Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Pilot Review: Rellik

Rellik (Cinemax)
Premiered April 13 at 10pm

I try to go into all shows I watch knowing as little as possible about them, and therefore I misinterpreted the meaning of this show’s title. I assumed that it was a reference to the word “relic,” with characters coming back to life after being killed. Instead, it’s the word “killer” backwards, referencing the way in which the story is told. Unfortunately, this is no “Memento,” and the fact that it’s told in reverse is far from helpful. The actual rewind sequences are cool, but I wish that events were actually playing out in a different way that was based on some weird occurrence with a time loop than just being filled in to help the previous scene make more sense. I know I’m supposed to recognize Richard Dormer, who plays DCI Markham, from his role as Beric Dondarrion on “Game of Thrones,” but I don’t. I’m always happy to see Paterson Joseph, currently starring on “Timeless,” who I loved in his last British series role, as a bald deputy commissioner who got caught shoplifting shampoo once. This is hardly as entertaining a role, and this show in general is pretty miserable. The ultimate question with something dark and disturbing is always what the end game is that makes it all worth it, and my worry is that, when all is said and done and we get to the beginning of this story with multiple suspected killers, it’s still going to be a jumbled and uninviting mess. I’m not intrigued enough to keep watching.

How will it work as a series? That’s the operative issue – going only backwards in time is supposed to fill in more missing information, but it’s hard to remember what’s happened already, or rather what will happen, which makes it hard to piece everything together. There may be some worthwhile revelations, like the fact that Markham is married and that his wife knew about the affair, but overall it’s not a productive format for this particular story.
How long will it last? All six episodes of this show aired back in September on BBC1 in the UK, where it had a strong debut and then lost most of its viewership in subsequent weeks. The reviews aren’t great, and while I imagine that, even if this story is a closed loop, a second season could feature another such case in the same format. I doubt that’s going to happen from either BBC1 or Cinemax at this point.

Pilot grade: C+

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