Podflix & Chill
Podflix & Chill

Episode 3 · 2 years ago

For All Mankind - AppleTV Plus

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

What if the Soviet Union beat the Americans to the moon? That's the plot of the AppleTV+ original series, For All Mankind. In this episode, Andrew recaps the first season of the show and how actual historical events served as inspiration for this fictional story. Season 2 of For All Mankind premieres on AppleTV+ on 2/19/21.

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If you've ever thought about starting a podcast, let me tell you about anchor. Anchor is a free tool that makes it incredibly easy to get started with your new podcast. In fact, it's what I use. With anchor, you can record and edit your show directly from your phone or computer. They will distribute your show to major podcast platforms like apple podcast and spotify for you. You can even monetize your podcast with no minimum listener requirement. Oh and did I mention it's free. All you have to do to get started is download the free anchor APP or go to Anchor Dot FM. That's an Cho r dot FM anchor. It's everything you need to make a podcast in one place. Hi, I'm an drew, a self proclaimed TV junk join me on my journey to watch as much original content from the streaming services as I can. I'll give you insight into the shows that you just don't have the time to watch. Fair warning, this show will most likely contain spoilers, so if that's not your thing, turn back now you don't mind spoilers. Let's dive in. Welcome to Pod Flix and chill. What's going on, guys? Welcome back to another episode of pod flicks. And Chill. I am your host, Andrew, and today we are going to be covering the Apple TV plus series for all mankind. But before we get into the series itself, I want to talk a little bit about Apple TV plus, the service. If you're not aware, it just had its first birthday. It launched in November of two thousand and nineteen with a handful of original content and has slowly grown its catalog to about thirty one shows and a handful of movies. And the one thing that I like about this service, that apparently I'm in the minority of people here, is that it is literally all original content. There's no back catalog like Hulu and Netflix, of tons of TV shows and tons of movies. This is all brand new material that has never been seen anywhere else before, and the service is only asking for five dollars a month, which, if you think about it, really isn't that much. But a lot of people aren't planning on renewing once their free trial period is up. Apple offered a twelvemonth trial period of TV plus if you bought a new iphone or new apple device within the last year, and a lot of people are apparently aren't planning on renewing, so they're going to expect to lose a chunk of their roughly forty million subscribers once that trial period ends in January. I happen to think that is worth the five dollars a month. The service has continued to grow and there's a lot of great content. Most of the shows on there have already been renewed for second and even third seasons. One of their latest shows, Ted Lasso, which is probably going to be featured on a future episode of the podcast here, just wrapped its first season. Second season hasn't even premiered yet and it's already been confirmed for a third. So there's a lot of great material out there and I think people just haven't given it a fair shake yet. So expect to see some growth with them over the next couple of years and you might even see them bundle it into this new service that apples featuring called apple one, where they're going to be combining services like apple arcade, apple TV plus Apple News and really hone in on that subscription model to keep people involved and engaged in their services. So now that that's out of the way, let's talk about for all mankind. I'm not quite sure what exactly the budget was for this show but, as I said, apples pumped about six billion dollars into their streaming services and with shows like the morning show and see budgeting between two hundred and forty two...

...three hundred million dollars per season, I have to imagine that the budget for this show was somewhere in that ballpark. So what it is is a show that asks the question of what might have happened if the Soviets landed on the moon before the Americans. As you guys may be aware, Apollo Eleven first landed on the Moon on July twenty one thousand nine hundred and sixty nine, and in the very opening scene of this series we see the Soviets put a man on the moon on June twenty six, one thousand nine hundred and sixty nine. So one full month before Apollo elevens mission, we see the Soviets put a man on the moon and what that does is that creates a ripple effect throughout history and changes a lot of key historical events that have happened that really alter the course of American and world history, and I want to try to dive into as much of that as possible. But before I do I have to warn you we're going to get into spoiler territory. So if this is a show that you're interested in but you don't want any spoilers, then turn off the podcast now and watch the show. But before we get into any spoilers, one of the things that I want to talk about is one of the key components that I think makes the show work incredibly well, and that's the way that they use historical figures and real life people to tell these fictional stories. Right. So the Apollo space program was a huge thing in the s and the s and it's been covered across multiple media channels, multiple TV shows and movies and books. In fact, I think even Disney plus is launching their own take on the Apollo Space Program called the right stuff, which is going to be a miniseries about the mercury seven astronauts, and we're going to get into them a little bit later because some of them are referenced in for all mankind as well. But it's a it's a big deal in American history and I think you can't tell those stories without referencing the names of the people who were involved. So you have people like gene krantz, who was the flight director at Mission Control for Apollo Eleven and Apollo Thirteen. You have names like Deke Slayton, who was the crew chief that assigned astronauts to their missions and one of the original mercury seven astronauts. You have the obvious names like Neil Armstrong and buzz aldren, the first two men who actually landed on the moon. You can't tell these stories of the NASA space program without mentioning those names. It'd be like trying to tell the story of like Peter Pan Without bringing up Captain Hook Right. It's just not possible. I mean, they even made a whole movie about it. It's called Hook. It's fantastic film, but anyway. So what I really like about the show is that when you look at other historical shows or shows that tell stories about something that might have happened in history, you have the names of the people that were involved in those events, but they're often just that, they're just names, or they show up as a cameo later on and sometimes don't even have any dialog and instead the show's focus on this fictional band of characters that is apparently more involved in and more entrenched in the story then were led to believe. Now, most of the time these stories are fictional. So these characters haven't really existed and it's really the named characters that we don't see or only see as a person and not as somebody with any dialog. Those are the ones that are really driving the story forward. But with this show, since it's an alternate history, these are all made up stories. There's no source material or anything that really sets the foundation for this other than there was a space program in the S and we were racing with the Soviets to see who would get to the moon first. But outside of that, the show literally...

...changes direction and we're unchartered territory in the first five minutes of the program so it'd be weird to sort of continue down that path without having people like gene krantz and DEEC SLATON and Buzz Aldron all show up as characters, and I think this show does that really well, because not only are they just characters in the first episode or mentioned by name, but these are people that you grow attached to and grow to love and care about throughout the whole ten episode first season. These are people that are integral to moving the plot of these fictional stories forward, and I think that it was incredibly well executed and I think it was a perfect choice for the show runners of this show to do that. Now, that said, you can also argue that these real life people also become fictional versions of themselves, because we get situations that they've never been put into in real life. For instance, Flight Control Director Gene Krantz. He is still alive and well in two thousand and twenty. I think he's in his s right now, and in the show in the back half of the season, we actually see him get promoted from mission control to the Johnson Space Center and he's on a launch pad waiting for Apollo of twenty three to take off when a faulty part explodes, killing him, eleven other crew members and the three astronauts inside the rocket. So while that event obviously never happened, we've still been attached to that character and it's still sad to see him die, or at least think about a possible future where he could have been killed. So it's a really unique perspective that the show brings to history and I really like it and I think it works incredibly well for this first season. The show's already been renewed for a second season, which I'm super excited for. They drop the trailer during comic con back in July and I've got for words for you. Guns on the moon. I'm excited to see how it pans out. I think it's going to be really, really intriguing. But that's just one of the things that the show brings to the table. Is just the innovation of what might have happened if the space race never stopped, because when we landed on the moon we sort of said okay, like we made it, and the space program continued for a little while and it just I don't think as much of the push forward remained. For example, real life, the first American woman in space with Sally Ride in nineteen eighty three. In the show we see that after the Russians put the first man on the moon, the first woman lands on the moon again a Russian cosmonaut, and that forces NASA to start a search for their own female astronaut candidates and we put a woman on the moon decade before Sally ride ever goes into space. So in nineteen seventy one we see the first American female land on the moon and I think that's really cool to think about that this might have happened. Another thing was midway through the show when I was watching, NASA had made an announcement in real life that they found ice on the light side of the moon. And while I thought that was cool, we see in the show that NASA discovers what they think is ice on the moon and we set out to find that ice. So the mission of Apollo fifteen was to find a landing site for Apollo Sixteen, to get moon and harvest moon off the ice. Or Yeah, Moon off the ice, harvest ice off the moon. Or I guess mine, because it's not really harvesting right. So, but what winds up happening is Apollo fifteen lands on the moon,...

...they go down into a crater and they find ice and this discovery of ice winds up leading to US establishing at habitation module on the moon two years later, in nineteen seventy three. So in one thousand nine hundred and seventy three, and this alternate history, Americans put the first habitation module on the moon and name it Jamestown base. So yes, I thought it was a very cool reference that they named it after the first settlement in the America's but this is all stemming from the Russians beating us to the moon, right, and you think, well, why, why didn't we continue to do this? And one of the reasons that the show gives for that as a possibility is that after the Russians beat us to the moon, Nixon winds up pulling the troops out of Vietnam early so that NASA can have more funding. So they funnel money away from the American military in Vietnam and give it to the space program so that we can find these female candidates so that we can further the space program and make those advancements that we need to make in order to continue to beat the Russians, or try to beat the Russians and not be second best to them, right. And I thought that was a really interesting concept because I know Vietnam is a very controversial topic in a lot of different circles. Some people think we should have pulled out early, some people are very adamant about, you know, being there, and we're not even going to get into that topic past that point. But yeah, it's a really interesting concept for show and I really liked a lot of what they did. Another change that we see to American history is that Ted Kennedy winds up running for and winning the presidency against Nixon. So we see a world where Ted Kennedy might have actually become president and as many people who might have wanted to see that, it's actually you know, it's laden with its own drama, because we see as he was campaigning he moved one of the NASA contracts to a different state and a different man manufacturer for one of the parts of the Apollo Twenty three rocket, and that faulty manufacturing is what winds up causing the explosion that kills Gene Krantz and the eleven other crew members and the astronauts inside. It also leads to another faulty computer part that causes an engine to miss fire on Apolo twenty four, and when Apollo twenty five has to go up and execute a rescue mission, it creates an entire turn of events that winds up killing off deek s Layton, who again has another alternate story in this timeline. Now the real decks late and as I mentioned, he was one of the original mercury seven astronauts, and the Mercury seven underwent very rigorous physical and psychological training to see if they can handle space, and these men were selected, and deeks late and unfortunately was not cleared for flight duty due to heart conditions. Now all of that back story is accurate and while in real life deeks Layton eventually made it up into space in one thousand nine hundred and seventy five as part of a joint American Soviet space program, in the show we see that he starts getting antsy, so he has flight doctors clear him for flight and he assigns himself to the crew of Apolo Twenty Four. So he goes up into space and we have this computer malfunction that causes the rocket to Missfire, and when Apollo twenty five goes up to execute the rescue mission, the rocket fires, but deek is still outside of the cabin, attached to...

...his tether line, as the rocket just blasts off into space and is projected to miss the moon by a thousand miles. And what winds up happening is that a piece of shrapnel cuts through deek's suit and punctures his abdomen and he winds up bleeding out and dying in space. In one thousand nine hundred and seventy four. So it's a not very pleasant way that he goes out, and I am actually kind of sad about the way that they handled it too, because he is up there with a woman named Ellen Waverley who is keeping the big secret that she is homosexual, and that was apparently a big no no because they felt that if you could lie about that then you were susceptible to blackmail from the Soviets and you could be compromised into giving away secrets for the space program to the enemies. And when she's up there with Deek, she finally reveals her secret about the homosexuality and he starts laughing because he thinks it's a joke and she kind of says like no, it's not a joke and he's like you've got to be kidding me, like I wish you hadn't said anything, and he gets really angry, and that kind of made me upset because here he is dying and he's still holding on to his very like archaic way about him. And eventually he he does kind of sort of offer up an apology. He kind of turns to her as he's dying and he says, you know that thing you told me. Don't tell anybody else because there's too many people like me in the world. So in a way I guess he's acknowledging his own shortcomings, but at the same time I kind of sad that he didn't really acknowledge and accept the fact that she's different and that, you know, she's still an astronaut, she's still here, she's still the exact same person that she was. But I've kind of went off on a tangent at this point. That was one of the things I disliked about what they did with deeks character, but the rest of the show, honestly, I loved it. There was one other moment that I wish we saw fleshed out a little bit more, and that is the whole reason that Apollo twenty four is going up there is to relieve one of the other astronauts, Ed Baldwin, who is currently living at Jamestown base on the moon. And what they don't know is that Ed Baldwin is on the moon with some Russians who have also established a habitation base at this point, and one of the Russians has come to Ed for oxygen because he's not going to make it back to his base in time, his oxygen reserves are going to run out. But what Ed does is he winds up kidnapping the Russian and sort of holding him hostage. And when he gets contacted by NASA for this rescue mission after Apaul twenty four gets knocked off course, he has to enlist the help of this Russian astronaut named Mikail to to get the lemb serviced so that he can fire it off the surface of the moon and sort of tow Apollo twenty four into orbit, and we see the Russian astronaut help him out and then as Ed is taking off, the Russian cosmonaut, Mikael, sort of turns towards Jamestown base and you see you see the base reflected in his visor and this really ominous music starts to play and and then it cuts away and I wish they would have fleshed that moment out a little bit more. I wish there would have been repercussions to Ed's actions, because he's the only American on the moon right now and he just left and left his base open, and I kind of hope that they pan that out into season two. I'm not a hundred percent sure that they're going to do it because at the end of season...

...one there was a ten year time jump. So we see sort of the post credit seeing in taking place in one thousand nine hundred and eighty three. Ed is safely back at home with his wife Karen and they really dive into the s version of the space race. So the trailer even has a sweet dreams are made of this song playing in the background. We See ed driving a corvette and is very, very s it's interesting, but I wish they would have fleshed that moment out a little bit more. I wish there would have been some consequences of Ed's actions there. But again, I don't want to dive to too much into the plot of this show because there's a lot of it. What I thought was really cool was the the fictional characters that they developed specifically for the show. They're sort of the main characters while still getting the the main characters and the plot driven forward by these gene crants and decks Layton. But we really focus on Ed Baldwin and his wife Karen and his best friend Gordo and Gordo's wife Tracy, and we see how their lives are affected by all this. So it really not only touches on the NASA space program in general, but it really tries to humanize it and bring it down to a personal level that we can be attached to. So there's the themes, as I mentioned, of homosexuality, there's themes of family, there's theme of like PTSD, not only from some of the characters who returned from Vietnam War, but also the psychology of like living out in space like that's got to take a toll on somebody, and we see all these different elements at play and I thought it was woven together very, very well. I'd probably give this series like four or a four and a half out of five. As I said, there's a there's only those couple of minor things that I wish would have been executed a little bit differently. And I'll end with this, because the show, I've seen come up in a lot of articles about it that it tends to be more hopeful than other alternate history depictions of life, and I'll have to say that I agree. Like yes, there were some, you know, upsetting moments and some not so nice moments in the show, but it's not like this overall dark, ominous feeling that like we're living in a very, you know, Soviet heavy society and everybody is hailing the motherland because the Russians landed on the moon first. It's not that at all. You know, you take a look at shows like man in the High Castle, which is very ominous. You take a look at shows like the handmaid's tale, which I've heard some not so pleasant things about just in terms of what the plot of that show actually is. But this does offer a little bit of hope that we see, okay, we might have lost the moon, but look how much we've gained in terms of technical advancements and innovation and continuing to push the boundaries, and I think that's something that a lot of people have resonated with because, you know, the last moon landing was in the S S s. You know, what have we done since then? Even the space station kind of got stalled out. So that's my take on for all mankind. As I said, if you're interested in the show, I would definitely check it out. If you don't have apple TV plus, you might not have an iphone or an eye device at all, but I would check out your smart tv if you've got one. There are some smart TV's where you don't actually need the apple TV device or any...

...sort of apple product. For example, I have a Samsung Smart TV, but Apple TV the APP is available through that TV's APP store, so I'm able to hook up my itunes library to it and watch apple TV plus right from my TV. So it's definitely something to think about. If you have an apple device and you keep getting a notification to try apple TV plus for for a year free, definitely do it. If that's still an option, I highly encourage you to take the free subscription, watch the content that's on there and then I would sign up to renew for five dollars a month. It's literally five dollars and you're getting stories that you can't get anywhere else and I think it's a really neat service to have. So I'm excited to see what they do with season two of for all mankind. I'm excited for more original Apple TV plus content. You guys can expect more of that from me on this show. And Yeah, that's it. Thanks for tuning in for season two. Or I'm sorry for him. Thanks for tuning into episode two. If you guys have any ideas for shows or movies that you'd like me to review for a future episode of Pod flicts and Chill? Message me on Instagram. You can find me at Pod flicks and chill. That's pod flicks, the letter n chill. Shoot me a message, let me know how you like the show so far. Let me know what you want me to do for future episodes, and be sure to hit that subscribe button wherever you're listening to this. Be sure to tell a friend about it, because that's the only way we're going to grow the show into something big and, if you feel so inclined, leave us a review wherever you're listening to this so that we might be able to rank a little bit higher in the listing. But until next time, I am Andrew. Thanks for tuning in, and this was podflicts and chill.

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