Or Nah? is a feature where we watch and review the first episode of a new TV show. We’ll let you know if it’s worth checking out. As always, these reviews are the opinion of the reviewer, but we’ll try to adequately explain why you should or shouldn’t give the show a chance and provide shows for comparison.
Somewhere Between is a 10-episode limited event summer series on ABC. As with most limited event shows, I assume if this does well it may get picked up for a regular season premiere. The show stars Paula Patton as Laura Price, a television producer trying to track down an elusive serial killer. After getting too close to the killer, Laura’s daughter Serena (Asia Birch) is kidnapped and murdered. During a period of grief Laura decides to commit suicide and somehow resets her timeline to the days before her daughter is killed. It’s like Groundhog Day, but with murder and sadness.
The premise of the show had some promise, the idea of being able to reset your life to the week before some tragedy and hopefully prevent it is a wish for so many. The execution of said idea was downright terrible.
Visual casting: Paula Patton, Asia Birch, and JR Bourne look like a family and Devon Sawa (Nico Jackson) is convincing as an ex-cop turned small-time criminal. As annoying as little Serena was, I was heartbroken when she died, so they got that right.
The show was filmed in a way that was intended for it to be cinematic, but it failed miserably. The visuals and dramatic affects felt forced. This is a time where you may say, give it another episode and I say absolutely not. There is too much great and exceptional television available to stand for mediocrity. This was a two-episode premiere and while I wanted to watch episode two, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. How many times can Laura go back in time and not save her child? The pay off is not there and ABC is not built for this type of drama. This show would have been better suited on FX, AMC, or the like. ABC does not know how to do this type of heavy lifting and I feel like they let potential of the show flounder under poor direction and cinematic choices. There is an entire family on the show with the last name Jackson: Nico, Danny, Ruby, and Grace. Those names don’t skew white, but yet they cast an entire family of Jacksons with white actors. What is the harm in having a black female lead and black co-stars? It could have really improved the dynamic and believability of the show.
I feel badly for Paula Patton and Devon Sawa; this could have been a fine vehicle for a comeback for Devon but it missed the mark and I generally want good things for Paula Patton and her career.
Watch this if you like: The Killing, The Bridge
Somewhere Between S1E1
"For One to Live"
Somewhere Between | ABC | S1E1 – “For One to Live” | Tuesday 10pm