Saturday, September 26, 2015

Pilot Review: Limitless

Limitless (CBS)
Premiered September 22 at 10pm

I reviewed another show earlier this week that was based on a movie that I had seen and liked (“Minority Report”) and I was pleased to report that it was a sequel rather than a remake or prequel. It turns out that this show, which is based on a movie I didn’t see, takes the same approach, and it seems like a productive one. Which I don’t know all the background on NZT and what happened with Bradley Cooper’s character in the film, his appearance in this pilot was appropriately relegated to just one extremely informative and mysterious scene that leaves it open for him to reappear or not reappear as he is needed, desired, or available. When I first heard about this show, I was glad to see that Jake McDorman was starring in this role. I first got to know him as the likeable Mike on “Shameless,” and then saw him crash and burn in the obnoxious and very quickly-cancelled “Manhattan Love Story.” I think he’s a great fit for this role, though he doesn’t have nearly as much charisma while he’s playing the sad sack version of himself before he discovered his drug of choice. I don’t quite understand how the injections he’s getting work, since they seem to solve the problem of his having any side effects or not being able to remember what happened and allow him to still use 100% of his brain all the time. Jennifer Carpenter is a predictable choice to play a cop working side-by-side with a questionable criminal who really just wants to help people, and it should be a good part for her. This variation of the procedural should be fun enough to keep me entertained, though I’m hardly ready to commit for the whole season or series if other shows prove to be more original or enticing.

How will it work as a series? McDorman’s Brian has put together the basis of the NZT criminal history, but he and Agent Harris are going to have to work together to figure out what’s really going on while presumably dealing with episodic distractions. It’s just like any other police show, just with an extra compelling backstory to keep it going.
How long will it last? The ratings for the pilot were pretty good, and it got an early start out of the gate bringing younger viewers in, something that CBS (and any network) values a lot. A renewal isn’t guaranteed but things are definitely looking promising for this show.

Pilot grade: B

No comments: