Sunday, August 12, 2018

Pilot Review: Burden of Truth

Burden of Truth (CW)
Premiered July 25 at 8pm

Kristen Kreuk has been keeping her TV work loyal to the two networks that started off her career – CBC and the CW. The Canadian network aired “Edgemont,” and the US broadcaster that emerged from the ruins of the WB and UPN continued “Smallville” and then her follow-up show, “Beauty and the Beast,” which ended in 2016. Now, her latest series began on CBC back in January and is now airing on the CW. What I can say about this series is that it doesn’t feel like so many other pilots because of the angle it presents, framing its protagonist as highly committed to her work, which itself feels far from noble. At one point, she’s actually told that she’s not the good person in this story, and it’s only once she sees someone experience the effects that were allegedly caused by the vaccines that she starts to flip sides. Having her return to her hometown where no one likes her even before she explains why she’s there definitely suggests much more to the story which can be explored later, and being a pariah is also going to make her attempt to become a do-gooder all the more challenging. Though Kreuk isn’t always the most emotive performer, she does seem well-cast here. I don’t feel that this kind of show, which is a procedural despite the story-specific modifications, is one I need to be watching, but when it comes to pilots I might otherwise forget, this one was considerably more engaging than I had expected.

How will it work as a series? The last scene of the episode dropped a big bombshell, which was that Joanna finally gave in to ethical pressure and decided to show up to do something about this epidemic, regardless of whether her client was indeed responsible for it. Whether she’s going to quit immediately and just volunteer to help remains a question, but she’s definitely going to burn bridges in pursuit of her new altruistic aims.
How long will it last? This show premiered almost three weeks ago (I’m a little late on my review, of course) to decent reviews. In Canada, it was already renewed for a second season back in April following the conclusion of its first run. While its ratings are not much to write home about, even for the CW, I don’t see why they wouldn’t want to keep showing episodes of this series if they’ve already been commissioned and developed by another network.

Pilot grade: B-

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