Sunday, January 17, 2016

Pilot Review: Second Chance

Second Chance (FOX)
Premiered January 13 at 9pm

To get a show to air, you need a good pitch, and some premises seem better and more convincing than others. On paper, this show probably sounded great. An unlikeable 75-year-old former sheriff whose career ended badly being killed and then brought back to life by two wunderkind twins as part of an experiment to see if they can cure the female twin’s deadly cancer sounds intriguing to be sure. In actuality, it’s a bit of a mess, and far from as interesting as it probably seemed. I’m a fan of Philip Baker Hall, who adds a lot to whatever project he appears in, like “The Loop,” and it’s a shame that he won’t actually be the star of this show. Instead, we get Robert Kazinsky, who I knew I recognized but couldn’t place how I knew him. It turns out he was Warlow on “True Blood,” and here he gets to play the younger version of Ray, who has the “second chance” to live his life over and do things right this time. He’s been pretty obvious about his connection to his adult son, played by Tim DeKay of “White Collar” fame, and the futuristic technology that the Goodwin brothers have created isn’t going to be able to stop him from making many missteps along the way. This is really just a slight spin on the extralegal stranger trying to help right wrongs without actually being able to reveal his identity formula, and to me it’s much less appealing than something like “Person of Interest” with less potential for interesting development over time.

How will it work as a series? As Mary’s health declines, the stakes are going to get higher, but for now it’s going to become a procedural, I imagine, as Ray gets involved in saving lives on behalf of the twins and his law enforcement instincts, and his son gets closer and closer to figure out exactly what’s really going on. It’s a lot to process, to be sure, but doesn’t sound all that enticing.
How long will it last? Both the ratings and the reviews are not promising. FOX has had a few hits over the course of the season and a few failures, and I think this will ultimately end up in the latter category, though the network probably won’t be too quick to pull it from the air, giving it at least a second chance or maybe a few after that before it pulls the plug for good.

Pilot grade: C-

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