What respectable tv-oriented blog wouldn’t be aware of a new genre-related show premiering? Yep, that would be this one. Oh wait. The key word is “respectable.”
Resurrection, one of last fall’s best-reviewed new shows, debuted last night to my utter oblivion. Thank you’s go to Television Without Pity for bringing it to my attention, and OnDemand for making it available for viewing.
The concept is terrific. Dead people begin showing up in a small Missouri town, having not aged a day since their deaths. That point is brought home immediately with the return of Jacob, an eight year old boy who drowned 32 years ago. Actually, the boy first shows up in rural China, eventually making his way to his hometown with the help of an immigration official. Luckily, his 60-something-year-old parents live in the same house. (Good thing they didn’t down-size.)
Of course there’s the requisite disbelief. First the parents, then the town sheriff and doctor (the boy’s uncle and cousin, respectively), and finally Jacob’s best friend, who’s now pastor of the local church. Along the way, we meet the doctor’s friends, a brother and sister. That’s important because in the course of the episode, we learn both their parents are dead.
The cast includes of a number of actors you’ve seen before on television: Omar Epps, Kurtwood Smith, Francis Fisher, Matt Craven, and That Guy from Sleepy Hollow (Abbie’s ex-boyfriend, who may or may not have died on that show).
Did the show live up to its high praise? Not really. But it’s a pilot. When a show has this large a cast and this high a concept, a pilot can’t really do justice to the material.
Plus, I kept being pulled out of the moment by costume “misteps.” The pastor/best friend wears a clerical collar when we first meet him (I suppose so we can realize he’s a minister), but later preaches in a button-down shirt and pullover sweater. Jacob wears the same red shirt and blue jeans throughout the entire episode. He had them on when he woke up in China, when he spent the night in the hospital (no hospital gown?), and when he went to church (conveniently showing up late so as to cause a commotion). These gaffes sort of negated show’s authenticity for me. (“Authenticity” being a relative term, what with dead people showing up alive.)
All in all, though, the pilot provides a great set-up, with lots of questions to answer. There’s the supernatural element to explore and mysteries from the past to solve. Are the resurrected people human? Jacob exhibits some odd behaviors; and although they’re explained fairly quickly, there is also a point when he doesn’t seem to have a heart beat. Do the resurrections have anything to do with the man who was having an affair with Jacob’s aunt? And why is this happening in this particular town?
The upcoming episodes look to be more exciting than the lackluster pilot. More dead people show up, buried bodies will be exhumed, more questions will be raised. It seems a grand mystery is in the making and I shall be on board. (For now.)