Friday, April 6, 2018

Pilot Review: The Crossing

The Crossing (ABC)
Premiered April 2 at 10pm

At least once every few years, if not each year, there’s a new show that’s based on an extraordinary event which brings or transports a group of people to somewhere they couldn’t possibly have reached without the advent of some inexplicable technology or supernatural intervention. One such series was actually called “The Event,” and it serves as one of the top examples of why this concept is appealing at the start and then often doesn’t go anywhere productive or worthwhile after that. I didn’t have any real expectations of this show, and it’s possible there may actually be something here. The problem is that it starts with Steve Zahn’s sheriff comically doing yoga and then being interrupted by Nick Gomez’s eager deputy, setting the stage for this to be a lighthearted parody of the kind of fare that it’s actually supposed to be. Sandrine Holt, of “House of Cards,” “Mr. Robot,” “Homeland,” and “Hostages,” is in a much more serious role, determined to figure out what’s going on with all these people who have mysteriously appeared and whose stories, however incredible, may in fact be true. What intrigued me most was when one of them wanted to give the president a warning about others who had crossed before and he came face-to-face with Undersecretary Lindauer, played by Jay Karnes from “The Shield” and “12 Monkeys,” who revealed himself to be one of those very people. It’s not clear if Natalie Martinez’s Reece is actually bad, suggesting that Apex may not be as villainous as everyone who has arrived has proclaimed. I’m much more fond of this being a science fiction show than a supernatural horror one, and though I didn’t expect to tune back in for episode two when I sat down to watch this, I may just give it a shot to see what’s next.

How will it work as a series? For this show to stay interesting, we’ll have to find out a few important details, like the undersecretary’s future origins, each episode that keep the mystery exciting without being too big on the questions and short on the answers. Agent Ren is the right one to be looking into all this, and hopefully she’ll opt to trust the sheriff so that they can make some progress to stop whatever the future threat is from accomplishing its mission.
How long will it last? The reviews are just on the lower end of good, less enthusiastically-received than many other shows that quickly tanked after promising debuts. The real question for ABC to answer is how the ratings were, unimpressive compared to other shows on the network but still good enough to beat the competition on Monday night. I’d say the future doesn’t look bright for this one, but subsequent broadcasts will say for sure.

Pilot grade: B

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