When you begin watching Godless and Lost in Space, the genres of the two shows immediately jump out to the viewer. It doesn’t take much thought to realize it. Godless is obviously a Western film from the get go. You start off by seeing some text that says “1884”, followed by a man dressed in Western clothes with a “fat” handle bar mustache riding on a horse in a dust storm. I think the only thing more Western than that would have been a good ol fashioned showdown where two people walk in different directions with tumbleweeds blowing in between before they draw revolvers and shoot each other in the chest. Then someone grabs their belt buckle, hikes up their trousers, then spits their chewing tobacco into a spittoon and it makes a high pitched “ting”. But still, the man on the horse was a pretty key sign.
When you start watching Lost in Space, you also notice the Science Fiction genre rather quickly. There is a family sitting in their air tight space suits playing card games around a table. The cards are floating in air which I immediately assumed means they are in space. They are also wearing seat belts so that would be another detail to confirm my hypothesis. They crash land onto a snowy, foreign planet that they are not familiar with. Most Sci Fi movies have beautiful CGI and this is no different. This show is most definitely a Sci Fi series.
Having a partial understanding of specific genres does not mean that you will not enjoy a series necessarily, but I find a series to be much more enjoyable when you have an in depth understanding of the material in a genre. A show that comes to mind when I think of this is Silicon Valley. It is an HBO show about a Computer Scientist in Silicon Valley who is trying to make it big with his turn of the century software algorithm. As an Information Technology major, I find this series to be particularly entertaining with the dry awkward humor that is seen between the nerds in the show. The characters make jokes involving technology and it makes me laugh every time. I find the material to be golden but when I try to watch the show around my girlfriend, she doesn’t understand the humor and finds the show to be unentertaining because she is a Radiologist who doesn’t relate to the tech side of things. In return, if she is watching some doctor drama like Greys, I may not understand the full context of a medical joke like she would. The same theories apply to Lost in Space and Godless, someone who doesn’t understand the Western genre may not understand all the material being brought to the screen, but regardless they may enjoy the show.
I personally enjoy both genres. I watch Sci Fi television more than I do western, but it’s because technology is my passion and I cannot get enough of it. Space movies like Interstellar, Alien, and Martian are some of my favorites. I may not watch classic Western films like John Wayne or others, modern day Western films are some of my favorites to. Movies like 3:10 to Yuma and Django Unchained are extremely entertaining and shine light towards the way people were back more than a century ago.
The two shows may seem like they are traditional to their genre, but there are a few deviations I noticed that we would not have seen in some traditional film decades ago. The fact that in Godless, there was a town of completely women would have be unheard of in the past. Back in the 1800’s, it seemed like woman had defined roles and that did not include what the show portrayed. I am not saying there is an issue with that at all, I am just saying it is not traditional with the Western genre.
Regardless of the gender of the characters, I find both shows having interesting pilot episodes and I look forward to continue them both.