• Network: ABC
  • Series Premiere Date: Aug 2, 2009
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 88 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 88
  2. Negative: 18 out of 88

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  1. Aug 18, 2013
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Really liked it overall but too many flashbacks and drunk driving in a late 2000 Chevy truck 50 years from now I sure hope not. I wish there were additional seasons because I like the characters. Expand
  2. Feb 12, 2013
    8
    ok i read the critics. i can see the logic behind the poor reviews. however i was quite engrossed as it seems a lot of non-critics were. does this mean that we the public are a little dim, or that the critics are too critical? maybe both. for me it just reminds that you can still get good value out of something others may find lacking. are my needs imature or silly when it comes took i read the critics. i can see the logic behind the poor reviews. however i was quite engrossed as it seems a lot of non-critics were. does this mean that we the public are a little dim, or that the critics are too critical? maybe both. for me it just reminds that you can still get good value out of something others may find lacking. are my needs imature or silly when it comes to entertainment? probably, that doesn't change the fact that i really enjoyed this show. Expand
  3. Sep 6, 2010
    10
    I love this show! It is so disappointing that ABC never gave it a fair chance. It was broadcast with no advertising fanfare in the middle of the summer when most families are on vacation and not expecting new programming. This was a clever, well-acted show that was perfect family fare. I hope that some wrap-up book is offered to fill-in the gaps of the prematurely terminated series.
  4. Aug 22, 2010
    0
    Poor writing, poor acting, despicable characters, and a supremely unrealistic story. Designing a manned mission to multiple planets in the solar system would be a scientific miracle (even in 2050), let alone one manned mission to one planet within our century. The science advisors to this show have clearly never cracked a textbook - it takes 3min for light to travel from Venus to the EarthPoor writing, poor acting, despicable characters, and a supremely unrealistic story. Designing a manned mission to multiple planets in the solar system would be a scientific miracle (even in 2050), let alone one manned mission to one planet within our century. The science advisors to this show have clearly never cracked a textbook - it takes 3min for light to travel from Venus to the Earth but our Astronauts can make instant phonecalls to their loved ones to argue about such trivial matters as why a spouse on Earth "lied" to them. They explain artificial gravity (again a ridiculous idea) but where is our explanation for Faster than Light communication? This show is full of self-serving religious BS and it suggests an unrealistic & unethical future where abortion is illegal, yet sexual promiscuity is clearly popular behavior. The on-board physicist brought his comic book collection on a journey through the solar system - time to grow up kid leave the comics at home with Mom - I'm sure this may appeal to an adolescent viewer but I find it hard to believe that these people are going to successfully land on Venus let alone circumnavigate the solar system on some pseudo-religious adventure. This show is laughable. If it lasts a second season I will be very surprised Expand
  5. DavidW
    Jan 3, 2010
    8
    A great series of sci-fi action, with depth and visuals to please the geeks and the intellectuals. After a strong start DG gets a little slow and direction-less in the middle but the last four episodes are excellent with a fantastic finale.
  6. LukeS
    Nov 19, 2009
    8
    Sure, the pop philosphy is cringe-worthy. Sure, the characters are farcical. Sure, the science doesn't add up and the fiction is trite; but there's something about the easy pace of this show that keeps willing me back. It's mindless TV under the thinest of intellectual veils and I like it. The jovial cut-backs, the non-threatening cleanliness of the set, the essentially Sure, the pop philosphy is cringe-worthy. Sure, the characters are farcical. Sure, the science doesn't add up and the fiction is trite; but there's something about the easy pace of this show that keeps willing me back. It's mindless TV under the thinest of intellectual veils and I like it. The jovial cut-backs, the non-threatening cleanliness of the set, the essentially likeable acting; I look forward to the next episode. Rarely am I drawn into American drama. With the exception of Generation Kill (the single best show on TV in years), I find it long-winded, poorly scripted, terribly acted (see Prison Break) and largely dull; but there's just something about Defying Gravity. Maybe it's down to Ron Livingston; where's he been since Office Space? Expand
  7. FayeL
    Nov 7, 2009
    5
    The premise and setting were enough to stir a vague sort of interest, and it was nice to see a fresh cast of faces (excepting Ron Livingston) since breakout shows usually feature breakout actors and actresses. Unfortunately, Defying Gravity doesn't know what it wants to be. Each of the dozen or so characters is given a little air time, leaving us not knowing terribly much about the The premise and setting were enough to stir a vague sort of interest, and it was nice to see a fresh cast of faces (excepting Ron Livingston) since breakout shows usually feature breakout actors and actresses. Unfortunately, Defying Gravity doesn't know what it wants to be. Each of the dozen or so characters is given a little air time, leaving us not knowing terribly much about the personalities of any of them, although it is clear that Maddux Donner is meant to be the hero of the piece, although it's disappointing that the programme stuck to the convention of the "girlfriend" role being awarded to the bright blonde whilst the "unscrupulous seductress" is played by the sultry brunette (who has obviously bewitched our Hero with her dastardly feminine wiles, or so Hollywood stereotype would like us to believe!). I've watched the first four episodes so far, and hardly anything has happened at all to progress the plot or the growth of the characters, let alone any earth-shaking scenes apart from possibly the scene at the very beginning where Donner is forced to leave his colleagues behind on Mars, but since they stiuck that in at the beginning we don't really know or care about this moment which should be an emotionally wrenching one. The dialogue is more full of trival chit-chat and small talk than searing one-liners or Shakespearean tear-jerkers. The show isn't absolutely terrible, but it's a long way from stellar quality. Expand
  8. kadayiP
    Oct 26, 2009
    8
    It took a few episodes to get going, but I must admit I quite got into this, purely as an entertaining TV shown. Certainly from a sci-fi perspective it's not all that deep, but the characters are likeable enough and their is good chemistry between the leads.
  9. AcriminalMind
    Oct 18, 2009
    0
    Poor writing, poor acting, despicable characters, and a supremely unrealistic story. Designing a manned mission to multiple planets in the solar system would be a scientific miracle (even in 2050), let alone one manned mission to one planet within our century. The science advisors to this show have clearly never cracked a textbook - it takes 3min for light to travel from Venus to the Poor writing, poor acting, despicable characters, and a supremely unrealistic story. Designing a manned mission to multiple planets in the solar system would be a scientific miracle (even in 2050), let alone one manned mission to one planet within our century. The science advisors to this show have clearly never cracked a textbook - it takes 3min for light to travel from Venus to the Earth but our Astronauts can make instant phonecalls to their loved ones to argue about such trivial matters as why a spouse on Earth "lied" to them. They explain artificial gravity (again a ridiculous idea) but where is our explanation for Faster than Light communication? This show is full of self-serving religious BS and it suggests an unrealistic & unethical future where abortion is illegal, yet sexual promiscuity is clearly popular behavior. The on-board physicist brought his comic book collection on a journey through the solar system - time to grow up kid leave the comics at home with Mom - I'm sure this may appeal to an adolescent viewer but I find it hard to believe that these people are going to successfully land on Venus let alone circumnavigate the solar system on some pseudo-religious adventure. This show is laughable. If it lasts a second season I will be very surprised. Expand
  10. Nikhil
    Oct 3, 2009
    2
    The actors were good but not good enough to overcome stupid writing and and stupid characters. Tedious pop philosophy that belongs somewhere in the 1930s in the Boonies was not just boring - it was insulting.
  11. PaulR.
    Oct 1, 2009
    10
    This show has the quality and production values of Lost, with the character driven Sci-fi mentality of Heros, combining to create the best new series on TV! A must see!
  12. BorisK.
    Oct 1, 2009
    1
    Vomitrociously poorly written claptrap, rivaled only by daytime soap Christmas specials. The creator of this overproduced and glossy insult to anyone's intelligence should consider a career in the food service industry. And all those meek sheep that vote this a ten..do these people really exist? Or have vote bots evolved to the point that they can actually leave written comments? I Vomitrociously poorly written claptrap, rivaled only by daytime soap Christmas specials. The creator of this overproduced and glossy insult to anyone's intelligence should consider a career in the food service industry. And all those meek sheep that vote this a ten..do these people really exist? Or have vote bots evolved to the point that they can actually leave written comments? I hope the latter is the case. Expand
  13. GrumpyP
    Sep 27, 2009
    10
    Most critics are idiots with little clue for what the average people like. There are millions of science fiction fans out there who love this kind of show. And even more who can't stand the constant violent shows and shows that show common citizens as complete morons.
  14. AnnikaL.
    Sep 23, 2009
    1
    Totally full of Christian morality. So the fun-loving drug user dies is sick bay. The one night stand girl gets pregnant, has an illegal abortion that goes bad and now will never be a mother due to an emergency hysterectomy. The whole crew is on anti-libido medication. Who sponsors this thing? Some Christian Fundamentalist Church. Let's hope we are all a bit more evolved than this in 2050!
  15. BillD
    Sep 22, 2009
    10
    The show is entertaining. Is that not what shows are for? When I want real science or social psychology I turn to the Discovery Channel or the like; but, this is entertainment like Webber or McCaffrey. There is real room for Sci-Fi that escapes the bounds of cowboys in space.
  16. ChrisV
    Sep 20, 2009
    9
    It seems people over analyze or completely overlook stuff these days. Its a cool show with a neat story, why cant you just sit down and watch a damn tv show without nit picking at some confusing bit of information, or some obscure voice over, or a simple flashback.
  17. BrianB
    Sep 20, 2009
    10
    Best character driven Sci-Fi on TV. Perhaps the ONLY character driven Sci-Fi on TV. If it were packaged with LOST it could reach the intended demographic in my opinion.
  18. JessicaA
    Sep 18, 2009
    10
    I love this show! Can't wait to see where it goes!!
  19. CarissaJ
    Sep 14, 2009
    10
    I enjoy it and am very greatful it is not another idiotic reality show. To the critic of the Miami Herald,only a simple mind couldn't keep track.
  20. PatrickA
    Sep 13, 2009
    10
    A great show. I really hope that ABC keeps it even though they announce episode 8 as the season finale. However they did not say it was the series finale.
  21. BekiR
    Sep 9, 2009
    9
    I really like this show and wish ABC had invested more in the advertising of it. I found it on Hulu and now watch on Sundays.
  22. BarceB
    Sep 7, 2009
    7
    The Donner voice over seems really heavy handed this time around. Do audiences really need the fear the crew went through spelled out for them? I went back to watch the pilot... Wow, in the future abortion is illegal. I missed that part. But the flashbacks make the audience feel like the writers know how it's going to turn out.
  23. adam
    Sep 6, 2009
    9
    Perfectly fun "soft" sci-fi. it's pretty heavy too; abortion, climate change, and Israeli-Palestinian war are discussed.
  24. PerryT
    Sep 5, 2009
    8
    If you enjoy the twist of LOST, then you should enjoy this space version. Story can be a little weak, though nothing glaring, but strong acting keeps it enjoyable
  25. mikeD
    Sep 2, 2009
    9
    It smacks a little of 2001. I keep trying to draw a parallel between "BETA" and HAL. I sispect there are many more surprises to come as they get farther from Earth.
  26. ToniI
    Sep 1, 2009
    9
    I think that it is a though provoking show. It is a lot classier than a lot of the "reality" garbage that is pumped out of multiple networks. If the all of the flashbacks and flash forwards are confusing, as the critic from the Miami Herald stated, then maybe you should go back to tinker toys and linear story telling that doesn't make your brain hurt so much. So far, the storyline is I think that it is a though provoking show. It is a lot classier than a lot of the "reality" garbage that is pumped out of multiple networks. If the all of the flashbacks and flash forwards are confusing, as the critic from the Miami Herald stated, then maybe you should go back to tinker toys and linear story telling that doesn't make your brain hurt so much. So far, the storyline is intriguing and it makes me want to know more... which is what a good plot is supposed to do. However, I fear that the plug on this show will be pulled because it isn't as racy or intellectually mind-numbing as many other shows out there. Expand
  27. MichaelS
    Sep 1, 2009
    10
    Great show It's all about the people.
  28. EliasC
    Aug 30, 2009
    3
    After watching the first 3 uninspiring episodes, I decided to continue watching because, despite the lameness of the scripts, there was something beneath the surface. What I noticed was the the writers were lifting background ideas from the novels of Ben Bova and I kept watching because I wanted to find out if the producers will be brave enough to give the viewers a TV version of Ben After watching the first 3 uninspiring episodes, I decided to continue watching because, despite the lameness of the scripts, there was something beneath the surface. What I noticed was the the writers were lifting background ideas from the novels of Ben Bova and I kept watching because I wanted to find out if the producers will be brave enough to give the viewers a TV version of Ben Bova's future history of the 21st century. So far, after watching episode 5, I see no such trend. If you want to see what the potential of this series could have been. read any of Ben Bova's books in the 'Grand Tour' series, the 'Voyageurs' series, the 'Mars' series, or the 'Asteroid Wars' and see what a great near future SF drama could have been like. There is still hoope for this series, but with only an 8 episode run, I doubt it. Expand
  29. KellyK
    Aug 29, 2009
    0
    Unrealistic, horrible script, horrible stereotypical characters, the voyage makes no sense without a continuity or information of what area they are in and the progress of their voyage. It is worse than greys anatomy but they are all enclosed in a small capsule. And the team that is selected sound nothing and their career lines have nothing to do with astronauts on an epic journey. It Unrealistic, horrible script, horrible stereotypical characters, the voyage makes no sense without a continuity or information of what area they are in and the progress of their voyage. It is worse than greys anatomy but they are all enclosed in a small capsule. And the team that is selected sound nothing and their career lines have nothing to do with astronauts on an epic journey. It must have been written by hormonal women after watching an episode of star trek and even worse is the whole unprofessional stand of the crew and the mystery section in the aircraft !!! A zero is too high of a rating .... !!! Expand
  30. Elizabeth
    Aug 26, 2009
    8
    It intrigues me and I see real potential in this show.
  31. ChrisK
    Aug 25, 2009
    10
    One of the best shows on tv at the moment. Please don't cancel.
  32. ErikF
    Aug 25, 2009
    9
    Great start that shows it has amazing potential.
  33. CharlesB.
    Aug 24, 2009
    9
    Finally, a unique television show. The science admittedly has some flaws but at least it's not to the point of some other sci-fi shows. The cast works well together and the series backstory is intricate, well-developed, and intriguing. I concur that it is not perfect (but what show is?), and the sex could be done without, thank you very much; however, it is a superior show to most of Finally, a unique television show. The science admittedly has some flaws but at least it's not to the point of some other sci-fi shows. The cast works well together and the series backstory is intricate, well-developed, and intriguing. I concur that it is not perfect (but what show is?), and the sex could be done without, thank you very much; however, it is a superior show to most of this other crap I've been seeing lately. I sincerely hope that ABC doesn't cancel this thing. Expand
  34. sueh
    Aug 23, 2009
    9
    This is good sci-fi. The acting is good, it is character rather than action driven - a nice change from all the csi,ncis clones, which while good shows have caused blood overdrive - writing is thoughtful and looks like they are using actual space shots blended in with cgi so skillfully all space shots look very real. I am very glad to see a new sci fi with good writing, and it certainly This is good sci-fi. The acting is good, it is character rather than action driven - a nice change from all the csi,ncis clones, which while good shows have caused blood overdrive - writing is thoughtful and looks like they are using actual space shots blended in with cgi so skillfully all space shots look very real. I am very glad to see a new sci fi with good writing, and it certainly needs to be given a chance - too many good shows have been yanked off before they got a chance to get going - like life on mars!!!! I would like to see where they go with this, I think it is already very good, and the actors are excellent. Expand
  35. Jacob
    Aug 23, 2009
    10
    Yes it's reminiscent of other shows (hi Grey's Anatomy). But considering it's cast, mysterious nature, and a nod to sci fi fans it's a collective show worth the shot. It will get better.
  36. JeremyC
    Aug 22, 2009
    6
    Too much Grey's Anatomy, not enough Battlestar Galactica. This show has room to expand but I'm worried that this will end up a horrifically wasted opportunity to explore the concept of realistic space flight as petty love interests take center stage.
  37. KT
    Aug 17, 2009
    10
    I have thoroughly enjoyed the show so far. I agree with some that it can be far fetched at times, but name me one TV show that isn't at times?! Unlike most TV shows on today with all one race characters, they mix up the races of the astronauts which is progressive, new, and needed. The sex scenes are a bit over the top and coul be toned down a bit. I hope the series continues because I have thoroughly enjoyed the show so far. I agree with some that it can be far fetched at times, but name me one TV show that isn't at times?! Unlike most TV shows on today with all one race characters, they mix up the races of the astronauts which is progressive, new, and needed. The sex scenes are a bit over the top and coul be toned down a bit. I hope the series continues because we need a break from the cop/medical dramas. Expand
  38. MattJ.
    Aug 14, 2009
    10
    Great show. Original is many ways. There are some preachy parts I could do without but it is done in an interesting way by trying to predict how culture will be in 40 years or so.
  39. AlanG.
    Aug 11, 2009
    1
    It's a "chic" show at best. Totally lame and unbelievable.
  40. TomB
    Aug 11, 2009
    9
    So far the soap opera elements haven't intruded on the mystery of the science fiction. Let's hope that it stays more like Lost in Space, season 1 and less like Grey's Anatomy.
  41. PaulW.
    Aug 11, 2009
    1
    In one word: pathetic... The acting and drama is worse than most daytime soaps, the poppy musical interludes just suck out the will to live and the continuous sexual nods surely don't belong in a series with this kind of premise. To top the cake they put in a terribly weak attempt at 'philosophy' in the trailer where a Hindu flight member gets caught up with his silly In one word: pathetic... The acting and drama is worse than most daytime soaps, the poppy musical interludes just suck out the will to live and the continuous sexual nods surely don't belong in a series with this kind of premise. To top the cake they put in a terribly weak attempt at 'philosophy' in the trailer where a Hindu flight member gets caught up with his silly superstitions when he is told to leave the mission. A bunch of blah blah that was old even before the human race moved out of Africa. In the end it's just an overproduced silly mess ubercheesed to the point of being banal and insulting. Can't believe anyone over 14 would want to watch this. Expand
  42. halb
    Aug 10, 2009
    4
    Ratings of 8, 9 and 10... REALLY??? Are you guys serious... Oh. My. Goodness... This thing needs to be put out of its misery ASAP. Thoroughly disappointing and just plain dumb. Unless you like silly soap opera characters spitting out silly dialogue (and over-acting to the hilt)... in Space. Oh, I see, because it's in space (the final frontier for silliness, I guess) it's suppose Ratings of 8, 9 and 10... REALLY??? Are you guys serious... Oh. My. Goodness... This thing needs to be put out of its misery ASAP. Thoroughly disappointing and just plain dumb. Unless you like silly soap opera characters spitting out silly dialogue (and over-acting to the hilt)... in Space. Oh, I see, because it's in space (the final frontier for silliness, I guess) it's suppose to rivet us to the screen? Puh-leeze. Expand
  43. JamesM.
    Aug 10, 2009
    2
    It get's a one for the set and another for the acting. The writing is just terrible. The show's angst last night was the captain needed a pep talk??? Holy crap this just stinks. Love the idea of a secret entity picking the crew - why can't said entity come up with the billions of dollars this mission supposedly cost? Just dumb.
  44. WendyW
    Aug 10, 2009
    10
    So far so good after 3 eps.....can't wait til next week! Definietly makes you want to see more.
  45. CEE
    Aug 10, 2009
    9
    I'm not ready to jump out of the air lock yet. Like what I've seen so far and I'm always willing to give a scripted show a chance to find its way to greatness.
  46. LizA.
    Aug 10, 2009
    4
    This show started out pretty well - had good SciFi potential. I do get lost with all the flashbacks. Now the sex stuff has begun....DH goes to Venus. I'm pretty much finished with the show after the last episode. Pity.
  47. karen
    Aug 10, 2009
    9
    I like it. I love the cool space idea... so much better than dark gloomy drug shows lately on tv. Only complaint I have.. the music is too loud. what should be background subtle blairs...can't hear the dialogue.
  48. SeanR
    Aug 10, 2009
    1
    All the filth you would expect from a hospital drama, now set in space. The stupidity of the show is second only to it's title; in outer space, gravity is not being DEFIED. Argh!
  49. LoisC.
    Aug 9, 2009
    9
    Excellent -- far better than shows it is being compared to, like Grey's Anatomy -- for network TV...Now that Battlestar Galactica is over and it will be months before Caprica starts, there is a decent space drama to see. Good! Hope it is not canceled.
  50. SteveS.
    Aug 7, 2009
    1
    I gave the one point for Ron Livingston, who is always good. As for the rest of the show -- simply bad. I don't expect TV shows to resemble reality, but nothing here was interesting or fun, either. Pass.
  51. BJ
    Aug 6, 2009
    10
    While I found a couple things a little silly (spit in your space suit to plug a leak - really?), I was able to suspend my disbelief (something we must always do with stories like this) and was overall intrigued and thoroughly entertained. Hope it sticks around. I'm tired of medical/cop drama.
  52. Tim
    Aug 6, 2009
    9
    Great so far... hope it lasts.
  53. MunnyR
    Aug 5, 2009
    8
    Great first 2 episodes but seriously keep the fake hindu religious stuff out plzzzzzz!
  54. RyanL
    Aug 5, 2009
    9
    I am intrigued! This whole space soap opera thing is great. And the pool scene is filmed in my campus. How can I not like that. Eagerly awaiting the next episode.
  55. TrevorG
    Aug 5, 2009
    8
    Intriguing start. A little ridiculous with all the flashbacks, but I like the potential. Finally Ron Livingston gets a TV show!!!
  56. JonathanD
    Aug 5, 2009
    9
    This is good show. You can occasionally pick out the narrative devices directly from other shows. Lost and Grey's being the main sources of borrowed devices but that isn't a necessarily a bad thing. Left me craving more.
  57. CurtisF
    Aug 4, 2009
    9
    Its like some did Star Trek: Enterprise without all the stupid Star Trek stuff. Im stoked for Scifi on network.
  58. DarrinT
    Aug 4, 2009
    7
    I was hoping for more. Lose the musical montages. I love Lost but this seems like a cheap rip off. I'll stick with it for a couple of weeks in hopes it gets better. We need more quality space stories.
  59. ChelseaD
    Aug 4, 2009
    4
    Went from Bad to worse. Salon is right, this is the same as every other lame drama on network TV these days. I was hoping for a good Sci-Fi show for the summer, but I guess I shouldn't have expected much from the people who brought you Grey's Anatomy. Pass.
  60. Chris
    Aug 3, 2009
    8
    It's a pretty amazing show that certainly promises some great story development in future.
  61. SueG
    Aug 3, 2009
    10
    Totally enjoyed the show. I love sci-fi and continuing storylines like this and enjoyed the variety in the cast. Going back and forth between space and the crew's training years is a fun plot device. Can't wait for the next episode.
  62. MiyaG
    Aug 3, 2009
    10
    It's been pretty intriguing for me somehow..a good one to kill time in this ....nice and hot summer time. Going to outerspace cools me down.
  63. DouglasB
    Aug 2, 2009
    3
    The show would have been great if they left out the religious stuff - I say no thank you to the Hindu teachings and we don't need that taught to us while watching a cool idea for a show.
  64. LenA.
    Aug 2, 2009
    8
    Like it...a lot.
Metascore
54

Mixed or average reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 15
  2. Negative: 2 out of 15
  1. 60
    Defying Gravity is a perfectly decent bit of sci-fi soap - some cool “Star Trek’’ futurism, plenty of pretty “Grey’s Anatomy’’ ensemble melodrama, and a twist of eerie “Twilight Zone’’ mysteriousness when characters refer to the high-tech spaceship as if it has a will of its own.
  2. Reviewed by: Paige Wiser
    75
    Defying Gravity is taking its time to get off the ground, but I plan to tune in at least until Saturn.
  3. The first ep feels ridiculous; maybe it's the fact that despite being on a futuristic space mission, everyone acts like they're on "Private Practice." Then again, it's summer, and at least this isn't another cop/doctor show.