Review: Fallout (TV)

Fallout is a high-stakes venture for Amazon, a sprawling, ambitious adaptation that navigates the tricky terrain of creating a fresh narrative within the iconic video game universe while satisfying the expectations of devoted fans. After watching all eight episodes, I can confidently say that they pulled it off with flair and style.

The series, adapted from the wildly popular Fallout games, finds its tone and visuals strikingly aligned with the source material. Fallout has always been known for its unique blend of retro-futuristic aesthetic, post-apocalyptic desolation, and dark humor, and the show doesn’t deviate from this formula. However, it does avoid being a straight adaptation of any specific game, preferring instead to craft an original story that nods to the games without merely retreading them.

Ella Purnell leads the cast as Lucy, a vault dweller venturing out into the harsh wasteland in search of her kidnapped father. Purnell’s performance is captivating; her character transitions from naive and wide-eyed to a hardened survivor, all while retaining her sense of morality. This transformation is reminiscent of the player’s journey through the games, where the wasteland’s horrors inevitably reshape your perspective.

Aaron Moten’s portrayal of Maximus, a squire in the Brotherhood of Steel, adds a unique twist. Instead of the typical grizzled warrior, we get a more awkward and dopey character, lending a fresh dynamic to the Brotherhood’s usually stoic image. This deviation from the expected is one of the show’s strengths, as it explores the game world’s elements from new angles.

The standout, however, is Walton Goggins as a ghoul—mutated humans with a zombie-like appearance—and the once-glamorous Cooper Howard. Goggins nails both roles, creating a compelling backstory that links pre-war celebrity with the grotesque realities of the post-apocalyptic wasteland. His character arc weaves through the series, serving as a bridge between past and present, and bringing a deeper sense of continuity to the narrative.

Jonathan Nolan, known for his work on Westworld, brings his signature touch of mystery and suspense to the show. The Fallout universe is filled with hidden secrets and conspiracies, and the series does an excellent job of revealing just enough to keep you hooked while still leaving plenty to uncover in future seasons. The show’s structure allows for various storylines to coexist and evolve, from the vault’s political intrigue to the wasteland’s survivalist chaos.

The show’s production values are top-notch. The attention to detail, from the replica weapons to the design of the Vaults and the wasteland’s CGI, is remarkable. The series also doesn’t shy away from the brutal aspects of the Fallout universe—expect plenty of gore, violence, and mature content—but it’s all within the context of the world created by the games. The depiction of the wasteland’s dangers, including mutated creatures and ruthless raiders, feels authentic and engaging.

Of course, there are minor gripes. The MacGuffin object plot device feels a bit overused, and the pacing can be uneven in the early episodes. However, these issues are easily overshadowed by the show’s many strengths. The diverse range of storylines, from Lucy’s journey to the Brotherhood’s internal struggles and the mysterious happenings in the Vault, keep the show dynamic and engaging.

For fans of the Fallout games, this series is a must-watch. It captures the essence of the games while offering a fresh narrative that will appeal to newcomers. It’s an intelligent, witty, and thoroughly entertaining exploration of the Fallout universe. Amazon seems committed to the series, with a second season already in the works, so there’s plenty more to look forward to.

If you’re into post-apocalyptic stories with a touch of dark humor and a lot of heart, Fallout on Amazon Prime is worth your time. It’s a wild ride through the wasteland that you won’t want to miss.

Discover more from Eat Sleep Game Repeat

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading