'Project Blue Book': With ratings dropping, perhaps the History Channel show should focus more on truth than fiction
The show follows an interesting true story which was under the wraps for a long time. But maybe shading characters in black and white isn't the best approach.
The History Channel held its place when it came to viewers' ratings with 'The Curse of Oak Island' which pulled in a 0.8 rating for episode 4 of its sixth season in adults age group 18-49, keeping steady with its previous episode’s score. However, that cannot be said about the channel's show produced by Robert Zemeckis, 'Project Blue Book'.
After winning over almost a 0.4 rating in adults in the 18-49 age-group, the show saw a major drop in its viewership after episode 4 aired January 29. Episode 4 pulled a mere 0.3 rating. This might come as a surprise since 'Project Blue Book' grossed 3.1 million total viewers over two telecasts of its premiere episode.
The show is much appreciated for several factors, especially for its plot that revolves around a real-life character and a true incident. Starring Aidan Gillen ('Game of Thrones') and Michael Malarkey ('The Vampire Diaries'), 'Project Blue Book' is inspired by the personal experiences of Dr. J. Allen Hynek (played by Gillen) - a brilliant college professor recruited by the U.S. Air Force to spearhead the clandestine operation (Project Blue Book) that researched thousands of cases, over 700 of which remain unsolved to this day.
Fans claimed the show made just the perfect first impression, as one fan on Reddit mentioned, "Project Blue Book did look good. That's always a point in a first date's favor. Showing up with excellent settings and effects does make a good first impression." However, what is notable about the show is its characters are definitely contemporary in nature in spite of being drawn out of the 1950s' idealistic times. So, what could have gone wrong? It seems the show's fictionalized version of the truth may have become its glitch.
A fan on Reddit claimed, "I expected Project Blue Book to be fictionalized, of course, but its true awfulness exceeded my expectations...giving free rein to the imagination, not getting bogged down in tiresome physics or engineering, or being in any way constrained by what real people really did."
Another fan supported the claim stating, "Project Blue Book is nowhere near that high caliber. It's More a BB than a 50 cal. I'd like to think 'HISTORY CHANNEL' would be alert and faithful to period verbiage. Watch for more contemporary usage as the series progresses."
The series did alter several true facts just for the sake of putting up a good show, but it seems to have forgotten that the truth can only be molded so much with fiction until it becomes so unreal there is no trace of the original story left.
Characters like Ksenia Solo's Susie Miller and Malarkey's Captain Michael Quinn are certainly the most unreal factors on the show, as these are characters who seem extremely out of place when it comes to the 1950s. Also, to some extent, it seems Susie's character is merely put into the show just to instigate a reaction from Hynek's wife, Mimi (played by Laura Mennell).
The conflict between Hynek and the U.S. Air Force was more of agreeing to disagree. Hynek was a man of science and he did not want to dismiss a theory without testing it first-hand. Does that mean he is always right? Not really. Also, the Air Force chiefly wanted to keep Hynek's reports from Project Blue Book as classified as possible to prevent fear and paranoia from spreading among the masses.
However, what the show has done is it has put Hynek on the pedestal of goodness and drew the Air Force out to be this looming evil body. By taking sides, and claiming who is good and who is bad, the show has literally put history aside and written down its own set of facts and figures.
Hopefully, the show will do a better job when it returns with Episode 5, titled 'Foo Fighters', set to air February 5 on the History Channel.