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Source: ABC
Source: ABC

Resurrection: Sundays at 9 Eastern on ABC

One of the real downsides of the prevalence of procedural shows on the big four is that it tends to crowd out the remainder of the drama landscape. Even our shows with a more sci-fi and fantasy bent (Hannibal, Grimm, Almost Human) have been forced into this “case of the week” mold. As a result, we see very few high concept and family dramas (Parenthood being the only real family drama I can think of of late) on the network dial. ABC, as the network least likely to run procedurals on it’s schedule (most of their dramas tend to be more soapy) is bringing out a high concept take on this sub genre with its’ newest show: Resurrection.

Resurrection tells the tale of Arcadia, a small town in Missouri where an 8 year old boy mysteriously reappears after dying over 30 years ago. This sends the Langston family into upheaval, as Jacob’s parents must confront the surprise reappearance of their son. Their extended family is dealing with untold knowledge of the circumstances that led to the drowning accident that took both Jacob and his aunt. The government, meanwhile, is trying to figure out if Jacob is actually Jacob, and if so

Any show that builds around a core mystery needs to start asking more questions than one can easily can answer and Resurrection doesn’t hesitate when it comes to this task. In addition to the questions relating to the shows central conceit, the show makes it a priority to create as many new angles as possible, whether it’s a new mysterious figure whose only hinted at until the end of the episode, the bald man whom was at the river, or the new found shaking of the local pastor’s faith.

Resurrection’s acting feels hit or miss at points. While our premiere episode doesn’t help much in this matter by virtue by building around an overwhelming sense of confusion, the performances felt very inconsistent. For every moment that feels generally moving, one can find another moment that feels a little too muted out to register.

Visually, Resurrection hits enough of the right notes, whether it’s going to a brighter and more Polaroid like filter on flashbacks of happier days, while focusing on muted tones around the river. Even the show’s slower moments, like a moment where Jacob and Mrs. Langston walk into church in the middle of the pastor’s sermon is shot with a surprisingly high attention to detail.

The Final Verdict: Resurrection is a maddening show, in that you can see it’s potential, but at the same time know there’s a reasonable sized gap to realizing it. It’s tone and cinematography are excellent, but the writing and acting feel remarkably inconsistent. This is the sort of show I’d wait and see on: tonight’s episode was a serviceable beginning point, but you’re going to want to see signs of growth before you emotionally invest in it.