Sunday, May 26, 2013

Pilot Review: Save Me

Save Me (NBC)
Premiered May 23 at 8pm

My hopes were not high for this comedy which NBC deemed unworthy of inserting into its schedule during the twelve months since it announced its pickup. Technically, it isn’t any worse than four out of five of NBC’s freshman comedies from this year, “Go On” being the exception, but those all got cancelled, so it doesn’t say much for the state of comedy these days on NBC (“Parks and Recreation” continues to be the network’s only saving grace, as well as “Community” for its devoted fans). This show takes a far-out concept, one of religion inserted into an eccentric woman’s everyday life after she chokes during a drunken binge-eating session, and tries to run with it. What results is an odd, quirky show that doesn’t have a consistent or terribly coherent rhythm. Anne Heche, who was charming in “Men in Trees” and actually quite terrific in “Hung,” is extremely irritating her, emphasizing the gender-neutral nature of her new friend and taking every opportunity to over-exaggerate her newfound situation to make it seem even more extreme. The show took out its best character, Alexandra Breckenridge’s Carly, with a bolt of lightning at the end of its first episode, and now it’s stuck with Madison Davenport’s rude daughter and Michael Landes’ gutless cheating husband. This show truly does feel like a summer show, and it reminds me of the very short-lived 2006 Aidan Quinn vehicle “The Book of Daniel.” Like that series, this one swings for a grand humor-driven take on God, and misses entirely.

How will it work as a series? Airing two episodes at a time should give the plot plenty of opportunity to progress since this show is guided almost entirely by its storyline, if the first episode’s mid-scene ending was any indication. The sentimental finish to the second episode indicates a more emotional undercurrent that should make the show more endearing if still impossibly peculiar.
How long will it last? Not long at all. There’s no chance of it being renewed for a second season, but even in an uncompetitive off-season, it might not even manage to air the thirteen episodes of its initial order. Pretty much matching the ratings of the swiftly-cancelled “Do No Harm” does not suggest a promising fate.

Pilot grade: F

No comments: