Thursday, September 13, 2018

Pilot Review: Harrow

Harrow (Hulu)
Premiered September 7

Ioan Gruffudd is a British actor who has been relatively prolific on television, with multiple international roles over the past two decades. He started off starring as Horatio Hornblower on the British TV movie series then was a series regular on the short-lived “Century City” on CBS, which had a handful of other actors who would go on to be big names like Viola Davis. He didn’t have a great role on “Ringer,” but established a loyal fan base on ABC’s “Forever” that didn’t stop it from getting cancelled after just one season. He was far more charismatic – and villainous – on “Liar,” which will soon return for a second season, and now he gets to anchor his own show with a whole lot of energy here. This Australian drama debuted on ABC in Australia back in March and is now available to American audiences via Hulu. I wasn’t sure exactly what this was supposed to be about when it started, and even after sitting through the entire pilot, I’m still not completely certain. Dr. Harrow quickly announced that he was quitting when he saw the opportunity to spend more time with his very rebellious daughter, a concern obviously heightened by the dead girl whose father was insistent that she hadn’t committed suicide, but then all he did was stick around to do investigative work when he wasn’t even technically employed any more. The revelation that he may have killed someone is troubling but also not quite believable, and it’s a mystery that I’m not really interested in seeing solved. This is a great showcase for Gruffudd if nothing else.

How will it work as a series? Presumably, he’s covering something up that’s ultimately protecting his daughter, but he’s pushing her away enough by not coming through for her when she finally thought he would, so it’s going to be an uphill battle for him to get his life back on track. The medical stuff might be cool, but I’m not sure about the overall plot.
How long will it last? It was popular enough in Australia to get renewed for a second season back in ABC. It feels like a productive venture for Hulu to be invested in as they can rebroadcast it for a new audience. Gruffudd is a moderately recognizable face who should help bring in new viewers, and I think he’ll help this show prove marketable to American watchers.

Pilot grade: C+

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