Unforgettable – Pilot Review

Concept – Carrie remembers everything. She used to be a detective but apparently gave it up because she couldn’t get over her inability to solve a murder she witnessed as a child. Carrie witnesses a murder and coincidentally bumps into her old partner and she ends up getting involved again.

Issue 1 – you really shouldn’t give your show a name that could potentially produce ironic headlines for reviewers. It makes the whole thing too easy. To be honest, Unforgettable wasn’t completely forgettable, but it’s almost too big a temptation to pass up.

Issue 2 – god I’m bored with will-they-won’t-they sexual tension between partners in procedurals. I guess these two have the slight twist that they ‘did’ in the past and now ‘aren’t’, but that also brings along the questionable joy of bickering ex-es. It’s all just a bit of a bore.

Issue 3 – Equally tedious is the backstory of a police officer haunted by a crime in her past. Oh and flashbacks. Goody.

Issue 4 – there are waaaay too many coincidences. She happens to have met a goon on a previous occasion, happens to look in the right direction, happens to have helped the victim with groceries… meh.

Issue 5 – The idea works for the pilot where Carrie could use her talent to recreate the crime she was a witness to, but I’m not sure how it’s going to work on an episode by episode basis where she’s only seeing exactly what all the other police officers are seeing. They’re going to have to work very hard for the trick to not become either an over-used gimmick or diluted to non-existence.

On the plus side, I quite liked the cast. Poppy Montgomery (Without a Trace) and Dylan Walsh (Nip/Tuck) are solid leads, and they do a really good job of delivering some cheesy dialogue with a very light touch and interesting delivery. The supporting cast which includes the always entertaining Kevin Rankin (Friday Night Lights, Trauma) seemed solid enough although they weren’t given masses to do in the pilot unsurprisingly.

So in summary – it ain’t awful, but it is (sorry) moderately forgettable.

Other reviews
AOL TV includes it on its list of 10 least promising shows of the fall “Everything about this police procedural felt tired and uninspired”.

NY Times “If that’s all that “Unforgettable” has to offer, it may turn into one of those crime shows that are competent enough but, well, forgettable, despite Ms. Montgomery’s charms.”

The Upfronts: CBS

Looks like CBS had a pretty good run last year, it has the most returning shows of any of the networks and the fewest cancellations (bar The CW). Unfortunately that means there is precious little space on the schedule for new shows, and it therefore also has a slimmest pickings for potential new hits.

What’s out
Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior proved that just rehashing a popular current show didn’t automatically create success, I thought it was a bad idea from the start so I feel faintly smug that it’s been disappeared. I don’t think anyone will really be crying over the cancellation of Bleep/&*$£ My Dad Says either, not least to the people who could never work out how to deal with its name.

Medium was wrapped up after seven seasons, I never watched it though so I have no idea whether that’s sad or not. Also off are Chaos, which I’ll admit I never even heard of but was apparently a comedy drama about rogue CIA spies and was pulled from the schedules after three episodes. The Defenders and Mad Love also didn’t make it beyond their first seasons.

What’s back
CBS is home of the procedural and the spin off and all the usual suspects are in the returning slots. Coming back are both NCISs, all three CSIs (including the slightly unexpected CSI:NY which may be a season too much for me), Blue Bloods (with Tom Selleck’s mustache returns), Criminal Minds: Original Flavour (with JJ returning, yay!) Hawaii Five-O (mindless action in the sun) and The Mentalist (I gave up a couple of seasons back). Rounding out the dramas is the massively successful and rather brilliant The Good Wife.

Also back are a load of comedies (Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Mike & Molly and Rules of Engagement) although the only one that anyone will be talking about is Two and a Half Men – minus Charlie Sheen, plus Ashton Kutcher.

What’s new
2 Broke Girls – posh girl has to struggle by with no money, finds sassy waitress to help. According to the behind the scenes, it’s “really funny”. I see no evidence of that I’m afraid.

A Gifted Man – rich doctor falls in love with a ghost. Painfully saccharine.

Unforgettable – it wouldn’t be CBS if they weren’t trying a new procedural, this one has the hook that the lead character has a perfect memory. It doesn’t look bad, we’ll have to see how well they use the idea.

Person of Interest – not really sure what’s going on with this one, something about two blokes preventing crimes using a combination of technology and extreme violence. It comes across a little dry and intense in the trailer, but I’ll give it a try.

How to be a Gentleman – the third new comedy this year about men being MEN. Not as painful as the two that ABC offered up as at least this one also features the ‘perfect gentleman’, but it still looks awful.

The 2-2 – there’s no trailer for this midseason show, but the fact that’s it’s exec produced by Robert De Niro is probably enough to get the hype going. The synopsis makes it sound a bit unremarkable (six rookie cops on the streets of New York) but the character outlines () and creative oomph behind it make me quietly excited.