Monday, March 4, 2019

Pilot Review: Gone

Gone (WGN)
Premiered February 27 at 9pm

So this one actually premiered first, way back in November 2017 on Universal in Australia, but it did remind me a lot of another show that just launched recently on Fox, “Proven Innocent,” where someone went through a harrowing experience earlier in life and then ends up going into that field in adulthood. Why that appeals makes some sense even if it’s not of much interest to me, but what’s much more of a question is why an entirely American cast is starring in a show set in Pittsburgh that first aired in Australia and took more than a year to get to American television. This does seem like a big get for WGN given the high profile of star Chris Noth, though it’s very much a run-of-the-mill procedural. There is something to the notion that someone who was abducted at a young age might be able to provide insight into similar cases, but it also presumes a lack of knowledge and ability on the part of Noth’s Frank and other trained operatives like Danny Pino’s Bishop, putting an extraordinary trust in an established hacker and a self-defense instructor a bit too eager to utilize her gun permit. The only real surprise in this first hour was that the parents of the abducted girl had also taken her without permission, but that was about it in terms of inventiveness. Kelly Rutherford’s domineering mother who used her daughter’s story to create a career for herself adds some drama to an otherwise uninvolving premise, with lackluster lead performances from both Noth, more charismatic in the likes of “The Good Wife” and “Sex and the City,” and Leven Rambin as the irritable Kick. This pilot didn’t win me over.

How will it work as a series? She managed to get herself hired to come along to Atlanta and become a full-time member of the team without much trouble, not that Frank hadn’t decided it as soon as he came to recruit her, and so theoretically her expertise will be put to use in a range of cases going forward, contributing knowledge and a unique perspective that only she can over. It’s a procedural about a consultant, without much to distinguish it from the many, many more like it that have aired in the past.
How long will it last? The fact that it’s just getting to American audiences so long after starting in Australia and other countries doesn’t bode well, nor does the fact that it has yet to be renewed after all that time. While positive ratings were reported for the show’s debut in France, it didn’t really register even by WGN’s standards. I wouldn’t expect this to be picked up for more episodes based on American viewer enthusiasm.

Pilot grade: C+

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