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Sunday, March 9, 2014

PILOT REVIEW: Resurrection


Starring: Omar Epps, Frances Fisher, Matt Craven, Devin Kelley, Nicholas Gonzalez, Mark Hildreth, Samaire Armstrong, Sam Hazeldine, Landon Gimenez, and Kurtwood Smith

Based on the Novel The Returned by Jason Mott, Developed by Aaron Zelman
Written by Aaron Zelman, Directed by Charles McDougall

Resurrection is an eerie new drama based on a book by Jason Mott and set in the small town of Arcadia, Missouri. When a boy, Jacob (Landon Gimenez), is found in China he is returned to his parents Henry and Lucille (Kurtwood Smith and Frances Fisher) by immigration agent J. Martin Bellamy (Omar Epps). The catch is that Jacob was not missing, but has been dead for 32 years. Local law enforcement including the sheriff, Henry's brother Fred (Matt Craven), are suspicious but strange revelations start happening and other people start to "return" as the pilot comes to a close.

THE GOOD: Resurrection had an excellent start. The first part of the show before the first commercial break struck the exact right tone for a creepy series. The whole concept of the show is different than anything that's been on TV in recent years and that's always a good start. The performances were solid and it's interesting to see Kurtwood Smith in a different type of role than his gruff That 70s Show dad. The setting of Arcadia, Missouri is good because it brings in the element of a small town that adds to the overall story and feel.

THE BAD: I have two main gripes with the pilot: first of all, I just didn't believe all the reactions. I felt like the members of the town and Bellamy would be more confused by everything that happened. They just didn't seem quite as blown away by what was going on or as urgent about figuring it out as I would think they would be. Secondly, I felt like they didn't make the culture shock clear enough for Jacob. He hasn't been alive since the early 1980s yet he figures out a smart phone and how to write on it in a matter of seconds. The world around him should be extremely different, including how everyone he knows looks, yet he didn't seem that thrown by it. I just felt like the premise needed stronger reactions from Jacob and the town members. Because there wasn't enough of a reaction, there were times the pilot dragged.

BOTTOM LINE: I was hoping Resurrection was going to be better than it was. I certainly see a lot of potential for this show but I was hoping I'd see more of it in the pilot. My biggest concern was how it dragged. I'll be curious to see where this show goes because I don't feel like the Jacob storyline is going to be enough to carry it. I'm giving it another week with hopes that it will hook me a little bit more.

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