 2012 and other disaster movies of that ilk. The Book of Revelations gets a look-in, too. The show is very end-of-the-world-y, is what I’m saying. And the world is ending in many and varied ways, all at once.
Most of what’s happening in Aftermath might not be particularly original, but putting it all together — that’s new. (The aforementioned Book of Revelations notwithstanding.)
Meet Professor Joshua Copeland (James Tupper), frantic to get home to his idyllic farmhouse in the lead up to a massive hurricane headed their way. In the wake of storms and seismic activity the likes of which no one has ever seen, there have been phone network and power cuts throughout the whole of America for weeks, but luckily, Joshua’s university got access to the news for just the right twenty minutes, so he is able to get there just in time to protect his otherwise oblivious family.
Meet his family. Son Matt (Levi Meaden), a high school football star with a torn ACL who has just joined the Peace Corps. (Thanks, exposition conversation! Converexposation? Yes, we’re calling it that, now.) Fraternal twin daughters Dana (Julia Sarah Stone), the good girl with the big brain, and Brianna (Taylor Hickson), the boy-crazy troublesome one. And wife Karen (Anne Heche), who is no-nonsense, ex-Air Force, and knows how to handle a gun, much to her liberal-thinking husband’s disapproval, apparently.
He soon has reason to be glad for her weapons training (and the weapons in the house), however, when people start going full Reaver and torturing/killing/eating each other indiscriminately, as the result of some kind of fever illness as yet unidentified. But killing these people makes diaphanous black clouds of evil come spilling out of them, so we’re thinking, probably not the flu.
Meanwhile, fish and snakes are getting deposited on mid-western lawns as a result of storms, and meteors are crashing from the sky.
Academic Joshua turns to his books to try to get a handle on it all. “You study religion, archaeology and myth,” his wife objects wearily, “so what does that have to do with anything?” (Karen is kind of awful.) Joshua posits the Biblical End of Days, and also malevolent spirits, and it does seem a whole lot like it. But even when daughter Brianna is dragged from their home and taken flying — flying! — through the air by a madman clearly possessed, Karen refuses for way too long to believe it could be anything other than regular, ordinary crazy.
And oh, no! Where is Brianna? How do we get her back? She’s alive, right Brianna’s Twin? (Yes. “I just know.”) So the family loads up the RV that they just happen to have, okay, cool, and off they go, texting (!) Brianna to meet them at a safe haven. But is anywhere really safe anymore? Special effects are falling from the sky! And will we be seeing that awesome biker leader, Little Mike (Scott McNeil), again? Best character in the show, and he just rides off into the sunset? Say it isn’t so!
With its curious blend of disaster tropes, pandemic porn, Supernatural and From Dusk Till Dawn, this show is a hodgepodge that will make you roll your eyes more than once, but is also kind of compelling viewing. It’s pretty much the ultimate apocalypse mash-up, and worth watching just to what fresh wackiness they will add to the mix.
And, hey. At least there isn’t a dog.
SEASON PASS: Yes.