19 May 2024
Scene from Fallout season 1 now on Prime Video

Prime Video Review – Fallout (2024)

War never changes.

This statement echoes throughout the Fallout franchise. It is less of a line of dialogue and more of a proclamation. War will always occur as humanity will find a way to engage in combat. So, as you explore the wasteland in games like Fallout 3 or Fallout: New Vegas, you see this concept explored. In New Vegas, we see two factions fighting over the Hoover Dam.

Fallout, the TV show, delves into this idea from three different perspectives. We follow Lucy, a vault dweller who travels to the surface on a rescue mission; Maximus, a squire as part of the Brotherhood of Steel who must find a wanted person; and Cooper Howard, an actor from before the bombs, who must deal with the turbulent world of communism and the fear of the end of the world. We see all the elements that make Fallout the franchise it is today. Unlike the other hit TV show based on the game, The Last of Us, Fallout could never be an exact game-to-screen transition. Fallout is a role-playing game where your decisions as the player affect the story. In theory, everyone who has played a Fallout game has had a different narrative experience. So, bringing that into a medium with a singular narrative is difficult. This is where the show’s biggest strengths and weaknesses are present.

From a world-building perspective, I feel the world is expertly translated into television. The vaults, the wasteland, and the pip-boy all feel authentic and straight from the video games. However, at the same time, I am worried that this show may be overwhelming to people with no understanding or knowledge of the franchise beforehand. For better or worse, it is an extension of the games.

This issue is also present in the overarching story. Cooper Howard is by far the best character and storyline in the show. Every scene that surrounds him is incredible, from making films about defeating communism to how his life becomes intertwined with Vault-Tec and then the wasteland. It is true peak television, and I love every moment he is on screen. It also helps that he is portrayed by Walton Goggins, who is truly flawless in this role.

However, I found Maximus’s story to be utterly boring. The Brotherhood of Steel looks visually incredible, as power armour is just rad, but I find his character to be lacking depth. It does not help that I felt Aaron Moten gave the weakest performance of the show. I do not think he is bad, but compared to his co-stars, there was nothing that I found to be great. Lucy’s story is hit-and-miss. When it is first introduced, I feel parts of it are solely for shock value. However, as the narrative continues, her story is divided from her exploring the wasteland on the rescue mission, and seeing how her vault deals with the aftermath of tragedy slowly becomes fascinating and gripping.

At 8 episodes, I don’t feel it justifies being that long. I feel that if the show were condensed down to 6 episodes, it could have been incredible, but at 8 episodes, it feels drawn out. The show takes a while before it gets going, and because of that, I was really on the fence about the show at the beginning. However, by episode 6, I was fully on board. When the credits rolled at the end of episode 8, I was excited to see what comes next and looking forward to season 2, if it happens.

★★★1/2

All episodes available now on Prime Video | Ella Purnell, Aaron Moten, Walton Goggins, Moises Arias | Dir: Jonathan Nolan, Clare Kilner, Frederick E.O. Toye, Daniel Gray Longino, Wayne Yip | Amazon MGM Studios | 15


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