I'm not going to recap the premiere episode of X..., I mean Eleventh Hour. (I almost said X-Files... Doh! Never mind.) But I do want to touch on a few things about the show, and I will spout out a couple of things to get my train of thought going... again. Sadly. (Did I just say that?)
Eleventh Hour starts out with a car chase through the woods and the driver tossing something out of the truck window - which turns out to be a failed attempt at cloning. Personally, I was ready for something to erupt out of the canister when a cop later picks it up, but he just opens it and starts coughing. Not to spoil my own article, but this teaser opener was the most exciting scene in the entire episode.
The truck chase comes to an end with the truck crashing into the forest and the driver flying through the front window. Despite the driver surviving that horrific accident somehow, remember: Folks, always wear your seat belts. A public service announcement from Bruce at Screen Rant.
At this point, we're introduced to Dr. Jacob Hood, (Rufus Sewell), the special science adviser of the FBI. Tonight's story focuses on illegal cloning of human beings (even if that is a redundant statement). We then meet his bodyguard/watchdog, Special Agent Rachel Young (Marley Shelton) who actually tackles a cop and flips him to the ground for JUST APPROACHING Dr. Hood from behind! In the middle of a crime scene where there are nothing but cops all around.
I'm thinking, this is my first warning sign as far as the writing on this show.
She's his watchdog, and he carries a panic button on him to bring her running when he needs help. But it does not have any GPS functionality built into it from what I can tell, so I'm not sure how she will ever find him in time of need, when it really matters.
Second warning sign?
Then this cloning crime has occurred 19 times previously, and they're just now calling Hood to the scene? Is 19 a magic number? Maybe somewhere. And during the investigation, law enforcement's code name for the one behind the whole cloning thing is Geppetto. Are you groaning with me yet?
Warning sign # 3:
As they pursue the bad guys, they go to the library to research clues from old newspapers instead of using the internet.
Warning sign # 4: Maybe I'm nitpicking, but not using the internet, and giving no reason why not really stood out for me.
During further investigations, they find an old lab where the original crimes were taking place. One of the evil-doers shows up, sees the cops and makes a break for it. The foot pursuit by Young leads to his car and he gets in and drives away, but Hood steps out in front of the car... waving his arms to make him stop. How did he get in front of the car? Waving his arms???
Warning sign... Oh, ok - you get it: This entire review is a warning sign!
Young keeps belting out commentary one-liners that have been considered funny somewhere in a dark closet full of drunk gnomes but she finally hits that 1 in 10 odds of funny. For some reason, guys are all trying to hit on Rachel Young, and while she's filling out paperwork at a bar... yeah, a bar, a guy steps up to ask her if she wants a drink. She says she's filling out paperwork because she shot a man earlier because he bothered her. That was probably the best line of the show... and maybe the whole reason for this episode, that one line.
They employ Hood's panic button once during this episode: It's late at night and we get to watch a nice gratuitous scene where Hood accidentally sits on the thing, setting it off and Young goes charging about the hotel in her underwear and robes. Black. The color of her panties and bra. In case you were wondering. She finds him in the bar.
Fringe did that too... where the lead female cop had to get into an immersion tank, stripped down to her underwear. I'm not complaining one bit. Just making an observation. Really.
The show is an adaptation of an overseas show that was popular, but it looks like they missed some things altogether. Special Agent Rachel Young never threw her weight into kicking doors down. She just flings her foot out and the door busts in. In another scene, they have someone doing CPR, but it's like she's kneading dough, not employing life saving force. Sigh. It ain't ER, but maybe the writers can watch ER to get some ideas to help the show.
I'm not impressed with the bodyguard. I've got hopes for Hood. He's got a low toned, gravelly, mellow, patient voice. I like his screen presence... but the cop, she NEEDS to grow on me. That, or be abducted by aliens.
The whole episode felt like it was already an established series that is only treading water. No real energy, no real WOW moments. It just happened. No one tried to impress me. (My God, I hope they weren't trying to impress me!)
Here's my final warning sign:
Hood gets a phone call. He says they have a situation.Young asks "what kind of situation?"Hood answers: "A delicate one."
Need I say more? I have to apologize to the fans of Rufus Sewell and Marley Shelton. I am not picking on them, but I don't think this was the best choice for their hopes for a break out role. It's not their fault. It's like asking someone to drive a nail with a bar of butter. It seems hopeless up front.
Do I dare even watch another episode? I know the actor's fans probably will, just to be in support of them, but I'm not sure I would. If I find I have scheduled watching grass grow in the dark at the same time, I may opt for that. If I have insomnia maybe I'll log in and watch it online.
I'm disappointed in Jerry Bruckheimer.
I have to wonder though, next time, if Hood doesn't answer the phone, would that mean there won't be another episode? Oh, wait, we have a few to go. Sigh.
In my previous write up, I ask if they spent too much on the show? After
- A $4 million pilot budget.
- Just under $2 million per episode budget.
- CBS has already bought 13 episodes.
With this series having been rumored to be one of the biggest TV deals in history, I'm thinking CBS needs to set up an account on Ebay and cut their losses because if they really spent that kind of money on the pilot, their costs are way out of line with anything phenomenal that I might have missed.
Right now, Fringe is winning this paranormal show battle, hands down.