Good, Bad & Ugly Review: Believe

Created By: Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Friedman
Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón
Written By: Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Friedman
Starring: Jake McLaughlin, Johnny Sequoyah, Jamie Chung, Sienna Guillory and Delroy Lindo
Network: NBC

Synopsis:Believe is about an unlikely relationship between a gifted young girl and a man sprung from prison who has been tasked with protecting her from the evil elements that hunt her power. (Source)

The Good:
The pilot episode laid groundwork for what could be a potentially strong show. The idea that shadowy interests are out to gain control of a young child with super-powers is a good one and the glimpses of the group tasked to protect her are intriguing because they don’t really come right out and explain much about the girl or her protectors in the pilot ep.
Plus it is always cool to see Kyle McClachlan on TV especially when he is playing someone not so nice.
There was a really cool action piece at the beginning of the show too that I really liked.

The Bad:
Some of the casting is off to me. Delroy Lindo, Jamie Chung and Sienna Guillory are all good actors who I like but from what I saw of them in the pilot they are all miscast in their roles on this show. Lindo especially seems wrong playing a character that comes off as kooky. Kooky is not one of Lindo’s strong suits. Maybe a game of casting musical chairs (like say Chung and Guillory switching roles) would have worked out better for the final product.
The worst bit of casting though was Jake McLaughlin as Tate, the hero of the show. He is a wooden actor with almost zero chemistry with the young girl playing, Bo, the target of both the good and bad organizations.
The show seems very pedestrian and straightforward in it’s direction which is shocking when you consider that GRAVITY director Alfonso Cuarón directed the pilot. I went into this expecting to be blown away visually. Instead the show went from it’s promising opening straight into saccharine sweet TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL territory where Bo and Tate help strangers whose lives are unhappy.

The Ugly:
I don’t quite understand why everyone is so focused on getting their hands on Bo when her powers seem to boil down to mild clairvoyance and controlling pigeons. She definitely aint no Golden Child.

Final Verdict: The pilot episode of BELIEVE is a perfectly fine supernatural-action show which would be fine if the pedigree of the folks behind it were not so high. The combined talents of Alfonso Cuarón and JJ Abrams’ (who produced) should give us much more than just “perfectly fine”. Hopefully later episodes will veer away from the formulaic case of the week pablum and dig into the mythology that is being created for the show.

Rating: C

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