Worth Watching or Not? - 33%
Summary : Two out of three are Stinkers: 33% Success, so far
Proof: Excellent and Worth Watching
Premise: A surgeon who has had a Near-Death Experience (NDE), and recently lost a son, is offered billions of dollars, which she can funnel to the charities of her choice if she’ll help a dying billionaire prove (or disprove) what happens after we die. She has a somewhat-estranged husband and a shared teenage son. She involves one of her new interns in this off-the-books research while maintaining her surgical and worldwide doctor-in-disasters duties.
Creator, Rob Bragin, is joined by TNT fave (from The Closer), Kyra Sedgewick, as well-advertised producer.
Jennifer Beals (Flashdance and The Chicago Code) plays the surgeon. Matthew Modine is the billionaire. Edi Gathegi is the hapless intern from an unnamed African country. These characters are worth watching.
Beals’ almost-ex is played by a perennial ex, David Sutcliffe (from The Gilmore Girls), with Annie Thurman as the daughter of loss and almost-divorce. Joe Morton gets into the act (is he on every show, now?) as the hospital’s administrator. I can tell the show will feature Callum Blue as the psychic/fraud in conflict with Beals’ character quite regularly, but why? Seems silly. I also hope they keep the exes’ arguments and mother-daughter snuggle time to a minimum (who cares?). These characters could be eliminated and no one would notice.
Otherwise, I look forward to the X-Files-type investigations of the afterlife within the medical drama, for a nice twist on both. Beals’ character is solidly skeptical while secretly believing (she saw visions of her dead son and others while in her own NDE), so she gets to play both Scully and Mulder together, and I really like her as an actor. The character of her intern is slowly evolving, and I like him, also.
Premise: This show can’t seem to decide what its premise is. After watching an over-sized pilot (almost two hours) and episode two, I just do not care. Purportedly a medical drama, then termed a “thriller,” the writers/creators chose to insert the following into the first three hours of the series: loss of a child, gang warfare, drug addicted hospital employee, anger and grief management issues, domestic violence/battered woman, dishonest and over-reaching doctor, obnoxious and agenda-ridden (why?) supervisor, marital problems and home invasion, with the possible (accidental?) murder of a patient’s abusive boyfriend. Really?
I had had high hopes for this new drama, since I like medical dramas and loved Burn Notice (same creator, Matt Nix). Too bad for me.
Jason O’Mara plays the anger-, angst-, and guilt-ridden doctor with a God-complex, the lead character. Constance Zimmer plays his therapist, to whom he is supposedly retelling the previous several days’ events to in an attempt to keep his job. To make matters worse, the series decides to play with time sequences, flashing back, forward, and into some present randomly after each commercial break and in between. It’s exhausting and pointless.
The doctor’s wife is played by Leverage’s gymnast, Beth Riesgraf who may or may not also be an attorney. They have one son still living, played (and/or directed) very badly by Albert C. Bates. Jessica Szohr (from Gossip Girl, and she was great in that) plays the doctor’s sidekick, a non-conformist nurse, also anger-ridden.
There are several gang members (leaders and fighters), O’Mara’s father, police officers and detectives and other hospital personnel involved whom I won’t list, here, because the series didn’t succeed in making me care about them.
I HATE shows about gang and mob violence with the concomitant stereotyped characters and gratuitous violence and trite threats, all playing Dirty Harry and The Godfather rehashes very badly. If I hear this line one more time, accompanied by the convenient firearm in visible reach, I’ll scream: “Did I sound like I was askin’? I wasn’t.” Yawn.
The writers must have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). Skip this one. Erased from my recordings list.
Dark Matter: Also Disappointing
Premise: Six crew members of a spaceship are suddenly awakened due to failing life support systems but have no memories of who they are, where they are or why they are on the ship. They use their skills to fix their systems due to their having lost personal but not all professional memories (convenient, eh?) and find an android on board linked to the ship’s computer who provides them first with dangerous conflict, then information and assistance, once they reboot her. They decide to check out a nearby planet and discover their true mission, identities and the planet’s dire need. Much fighting and arguing ensue, with deals and double-deals, armed conflicts and deaths, a lot of chasing and hiding. Double yawn.
Production values are terrible; it seems to be a trend these days, to attempt to build suspense by making everything so dark no one can see much of what the action is. Dialogue is wooden and silly, usually. There are almost no relationships established among or between any of the characters that a viewer could care about, with one randomly inserted almost-romance near the end of episode two. The plot is thin to the point of breaking apart by the end of episode two, so unless you like the idea of going on armed adventures with muddy characters who have no actual purpose except to fight the current corporate greed machine and elude capture, you won’t like this series, either. Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, creators of Stargate, are the originators of this series, so it had potential, but fizzled.
The six main characters are assigned numbers until they have names, in order of their awakening from cryo-sleep/suspended animation: Marc Bendavid is “One,” Melissa O’Neil is “Two,” Anthony Lemke is “Three,” Alex Mallari, Jr. is “Four,” Jodelle Ferland is “Five,” and Roger Cross is “Six.” Zoie Palmer plays the android/computer link. The rest don’t matter. Really.
Skip this one. Erased from my recordings list. Or, watch for yourself:
Then there are the series of which I couldn’t even make it through the pilots:
Your Family or Ours?: Great cast, horrible writing, and inane subplots.
Becoming Us: Good premise, but wooden script and terrible acting with multiple bad decisions as to format (why do most new shows rely heavily on unreadable text messages and social media account webpages for screen shots? Viewers cannot see most of those words: duh!
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