Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Review - Past Life Season 1 Episode 1 Pilot

I have to give credit to Fox for at least taking a chance on a show with such a hokey premise. Beyond that, there's little to look forward to. It's a procedural with the supernatural element of past lives, and the main characters don't even have special powers like in Ghost Whisperer, Medium, or The Listener. Basically, everyone has the ability to see glimpses of their previous life, and sometimes they are murdered. Using this, Dr. Kate McGinn (Kelli Giddish) and Price Whatley (Nicholas Bishop) solve crimes that can only be solved by the past lives. The images of a past life show up when something isn't right, so something in the universe must be fixed. It's stupid, but as long as you can accept that in an otherwise normal crime procedural, you should be fine.

There is the classic female and male leads opposing each other, except there is really not much for them to oppose. Kate is the believer in these past lives while Price is the skeptic, but Price sees how the past lives work, and the viewer does also. In order for the audience to buy the premise, the writers made the past lives a fact. Therein lies the big problem. Price has to buy into the idea, or he'll be going against empirical evidence along with the wacky idea of his colleagues. There is no other reason for them to have tension. He's just a normal ex-cop who is incredibly boring, so there is no where to go ahead. In Bones, Booth believes in religion while Brennan does not. What makes the relationship work is that there is nothing definite about religion, and they can speculate as much as they want without a finite consensus. Booth can attribute something to God, Brennan can refer to science, and in the end, everyone's right. Eventually, the audience will be screaming for Price to shut up. They know past lives are real, and if the audience knows, so should Price.

The procedural element is what you'd expect. There's a guy experiencing these flashes, so the team steps in. They try stimulating him, running around, finally catch the killer, and free a kidnapped girl. The dialogue is bland, and almost nothing stuck out. Giddish has a charm that brings her to the top of a show that doesn't offer much in the first place.

Score: 8.1/10


Anonymous said...

With everything you said in the review, how did you give it a 8.1/10? I was expecting a 2/10 tops.

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