Monday, July 24, 2017

Pilot Review: Salvation

Salvation (CBS)
Premiered July 12 at 9pm

The world is coming to an end, apparently, but it’s got nothing to do with politics or global warming. Instead, it’s a huge asteroid headed toward the earth, which is set to collide in a short number of days. That might all be good as a slightly sci-fi-oriented premise, but of course that’s not all that’s needed here, with the quick seizure and execution of anyone who dares to know what’s going on lest the public find on and panic grip the world. Unfortunately, little of this adds up, mainly because three highly influential people – an inventor, a grad student, and a press secretary – all know exactly what’s happening yet they’re left alone while a professor and a lowly tech who were shown the same information by those people get whacked so that they won’t spill the beans. Basing a show around an apocalyptic event where, if it happens, there’s nothing left to film, is decidedly short-sighted, but this show has more problems than that. Darius Tanz is too cocky and casual about what he can do, Grace Barrows asks way too many questions, and Liam Cole isn’t nearly as subtle as he thinks, getting completely trashed and then asking his conveniently-cast sci-fi writer girlfriend whether he should save the world or pursue his one true love. I can barely recognize Santiago Cabrera from his far less impressive days as Isaac Mendez on “Heroes,” and Jennifer Finnigan is a familiar TV face, most recently appearing on “Tyrant.” Though this show isn’t so terrible, Ian Anthony Dale should know better than to join a show with a concept like this after spending one short season on the gradually less logical “The Event.” This show doesn’t have nearly the hook that one did, but maybe that will mean it’s just dry and uninvolving rather than actually all that bad.

How it will work as a series? In theory, our three protagonists should be dead, but it seems that they’re immune due to their series regular status. Instead, it’s a race between the asteroid, the government, and the unlikely trio to figure out a way to save the earth and try to rescue more than just 160 people. That could be decent to watch, but it also won’t be all that exciting until the asteroid is actually on the horizon.
How long will it last? Reviews for the show weren’t great, though it’s hard to expect them to be given this concept. In a relatively slow summer season, this show did okay in its debut airing and then maintained those numbers the next week, so it’s possible that it could live on beyond its initial prognosis. I think just this summer will be all it will get in the end.

Pilot grade: C-

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