Thursday, March 13, 2014

Pilot Review: Believe

Believe (NBC)
Premiered March 10 at 10pm

It seems to be that a lot of the midseason pilots this year have grand premises that might make for an action-packed first installment but not pan out to an altogether exciting series. This episode is rather productive, even if the drama contained within it isn’t that compelling. This show reminds me a lot of two previous series that some liked but I never found to be all that terrific – “Heroes” and “Touch.” At its center is the token kid, Bo, who possesses incredible powers to unite people and make them feel emotion, seemingly immune to the horrors of the world around her. Bo’s surroundings definitely don’t suit her, since she’s an angel living in a horrific and violent world. The assassin pursuing her snaps the necks of both her parents in the opening scene, and then charges guns blazing after and those sworn to protect her. But she has this calming power, and makes even the hardest of hearts break for just a moment when they meet her. It’s endearing on a level, but it’s a bit too sappy, and everything else about the show works even less well. What I can’t comprehend most is why her new protector, Tate, has to be such an uncooperative, irritating character. The big revelation that he is her father explains some of that, but given that the show is an original production, there’s no reason for him to be so annoying. Assassin Moore possesses some of the same qualities, which makes it hard to root for either one of them. Delroy Lindo and especially Kyle MacLachlan are well-suited for their parts, but neither role is terribly well-written. This is a well-intentioned show that aims much too broadly and misses the mark.

How long will it last? They’re on the run, moving from city to city. That means that it could go on forever, though I also suspect that the bad guys are going to close in every single episode and threaten to reveal Bo’s location, which could become quickly tiring, especially considering the quality of the writing.
How long will it last? It’s hard to tell since it premiered at a different time than it will usually air. Its debut wasn’t nearly as strong as that of ABC’s “Resurrection,” which it will be going up against starting this Sunday. I suspect that it will air the rest of the season and that will be it.

Pilot grade: C

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