Thursday, October 20, 2016

Pilot Review: Falling Water

Falling Water (USA)
Premiered October 13 at 10pm

I read a short description of this show a few weeks ago and was immediately intrigued by the premise but just as skeptical of its execution. People’s dreams are an obviously interesting subject for television or film, but it’s hard to find an example that manages to tackle them in a way that proves both engaging and reasonable. “Inception” is the exception to the rule, one that, however complex, proved to be incredibly cool and exciting even if some of the suggested science didn’t hold up. A TV example that works relatively well is “Sense8,” though it’s hard to find much logic or clarity on that incredibly confusing show that takes dreams to the next level and instead establishes the kind of deep conscious connection that this show is going for. On this show, an incredibly overeager Zak Orth seems to want to unite people during their dreams and help to understand more about our minds that way, though one of his subjects is already trying to subvert him, telling the “guest” in his dream to lie to Orth’s Bill. Regardless of what high-minded intellectual notions this show has, the way it plays out is extremely dense, uninviting, and confusing in a way that doesn’t command return viewing. I find it strange that a noted trendspotter is the first candidate to go under and figure out how to help with all this, but she also apparently has a baby she doesn’t remember having for which a miscellaneous $10 hospital charge is the only evidence. None of the actors are particularly impressive, and this show’s pacing is not a plus. This show might get interesting a few episodes in, but I’m not up for the long ride it will take to potentially get there.

How will it work as a series? So far, only Tess is aware of what Bill is trying to do and that there’s something worth taking away from her dreams that isn’t just in her head. My assumption is that Burton and Taka will soon get there, but how much will happen before then is another question that I’m not too attached to having answered since this show is already so muddled.
How long will it last? This pilot first aired a few weeks ago after the “Mr. Robot” season finale at 11pm, a late hour to debut a new show, before airing again last Thursday night. The reviews weren’t great, and USA is trying to delve into darker territory with this kind of show. I don’t think it holds a candle to the network’s other offerings, and I wouldn’t expect this to survive to season two.

Pilot grade: C

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