Garbage Collector

The little space of a writer, tinkerer, and a coffee addict

Fallout (TV Series)

Fallout (TV Series)
Β© Amazon Studios / Bethesda

Fallout is a Post-apocalyptic TV show based on the eponymous video games series. Amazon bought on 2020 the rights for the TV adaptation and the series premiered on April 2024 with 8 episodes. The show has been renewed for a second season.

The story takes place in 2296, in the aftermath of the Great War of 2077 that triggered a massive apocalyptic nuclear bombing around the world. Among the survivors exist the Vaults dwellers, people who have been able to refuge themselves into Vault-Tec’s fallout vaults. One of these Vaults is composed of three twin facilities interconnected independently managed and occasionally opening to each other. Lucy is a resident of Vault 33 and today, it was her marriage with one of Vault’s 32 inhabitant. However, Vault 32’s has been infiltrated by raiders from the surface who now assault 33 during the ceremony. Having her father kidnapped by a raider gang, Lucy decides to leave Vault 33 to rescue her father in a world she knows nothing about.

Despite having never really written about it here, I like Fallout. I’ve mostly played Fallout 4 and Fallout 76 (which disappointed me actually), and a little Fallout 3 but the game age and its random stability on modern systems made me abandon it. I’ve also gave a try to the first game, which Bethesda offered one time for reasons I don’t exactly remember but that’s not the kind I like. So my biggest experience with this series is Fallout 4 will all of its expansions, bought for 10€ on Steam during some random sales period, and having played 150 hours on it. Worth it.

More than the game I actually enjoyed for its gameplay and its story, I’ve found out the univers being very attractive with its retro-futuristic design and a lot of satirical perspective. Last year, I’ve developed a small game using the Pip-boy interface as a small dev project. Called Pyp-Boy, because it’s Python-based, it was a text RPG. Actually, it’s one of the projects that helped me to discover a passion for writing stories. Unfortunately, I’ve never finished it. Close to the end, and recently I’ve had some ideas to publish it another way.

Anyway, let’s talk about the TV show. When I’ve learned about this series production, discovering it was written by Westworld’s writer (a show I’ve really enjoyed too) and directed by The Boys studio (I liked it too), I was enthusiast. And as usual, I watched almost no trailers. I don’t like trailers, they spoil the whole movies or show nowadays. Especially TV series because they’re shorter than before.

Allow me digress for a second. Since a couple of months, my current watch in progress TV show was The X-Files, the 90’s series (with their 26 episodes per season, and watching one episode a day, I’m good for a long time). I’ve watched the first seasons while I was a kid and had the envy to rediscover it. Well, it confirmed me something I’ve always felt with recent shows : they had more to offer in one episode than an entire season of a modern TV series. Because each episode was standalone despite a main conductor in background. End parenthesis.

To summarise my opinion, I’ve honestly enjoyed this first season of the Fallout TV series. The aesthetic and setting is pretty accurate and immediately, a game enjoyer like me knew almost everything. The story began in a Vault, like a lot of Fallout games, following a Vault dweller. It was fun to see how I’ve identified in the Pip-boys our modern smartphones. They’re used for various communication and organisation tasks, but with this old school terminal appearance and noises that made them pretty realistic. All the retro futuristic style was here and I’ve loved it. The series debuted by introducing its three main characters : Lucy the Vault dweller, Maximus the Brotherhood of Steel recruit, and The Ghoul. This last one reminded me the Black Hat Cowboy from Westworld actually with a lot of similarities in character and being an unnamed one (but the audience is quickly made aware of his original identity).

As we could expect from the Fallout world, the show is violent and displays the lack of humanity of the characters. Stealing or killing your neighbour in this universe is the basic daily run, the world is in ruins, dirty and the towns are a bunch of scrapyard. Something I’ve disliked to be honest was the over exaggerated innocence of Lucy. She was naive and candide at the beginning and the few scenes about it annoyed me because it was clearly too much insisted. Yes, she is a girl who was born in a Vault that was mostly a Care Bears park (because in French, we have a say inspired by these toys, called Bisounours which is : “On est pas des Bisounours”, meaning living in an utopian world thinking everyone is nice and happy), but no I couldn’t buy how much they made her at the beginning. Maximus also bothered me because it’s mostly a bully victim with a constant bad luck and jealousy of his misfortune. Actually, the Ghoul is the main contrast with the two other main characters introduction because he is presented as a badass bounty hunter.

As the Fallout games always depicted, the Vaults were conducting experiments on their inhabitants and the TV series bring it too. Actually, I’ve been disappointed by the revelation regarding the three twin Vaults 31, 32 and 33. The idea I was constructing in my head while watching the show enjoyed me better. But the journey was still nicely executed and the series followed the path of various stories : Lucy’s quest to find her father and her encounter with the two other main characters, and the reconstruction life in Vault 33. The third main story is also a flashback before the apocalypse that explored Vault-Tec and involved characters. If Vault 33 plot twist disappointed me, the main story didn’t. Very nicely constructed and directed, just like Westworld I’ve enjoyed it.

On the artistic side, the series is very accurate with Fallout’s iconic designs such as the Factions flags, the obvious Power Armor, the high retro futuristic tech, the various attires of the raiders and surface dwellers, and so on. Yep, when you watch the Fallout TV series, you recognize being in the Fallout universe in several ways and without over exploiting it. The direction is impressive with great quality in visual effects and the costumes. The Power Armors were actual costumes I think, because they were quite realistic. And I think some Ghouls we encounter were animatronics.

So, despite of some weakness at the beginning, I really enjoyed this show. Nicely executed and a good cast for the characters. I hope the second season will continue in this direction.

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