Pilot: “Gracepoint”

IMG_0323-0.JPGThe murder mystery is nothing new to television audiences. However, in order to stay relevant, and somewhat reinvent the genre, writers have taken to providing drama from multiple angles and going in deeper than usual with characters. It’s been done enough times that any more will start to look familiar and less interesting.

The new Fox series “Gracepoint”, falls under each of these categories and appears to have a long way to go if it wants too stand out.

This drama series stars David Tennant (“Postman Pat: The Movie”, “Broadchurch”), Anna Gunn (“The Mindy Project”, “Breaking Bad”), Virginia Kull (“The Following”, “The Good Wife”), Kevin Rankin (“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”, “Dallas Buyers Club”), Kevin Zegers (“All the Wrong Reasons”, “The Colony”), Josh Hamilton (“Louie”, “Bottled Up”), Jessica Lucas (“That Awkward Moment’, “Evil Dead”), Madalyn Horcher (“Kickin’ It”, “Rogue”), Sarah-Jane Potts (“Holby City”, “Zen”), Stephen Louis Grush (“Lucky 7”, “The Mob Doctor”), Kendrick Sampson (“The Vampire Diaries”, “Greek”), Jack Irvine (“Psych”, “The Killing”), Nick Nolte (“Noah”, “The Trials of Cate McCall”), Michael Pena (“Cesar Chavez”, “American Hustle”), and Jacki Weaver (upcoming “The McCarthy”s”, “Magic in the Moonlight”).

The series was created by Chris Chibnall (“The Great Train Robbery”, Broadchurch”). This series is based on the original series “Broadchurch” created by Chris Chibnall.

The series premiered on Oct. 2, 2014 on Fox.

Okay, so I’m going to begin with the obvious, it’s a remake. American studios can’t seem to be creative any longer and must resort too adapting shows created elsewhere. Most people probably don’t know this, about the show or many others, but I do, and it’s annoying. What makes it more annoying this time around, is that Fox couldn’t even find a bunch of bad writers looking for work to create this adaptation. They hire the man who created the original series, as well as Tennant, who stars in the original series. Talk about lazy.

Okay, enough on that. I haven’t seen the original series, so I may be able to enjoy this version for what it is.

The strange part is that when this episode was supposed to be really emotional, I barely got even the slightest bit choked up. Now, I’m not sure if it’s mainly because I seldom get emotional with dramatic programs such as this, or if it’s the approach of this show overall that kept me from feeling anything. I just didn’t care enough about the dead kid and his now grieving family. Granted, when I started watching this show, I had flashbacks to another, better executed series, incidentally also a remake, called “The Killing”. That show was just wholly more engrossing.

Gunn is thus far the only one I like. Because she’s from the town and knows these people she’s responding as most anyone would. She may be emotional, more than Tennant’s character wants, but she knows very well how to stay focused, even when it’s hard. This is going to be interesting too see as the series goes on, but at this rate, I can’t say there’s much else hope for anyone. Then there’s the simple fact that she’s Gunn and is coming off of a highly successful show, so you know she’s worth it.

There’s overall likability, of many of the characters, but after that, there’s not much worth getting invested in. All I’m waiting for is what secrets the town folk have. I see that this show is going to try and present many personal life things going on, as this murder investigation plays out, but somehow, I’m not feeling all that inclined to care. I feel it’s eclipsed by the fact that you know the entire town is hiding things. Again, with “The Killing”, there was so much more going on in the personal realm, that I could easily care and want to follow. Things may change, but I won’t be holding my breath.

With Tennant it’s a bit harder. He’s not a likable guy in this series. He’s a very rough around the edges type person and there’s nothing to like there. He’s entire demeanor is that of somebody you’d rather steer clear of. If you’re supposed to like that, then I clearly missed the memo stating so. For everyone, we’re just fortunate that he can actually perform to this level and that’s what helps me dislike him so, but at the same time, it’s irritating as he’s a lead character. He’ll be around all the time and I’ll be growing tired of it soon. Pretty much the same reason why I can’t stand the series “Sherlock”.

While I may only like Gunn and find nothing all that intriguing about anyone else, thus far, I’ll stick around, if only to see how the writers link everything to the killing of this kid and who the murderer is. That’s enough reasoning for me, especially since you can’t just go to Wikipedia and read the “Broadchurch” entry, the ending for this series is said too be different from that of the original. I only hope that this mystery gets a tad more interesting than last minute “twists” from one character to the next, as there appears that there will be so little drawing you back in week after week.

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