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Resurrection, A Review

I have certainly been looking forward to catching Resurrection on ABC since I started seeing the commercials for it. I was able to catch both the first and second episodes on DVR tonight and for those who are interested in watching it also, but skeptical, I thought I would give it a review.
The premise behind Resurrection is not a secret - people have been inexplicably returned to loved ones after having been dead for years. After doing a bit of research, I realized that this was first a book called "The Returned," then it was a French mini-series with the same premise. (Apparently, all shows in American television have to be based on another European version first, but I digress). In the first two episodes, we see two people who are "returned," a boy named Jacob and a father named Caleb. Caleb, from what I gather, is seen throughout the first episode in a hoodie and red hat with a very menacing presence (very Satan-eque), but he is introduced to us as the father of a normal woman and her "not right" brother (show's description, not mine). The boy drowned 32 years before, with his aunt attempting to save him, or so the story goes. Omar Epps plays an FBI agent Bellamy working for immigration, assigned to bring the boy back across American soil after he is found wondering in China. The boy's cousin Maggie, his aunt's daughter, is the doctor working with Bellamy to figure out the mystery of why these people are returning from the dead.
It's quite an interesting premise and so far, the show has kept me intrigued. However, I don't see the interest continuing much longer. This premise is one that would make an excellent book, obviously, or a mini-series. It works in an environment with a definite end, and a small amount of time to keep the watcher interested. Shows like this, Lost, Once Upon A Time,  even The Walking Dead (at times), are ones that remind us that even though we are always a little intrigued by the mystery in the beginning, sooner or later, we all want a little closure to the story. And for me, five or six seasons of mystery is too much, and in the case of Lost, for example, the end of the story, or the beginning of the story, is never as interesting as it should have been or as it was when we began watching. Networks still have not figured out how to have a hit show that does not have to last season after season after season, so they make these shows that have slow arcs and unnecessary character plot lines, when the show could be a much-watched show, but for a short period of time.
Case in point - the first episode was incredibly interesting. This boy appears in a field out of nowhere, and is reintroduced to his parents after 32 years. We have indications that he is perhaps, possessed or other-worldly (staring out the window into the sun, opening his eyes after people leave rooms). I watched the show to figure out where he came from and why he is here. We are drawn into his character's death story by him telling a different version of how he died than has previously been told. Yes, his aunt drowned, but he was trying to save her, not the other way around. And behold, there was a man there that no one knew about before who might have pushed his aunt in. Ah, now there's a plotline. People coming back from the dead to help living people solve old mysteries. Wait, I have a sixth sense I've seen that in a movie sometime ago...
But instead of continuing down this path, in the second episode, we are given the plotline of how we will be reintroducing this boy into a normal life. He goes to play soccer with other kids, and lo and behold, other parents make their kids leave, because no one wants to play with "the dead one." And his mother is still clinging to the notion that at some point, people will just accept him for who he is and things will just be normal again. All the while, we have this other returned character, Caleb, who is digging up what looks to be a dead body and visiting a friend to beat him with a hammer, after screaming, "It's all gone?!?"
Either this is a show that has used a very intriguing premise to pull us in, in the hopes that we will gain interest in this small town of uninteresting characters, or its a show about this very intriguing premise of why people are coming back from the dead. In this case, I am guessing it's not the latter, which is unfortunate, because I think ABC is going to lose its viewership momentum very quickly. We've seen this show before, just with a different beginning. We've seen the small town cast of characters with lots of secrets to hide. We've seen the dopey, yet stubborn sheriff who refers to the stranger (Epps) as the one "coming to my town, asking a bunch of questions." We've seen the out-of-town federal agent (or lawyer, or cop, or investigator) who, for whatever reason, is drawn into the lives of these people and wants to know the truth (in this case, I think it could be for a good reason, if the writers did a good job with it). And honestly, I don't want to watch that show again and again. I want to watch a show I haven't seen, one where the writers have thought the idea out from the beginning to the end, and have a good story to tell me.
I will watch the third episode, but if it gets me no closer to the mystery of where all of these "returned" are coming from and why, then I won't watch after that. Epps is doing a great job with the material he has, other than that, I am not completely impressed with anyone else in the cast. For one thing, there are too many people I am having to keep up with at this point. For another, none of them seem slightly interesting. I really hope they can change that - it would be a good show if they could.


Laurie said…
Interesting review, Jenna. I was intrigued with the show until after the 3rd episode. Still curious, but the producers dragged out the events soooo slowly between commercials with info we've pretty much already learned about. Afterwards I thought, hmm. One whole segment between commercials was yet another dialogue between Mom and Dad about whether their "new" son was real or not. Another segment was spent visiting the scene of a crime we'd already seen happen, with no new facts revealed. In the last minute we get to see a new person appear, but am I still hooked? It seems to keep the suspense up there could be more intriguing/mystifying comments or actions from the newly-revived people. Not sure I will stick it out. Is it the script writing at fault?
Hey Laurie - yeah, I pretty much lost interest in this show because I just don't care too much about the lives of these people. And yes, I think it's the script writers fault. They have a cast of great actors who are playing such cliché characters that it's not even interesting. Thank you for the comment!!
Anonymous said…
I'd been following assuming it was a mini-series, and have found it entertaining with the thought that it would be wrapped up at the end of the eight episode run. But, as a continuing series? It sounds like something that will end up not renewed and leaving lots of unresolved issues.

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