Combat Zone

Review: Season 2022 of “The Terran Diaries”

By Grizz’s Toe

Since its premiere over 2000 Terran revolutions ago, there have been two ways to appreciate “The Terran Diaries.” Either as the complex, intricate story of a species caught between their noblest ambitions and basic instincts while grappling with the implications of self-awareness and their place in a vast, uncaring universe, or as a trashy reality show. In the latest season of “The Terran Diaries,” the first interpretation has been rendered obsolete as the Terrans have been so amusingly horrible to one another this season that even those who claim that the show is a satire of Blorgilax intraspecies relations — the customary Blorgilax greeting is to attempt to disembowel the other individual — have fallen silent. Truly, “The Terran Diaries” has joined the ranks of such spectacularly tawdry TV shows as “Keeping Up with the Karkavarx,” “Proxima B’s Next Top Hivemother,” and “The Real Housegladiators of Romathon Three.” 

This is not to say that the show is any less compelling. Rather, the show may even be more engrossing with its newfound focus on revealing humanity’s worst instincts. The season’s steady stream of lurid revelations began right from the first episode, “January,” when the Prime Minister of the U.K. — the first of three this season — admitted to holding “bring your own booze” parties in flagrant violation of the country’s COVID-19 restrictions. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the oafish fan favorite, found the only conclusion possible for his character arc: getting prime-ministerially plastered in his office. His replacement, Liz Truss, had an even shorter tenure — merely an episode and a half — but a similarly explosive character arc. Her proposed tax cuts, sweeping and unfunded, sparked fears nationwide after very nearly causing financial collapse.

But the most significant event on the European continent this season has been the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russia’s toxic, abusive behaviors — including bombing the cities of Donetsk, Luhansk, Dnipro and Kharkiv — fully manifested, making Russia the evident villain of this season.

The theocratic regime in Iran emerged as the secondary antagonist of the season for their active and violent suppression of women’s rights. However, the regime drew the ire of fans who felt that a regime that subjugated half of their population while deriving no material gains from it was unrealistic, even by reality show standards

On the subject of subjugation, any review of “The Terran Diaries” would be incomplete without mentioning the messiest character on the show: the United States of America. Arguably the driver for the vast majority of the conflicts that propel the series, the USA spent this season in a state of internal disarray. Between the overturning of Roe v. Wade, mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, record high inflation rates and gas prices, and the ominous signs of the impending climate crisis, the partisan rift that has split the US has never seemed more intractable. In fact, it increasingly seems likely that this will be the penultimate season of “The Terran Diaries”: the next season will inexorably knock down the dominoes set up in this season and cement the fate of Terra as a soon-to-be-defunct source of intergalactic entertainment.

At least, that would be the dignified way to end this reality show. The showrunners, however, seem loathe to abandon the series until it has been fully drained of its drama, evident by the rather contrived — bordering on deus ex machina — conclusion to the season: the Democrats beating the odds to seize major victories in the 2022 midterm elections. At best, this is a poorly disguised attempt to set up another season. “The Terran Diaries” have clearly jumped the shark.