(In the interest of full disclosure - I was contacted awhile ago to help promote this TNT series via advertisements and banners. However, review copies of episodes were not provided.)
One of the more interesting subtexts of a lot of popular culture has been living in the midst of disaster - how people pull together (or not) during times of crisis, and the impact it may have on the "next generation." From The Road to Lost to The Living Dead, there's been an increased focus on how people deal with the unexpected (which is why zombies have now become the nerd cliche du jour - it's the ultimate way to conceive that things-are-really-messed-up).
Like the recently canceled The Event, TNT's Falling Skies deals with the aftermath of an alien invasion as humanity attempts to rebuild and a teacher (Noah Wyle) attempts to locate his lost son. Given its premise and the fact that it is being produced by Steven Spielberg, it would be tempting to dismiss it as sentimental, or as a bargain basement version of Super 8. (Note - I have not seen Super 8, and am a little reluctant to given my aversion to Cloverfield). However, Falling Skies - after three episodes - is turning into a surprisingly gripping family drama. In short, it's a pretty good science fiction family drama that you won't be ashamed to show others...or admit that you like.
Part of the reason the show works is that it gives us enough of the familiar cliches of the genre, and then plays with them slightly. After the invasion of aliens (who resemble xenomorphs, Predators, and spider Daleks), humanity (at least, in America) has assembled into a series of military/civilian collectives working to rebuild society. Although the usual tensions are there, characters do not fall into the usual "war bad/peace good" cliches, and there's a more realistic edge to the writing - and acting. If you're expecting Mad Men quality drama....look elsewhere. But there is a solidness to the writing and acting that makes it a pretty good view, despite it taking a little bit to start.
You may be tempted to wait until the DVD set comes out....please don't. This is pretty good "popcorn television", and quite frankly, Falling Skies is a hidden gem in the summer season.
Watch it. Now.