Friday, October 6, 2017

Pilot Review: Ten Days in the Valley

Ten Days in the Valley (ABC)
Premiered October 1 at 10pm

If I could hand out an award for most disorganized pilot in recent memory, this would be it. I thought for the entirety of the episode that it was based on the 1996 film of the same name starring James Spader and Teri Hatcher that I’ve never seen, but it turns out that’s actually “2 Days in the Valley,” which isn’t exactly the same. It turns out this is just an entirely original concoction, one that for some unexplained reason merited a direct-to-series order from ABC over a year ago. There are more shows than you think about missing children, and this one didn’t offer any resolution, just a mysterious ending which confirms that sinister happenings are afoot. Kyra Sedgwick is an Emmy-winning actress who anchored “The Closer” for seven years, a show whose spinoff, “Major Crimes,” is ending after a very successful six-year-run in just a few weeks. This role couldn’t be more of a departure for her, with a dropped accent and considerably less charm. I’m not sure what made her the right for this role, and she’s not a character I want to get to know, far less appealing than Constance Zimmer’s producer on “UnREAL.” There are a few other familiar faces who have been better in other productions, like Erika Christensen from “Parenthood,” Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje from “Lost,” and Malcolm-Jamal Warner from “Sneaky Pete.” Only Emily Kinney from “The Walking Dead” seems to be well-cast for a strong role here. There’s nothing that I want to continue thinking about related to this show, and I really wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

How will it work as a series? Not too well, if you ask me. I don’t know where it’s supposed to be headed, and Sedgwick’s Jane is sure to be extremely self-destructive as she looks for her kidnapped daughter and interacts with the deceptive people in her life. There might be some good fodder for intrigue here, but it’s not well constructed at all.
How long will it last? The reviews are unexpectedly relatively good, which I can’t hope to comprehend. The ratings were not as optimistic, though its moderate performance isn’t terrible enough to damn in to immediate cancellation. I don’t see it surviving though, for multiple reasons, and I hope it’s off the air soon.

Pilot grade: F

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