Friday, April 2, 2010

Another one gone...

The Forgotten was a show about a group of amateur detectives calling themselves "The Forgotten Network" who help the police identify Jane & John Doe murder victims. At first glance, the show looked like just another crime drama. To be completely honest, that's exactly what I was thinking as I sat down to watch the first episode. But, Christian Slater is a good, solid actor and I've enjoyed the roles I've seen him in, so I gave this show a chance.

A great many crime procedural dramas have at least one character that is highly determined in the work because "someone has to speak for the victim". But those crime shows aren't about the victims, they are about the people who solve the crimes. Even the most impersonal of the shows, CSI (the original Vegas show), focuses on the science (and consequently those USING the science) instead of the victim. And I thought that was the price paid for a police procedural. That changed after watching the pilot ep of The Forgotten.

The first thing I noticed that was different about The Forgotten is that the events of each ep is narrated by the victim. As the group worked towards finding the identity of the victim, the clues they discovered were explained and put into proper context by the victim. That lent a powerful emotional component to the show that I found new and interesting. It's one thing to speak for someone who was murdered and getting justice for that act. It's another to hear what the victim has to say for themselves and getting to learn who they were from their perspective.

As always, Christian Slater put in a solid performance. A former cop who got involved with The Forgotten Network after his daughter was kidnapped, Slater's character, Alex Donovan, was believable and engaging. The rest of the cast gave fantastic performances, and had the show gone on past its first season, would have developed into a powerful ensemble. My other favorite character was Walter Bailey (played by Bob Stephenson) the overly enthusiastic phone repair guy with the outrageously inventive stories. Watch the show and you'll know what I'm talking about.

Like so many of the shows I'm interested in, The Forgotten has been cancelled. Even worse, there are TWO unaired episodes as well. I hope to see it on DVD soon so I can purchase it and re-live my favorite episodes (possibly watch the unaired ones, like with Firefly). This show is gone... but not Forgotten.

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