Pilot: “Limitless (2015 TV series)”

I think at this point in the week, I have nothing to say about television reboots or remakes, mind you I still have other shows to say things about. They’re everywhere and truly, unfortunately, don’t seem like they’ll be going away any time soon. It’s quite sad.

The new CBS Television Studios series “Limitless”, builds on a familiar story thread, but ultimately becomes just another police procedural.

This drama series stars Jake McDorman (“See You in Valhalla”, “Manhattan Love Story”), Jennifer Carpenter (“The Devil’s Hand”, “Dexter”), Hill Harper (“Madam Secretary”, “The Boy Next Door”), and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (“Hostages”, “Grimm”).

The series was developed by Craig Sweeny (“Elementary”, “Common Law”). It is based on the 2011 film of the same name.

The series began airing on Sept. 22, 2015 on CBS.

This is where the start of the Fall premier week begins to be my least favorite thing ever. I’ve sat through some pretty awesome season premiers, missed one, and seen loads of series premiers, even the not so good ones. I just don’t think I can go any further, and yet, I need to. I want to. Also, Sunday marks the start of week two and that’s also full of some new stuff. I better get a few good nights of rest if I hope to keep up. Anyway, with this pilot, I’m just over the TV remake/reboot craze. I mean, I also didn’t exactly expect to be blown away, but I think now I’m just tired. For me, they’re not really offering a lot that’s worth my time.

Characters are usually something I can get behind in a pilot episode. I either like them for various reasons, or hate them or love to hate them for various reasons. Something like that. However, as of this pilot, I don’t really care for any of them. I just don’t. They didn’t do anything wrong, but they also didn’t do anything that makes me interested, let alone care about them, or want to. That was probably the hardest part about this premier. I could enjoy what they were doing as it related to this episodes storyline, but I didn’t become even the slightest bit invested in their lives. I will take this moment to acknowledge that I’m fully aware that details about Carpenter’s and McDorman’s character’s lives was given. But that was not enough. It just padded the situations they were in to give context, and in McDorman’s case, show the effects of the drug. I can only hope that the writers will find a way to make these characters interesting, but by that point, I might not be watching.

The upside to McDorman’s character are his parents. I actually found myself more excited by the the actors playing them. Blair Brown (“Orange is the New Black”, “Fringe”) and Ron Rifkin (“Brothers & Sisters”, “Alias”) guest starred as McDorman’s parents! That’s a lot to get excited about. It was actually a little bit of the reason I watched the pilot. When I saw a TV spot I was surprised to see Rifkin. I just didn’t know he’d be part of the show at all. Brown was wroth getting excited about as I’d seen her in so few things, but loved that she was in them. It was interesting to find myself care more about Rifkin falling ill and need a transplant than that of McDorman’s life. Sadly, while this would, probably will be a great dynamic for this series, it wouldn’t be enough to keep me watching a show that does little else for me.

Then there’s Bradley Cooper (upcoming films “Burnt”, “Joy”), and his apparently fake looking blue eyes, along with the title, and general rules of the drug, NZT, bridge this to the original film and that’s about it. I guess the hope was that by having Cooper make an appearance people would want to tune in. I can’t say it was entirely successful.

By the end of the episode, after this week’s case of the week, guess what we got stuck with? That’s right, another police procedural. Also, if you couldn’t get the answer right, you didn’t read the top part. Anyway, this episode, which was largely uneventful, even though a lot of stuff happened, the FBI now wants to study McDorman because of how his brain reacts to the drug. In order to do this though, they have to make him a consultant or something, which then makes this yet another buddy cop drama. You know, because we don’t have enough of those already. This then, clearly also opens it to being another police procedural. However, like this season’s “Minority Report (2015 TV series), it’s riding the original premise of the film and taking this bland approach in hopes that viewers will find it interesting. I’m not there yet, so we’ll see.

Also by close of this episode, the ending didn’t exactly have a hook. There was no mystery, cliff hanger or what have you, that said to me, “come back for more”! It just ended with the promise of being a routine police drama, but with a sci-fi-ish slant. Maybe I should just abandon it already. I can’t recall the last time I watched something that had so little going for it. At least stupid comedies and boring cliché dramas usually have a tiny bit of something going for it, even if you know better than to stick around. Here, I honestly can’t say it does. If it does, I’m not seeing it and don’t really feel all that inclined to search. I don’t expect much from this as a series, and probably won’t even make it to six episodes. What were the ratings for this episode? Hmm…

Series trailer:


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