Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Pilot Review: Resurrection

Resurrection (ABC)
Premiered March 9 at 9pm

This show’s title pretty much sums up its premise: people who died come back to life. Where it goes from there isn’t clear, and this pilot doesn’t exactly provide many answers. A young boy who barely speaks appears in China, and though he doesn’t really communicate, he is able to direct Omar Epps’ J. Martin Bellamy to his house in Missouri, where his parents are shocked to discover that he is back in their lives after perishing in a drowning accident thirty-two years earlier. Rather than have a broad scope of people coming back, it appears that the miraculous resurrections are contained to just one extended family, or at least to the small town of Arcadia, Missouri. This little universe contains a handful of familiar faces in the cast, including Kurtwood Smith as a very different kind of father from the one he played on “That 70s Show,” Frances Fisher, Matt Craven, Nicholas Gonzalez, and Samaire Armstrong. It’s not clear if there is something disturbing and malicious about the returns of these family members, especially since the man that Jacob is running from is actually just another one of the resurrected people. There is definitely something creepy about Jacob running down towards the river and about him in general, and not knowing whether he’s just back as if he never died or there’s something more sinister going on makes this show both off-putting and overly sappy, an odd mix to be sure.

How will it work as a series? I suspect we might get one or two new undead people per episode, and there’s obviously going to be some difficulty reconnecting and establishing and confirming the fact that these people really are back. Bellamy’s presence adds an obnoxious dimension of adoption services and reality to it that might not be productive, depending on what’s actually going on in this muddled universe.
How long will it last? It certainly doesn’t feel like a long-running show to me, but anything is possible, as this show likes to suggest. The powerhouse premiere fared quite well and was a strong showing for ABC on a night that’s been a challenge in recent years, so right now the network is probably enthusiastic. I don’t think it will last, but right now the future looks bright.

Pilot grade: C-

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