Invasion: The Complete Series (DVD)

click for bigger imageStarring Eddie Cibrian, Kari Matchett, Lisa Sheridan, William Fichtner

Created by Shaun Cassidy

Distributed by Warner Home Video

Invasion probably wasn’t the best thing to launch in the middle of hurricane season last year. America was already saturated with images of New Orleans and Florida being torn apart by Mother Nature alone, no assistance needed from alien life forms. But bad timing wasn’t Invasion’s only problem. Many fans of the one-season show blame ABC’s mishandling for the low viewing figures and no second season. It could be possible that any show may suffer if it has one hiatus after another and no repeats shown during the important first season, especially when the show’s plot isn’t exactly simple.

Can it be said that Invasion was a great bit of TV that was the victim of network fumbling? Maybe. Or perhaps it just did not interest people.

Invasion starts out with a pretty good bang. For a TV show the CGI effects involving a plane tracking a hurricane about to hit Florida are lovely. Sadly, Invasion does all its best thrills within the first five minutes of Episode 1 and then hits a brick wall of boredom.

If nitpicking is your game, then you may not be bored during the hurricane scenes. We have winds that can knock over trees, nearly rip off SUV doors, and break windows. However, it seems that a certain little girl, Rose (Ariel Gade), is totally unaffected by this monster storm. Is it the power of love? Is it the determination to find her lost cat that gives her the superhuman abilities needed to keep her tiny frame from being pushed over? Don’t look at me, I didn’t make this series. Her cat also seems to have the ability to keep dry when sheets of water fall on the town. That is the driest pussy I have ever seen, and I used to work at an old folks home.

The story of the Invasion is slow-moving at best. This may have turned off many potential viewers as it did me. You do get twists and turns to be sure, but getting there is like slowly peeling a layer of skin off your genitals. After a couple of minutes into it, you should be asking yourself, “What the fuck am I doing?”

click for bigger imageThe character introductions are quick and pretty painless, but a sense of caring about them never rises, partially due to their strangely bland attitudes. Most of the main characters are part of a family connected by a blend of divorce and remarriage, which introduces a small amount of tension and angsty teen moments. The show really doesn’t start to get interesting until the last half of the season. Pregnant women get shot in the head; a man is made to cut off his newly regenerated arm so he can avoid suspicion; and forced body snatching occurs with help from the armed forces. We are left with a few questions at the end that make it clear there should be a season two, but with “Complete Series” written on the DVD cover, it’s hard to keep hope alive.

I would suggest this series to anyone who has been looking for some science fiction that doesn’t have the words “Sci-Fi Channel Presents” in front of the title, but that’s it. It may take a bit of getting used to since the pace is like two elderly men walking uphill…it can get interesting if a person falls down or someone kicks the bucket, but can you stand the wait?

What would a six-disc set be without a ton of extras? Oh, it would be the Invasion DVD. The special features topped out at three things, two of which are on Disc #6: a gag reel and a featurette entitled “Invading the Mind of Shaun Cassidy.” Deleted scenes are spread throughout each disc. The gag reel is your typical assortment of goofed lines that may sprout a laugh or two during the first viewing. Also included in the gag reel are some odd stop-motion-like segments involving the crew.

“Invading the Mind of Shaun Cassidy” gives you a lot of insight as to what the show was aiming for. The interviews do a little more than just promote the show. The cast members act believably excited about the project and the questions it raises about evolution rather than alien invaders. Be warned though; this special feature does show a lot of spoilers.

And there you have it. Invasion was a big jumble that would have made a better mini-series. It may only appeal to a certain audience, but it is clear from the IMDB rating that its audience is quite vocal. Give it a shot, but certainly as a rental. If you’re not hooked by three episodes, just stop. It’s not for you.

Special Features
Deleted scenes
“Invading the Mind of Shaun Cassidy” featurette
Gag reel

3 out of 5

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Mike Phalin

Mike Phalin is a contributing writer, reality television star and engineer.

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