Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Past Life already past its shelf life

     Fox added a new show to their lineup last night called Past Life.  Taking Fringe's normal Thursday 9pm time slot for now, aside from last night's 'special preview episode', it is clear that the network is hoping to cash in on viewers already accepting of the strange and supernatural.  That idea would be sound, if this show were any good at all.

     Following a long-used formula, two partners attempt to solve crimes.  The believer is Dr. Kate McGinn (Kelli Giddish, All My Children), who has recently hired ex-police detective Price Whatley (Nicholas Bishop, Home and Away) to assist her.  Of course, Price is skeptical, but Kate says that is fine, as long as he uses his skills.  By the end of the preview episode, he is starting to believe.  A lot too quickly.  Combine that with his natural superstitiousness, and none of it even feels genuine.  Both characters are flat, predictable, and too ill defined, as well as poorly acted.  Their chemistry is not great, even though surely that is what is supposed to hook viewers enough to tune in week after week.

     They are joined on the team by Dr. Malachi Talmadge (Richard Schiff, The West Wing) and Dr. Rishi Karna (Ravi Patel, Easy Money), the grumpy boss and the token Indian, respectively.  And who came up with the character names on this series?  Anyway, considering the premise, that they are investigating people who remember past lives, and were victims of an unsolved crime in said past life, you'd imagine the client list is small, no?  Yet, they can budget four professionals, three of them with doctorates, in an office?  I don't believe it.  I have a hard time believing they can find a dozen or two clients a year in the entire country, let alone this.

     The script was weak, the acting hokey.  Schiff can act, but he's wasted here.  I recommend not tuning in.  However, if you are so inclined, it will be airing on Fox Thursdays at 9pm.

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