Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I don't have a lot of patience for crime procedurals, especially the grim, plodding variety that dominates CBS' schedule, but adding some ridiculous gimmick doesn't make them more appealing. Unforgettable is the opposite of its title, a totally generic crime-solving show that only makes an impression via its ludicrous central plot idea, that former police detective Carrie Wells (Poppy Montgomery) has perfect memory of everything she's ever seen and experienced -- except the day that her sister was murdered (dum-DUM!).

Now, hyperthymesia is a real thing (made famous recently by actress Marilu Henner), but I'm pretty sure it doesn't work the way the show portrays it. People with the condition can recall every detail of events that they personally experienced in their own lives, but I don't think they can literally go back over events in their minds and spot objects and occurrences that they didn't even notice the first time. That's what Carrie does in this show, and it basically turns her into a superhero, so that all the other characters just stand around and gawk while she solves the case by remembering stuff really hard.

Also, the pilot features Carrie solving a crime to which she was a witness, so there's lots of stuff for her to remember. I'm not sure how the show is going to place her in a position to remember other future crimes, but the premise is likely to limit what kinds of stories can be told (either that or it'll just fade into the background). The little flashes of memory that Carrie gets about her sister's long-ago murder aren't enough to build an enticing long-term storyline, so all that we have to go on are the mediocre cases. That's just not enough, especially with so many other procedurals out there. Montgomery is charming and tries her best, but Unforgettable is best forgotten.

Premieres tonight at 10 p.m. on CBS.


Pj Perez said...

I think I have the opposite of hyperthymesia.

Josh said...

I know what you mean. Who are you again?