Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Premiers: NBC's Believe & ABC's Resurrection

This week two promising shows premiered on network TV. While the scenarios of each varies, both shows feature children with special gifts as central characters. 

Believe is co-created-written-and-directed by Gravity's Oscar winning director, Alfonso CuaronIn it a little girl, who has paranormal powers, must be watched by a team of protectors to keep her from falling into the clutches of a corrupt millionaire, played by Kyle MacLachlan. MacLachlan's character, the well-connected Mr. Skouras, wants to use the child's powers for his own misguided purposes.

I adore a scene in Believe where the young girl, named Bo, tells a convicted murderer, Tate, who is sent to a hospital to bar her kidnapping, that the reason he has a tear streaming down his cheek is: "You remembered you were good once."  

The chase over the course of a television season should be fun and suspenseful, if the characters are multi-dimensional and worth getting to know. I will give the show a chance.
If you have ever lost a close family member, you may be disturbed and equally drawn in by Resurrection. In the series, an 8 year old boy, named Jacob, appears at his 60 year old parents' door, looking very much like the day he died, 32 years earlier. Most of us can identify with loss, grief and wanting our loved ones back. So it's not an easy episode to watch, but you don't turn the channel.

It looks like Jacob won't be the only person in town to rise from the dead. Previews show other dearly departed arriving. Past events will now have to be re-examined. Jacob's cousin, Maggie, a local doctor, gets involved. Her own mother died in the same accident, trying to save Jacob from drowning, or so everyone believes. Soon long ago secrets begin to unravel, and new mysteries need to be understood. What is happening in the small Midwestern town of Arcadia?

If the creators are clever in responding to the age-old questions about the meaning of life and death, the show will be gripping to watch. Resurrection is co-produced by Plan B Entertainment, Brad Pitt's company. Brad just won an Oscar for co-producing Twelve Years A Slave.

Fantasy and sci-fi genres can be more creative and take more liberties than straight dramas in explaining good and evil. The really genius ones (like HBO's Game of Thrones) do shed light on human nature. 

Let's hope these latest two will be complex and entertaining to watch. It's fantastic the networks are hiring talented people to produce different kinds of shows. Hopefully, it will lead to imaginative and great storytelling.

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