THE EXPANSE Is An Engaging Sci-Fi Drama Marred By Some Immoral Content

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THE EXPANSE Is An Engaging Sci-Fi Drama Marred By Some Immoral Content

By Movieguide® Contributor

THE EXPANSE is a live-action, sci-fi drama on Amazon Prime. The show is produced by Jason F. Brown, Sean Daniel, Broderick Johnson, Andrew A. Kosovo, Naren Shankar, and others. It stars Steven Strait, Dominique Tipper, Wes Chatham, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Cas Anvar, and others. THE EXPANSE centers around a group of humans in the 24th century who untangle a cast plot that threatens the Solar System’s fragile state of detente.

Each episode of season one is roughly 60 minutes. Each episode has some sort of important character introduction or discovery, which you can feel is building up to a larger mystery. Every episode wraps up with the characters finding some sort of resolution or piece of the greater puzzle while leaving plenty of unanswered questions to keep viewers coming back. The show is very narrative-driven, as you must watch each episode to understand everything happening in the next episode. One could get lost just by glossing over seemingly unimportant exposition within a single episode. However, each episode starts with a convenient recap of the most important information from the previous episode(s).

Most of the conflict comes from a flurry of obstacles that the multiple protagonists face, including governments, criminals, warring factions, famine, and the hazardous conditions of space. For example, in one episode, a protagonist named Holden and his crew are trapped in a badly damaged shuttle in outer space with low rations and must figure out how to survive and get back to safety. While two are outside the ship to fix it, one of their team loses oxygen in his suit. Another team member shares his oxygen, and the two outside are just barely able to fix the ship in time before both members on the inside die for lack of air. The main obstacles of the show come from the self-serving and conspiratorial actions of people in high places. As everything unfolds, an increasingly ominous feeling hangs over the entire show.

There are no Christian references, but the show has a moderately moral worldview as crew members risk their lives to save each other and respect authority.

The show also focuses on the importance of natural resources, and identifies with the plight of those who are victims of the rich and powerful. This is contrasted, however, by the occasional sex scene and relatively steady flow of bad language. There are a few moments of true human decency such as when a protagonist secretly goes against orders to respond to an SOS call that his captain said to ignore. However, this act of selflessness seemed not to pay off as it led to a series of events that ultimately caused the death of almost everyone on the crew, including the protagonist’s love interest.

There are a moderate amount of obscenities, including the d-word, b-word, s-word, and the h-word. The characters also use the occasional substitute including dang, darn, and a few more words, as TV-appropriate substitutes for what would otherwise be expletives. There are a few “OMG” profanities; there are moments of intense violence including people being tortured, shot, suffocated, or even having their limbs ripped off; there is nudity including upper male and female nudity and rear male nudity; there are occasional sex scenes in the show both depicted and directly implied. Sex is also talked about a few times throughout the season.

There is moderate smoking/drug use and abuse as well as alcohol consumption; light miscellaneous immorality as certain unjustified crimes are presented as ok by the show simply because they are perpetrated by the poor against the elites.

The camera work is well done. There are a slew of special effects which are generally not noticeable because of their smooth execution. The show is visually appealing at times and has plenty of great views of outer space and different heavenly bodies. Of course, most of the show is shrouded in darkness, which adds to the ominous feel but sometimes requires you to increase your screen brightness a bit to fully see what’s going on.

THE EXPANSE is an engaging sci-fi drama with some heavy questionable elements like language and sexual content. There are some moral themes such as sacrifice, but Movieguide® advises caution for teenage audiences. However, adults will likely find that the plot of the show is entertaining and that the characters are interesting enough to keep watching as the greater mystery unfolds.

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