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The Alien Invasion Series Everyone Needs To Binge On HBO Max

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Post-apocalyptic television has become a surprisingly popular genre over the last few years. A vast swath of zombie-themed shows and movies, in particular, have popped up in the wake of AMC's The Walking Dead becoming a worldwide phenomenon — one that has spawned multiple spin-offs of its own — to the point where it is sometimes easy to overlook non-zombie entries in the genre. However, if you're in the mood for a different kind of apocalypse, especially one that's a bit more family friendly, seek out Falling Skies.

Produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment, and running for five seasons from 2011 until 2015 on TNT, Falling Skies is set in the aftermath of an alien invasion that has devastated most of Earth's population. Led by ER's Noah Wyle (who previously starred in TNT's beloved The Librarian film series), the drama picks up six months after extraterrestrials arrive on Earth, take out all the power grids, and defeat multiple lines of defense around the world, killing about 90 percent of the population in the process. Wyle's Tom Mason leads the action as a history professor who joins the Second Mass, a group of survivors who band together to fight back against the invaders. Using his knowledge of military history to his advantage, he becomes a resistance leader, rising to second-in-command of the Second Mass as he searches for his missing son, Ben (Connor Jessup).

It's been a bit difficult to find the series on streaming in recent years, but that is no longer the case: Falling Skies is now streaming on HBO Max, which means you have no excuse not to dig into the cult hit right away.

The emotional stories of the survivors make Falling Skies worth watching

On Falling Skies, it's not immediately clear what the aliens, known as Espheni, want by attacking Earth: their ultimate plan doesn't reveal itself until over halfway through the series. However, with an excellent cast that also includes Moon Bloodgood (Terminator: Salvation), Doug Jones (Star Trek: Discovery), and Colin Cunningham (Stargate SG-1), it doesn't matter that viewers don't know or understand the aliens' objective from the jump. The series, much like The Walking Dead, is about the men and women who become a found family in the aftermath of a horrible tragedy, and the lengths they'll go to survive in a world where the end of humanity is always at stake.

As the Second Mass fights back against the invaders, including the creatures known as Skitters that seem to control the mechs (robotic drones), it's the characters that make the show worth watching. Sure, there is plenty of sci-fi drama to hook you in, but the obstacles that these people overcome, and the loss they endure along the way, is what keeps viewers coming back for more with each passing episode. In the end, Falling Skies is the story of a parent attempting to keep his family together, against all odds. That's something everyone can connect to, and Tom is the beating heart of the show, putting a human face on all the larger-than-life action.

Falling Skies is not perfect. The show faced a number of creative challenges, behind the scenes, and sometimes those issues bled over into the show itself. But if you're looking for a sci-fi show to binge — and a unique take on the usual post-apocalyptic tropes — Falling Skies is an excellent show to binge.

Falling Skies is streaming on HBO Max.