Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pilot Script Review - The Rememberer

Network: CBS
Written By: Ed Redlich & John Bellucci
Draft Date: January 8, 2010
Pages: 69

Ah, The Rememberererer.

Ironically, I hadn't rememberered that I read this script last year until I was around 10 pages in. Then I rememberered that I had utterly neglected all review duties last year, so there was no official review to point back to... so I had to reread the next 59-ish pages.

All very frustrating when you rememberer that you vehemently disliked the overly long script the first time you read it.

I refuse to devote a lot of time to this one. It's awful. It's preposterous. It would be great if it were a parody of The Mentalist or other CBS crime dramas, but it's utterly serious.

Carrie Wells is an ex-detective who "has the ability to remember everything." It makes her great at things like solving murders and counting cards, but is a pain in the ass when you're in a taxi cab that inexplicably only plays radio with music from the 1980s and 1990s and therefore fills in your backstory by forcing you to have brief memory flashes of your past or when, say, a lover betrays you and you are literally unable to forget that betrayal.

I'm not saying the above can't work. Because all of those things are entirely dramatically valid. I can totally see it as a book. I'm just saying it doesn't work, here. It doesn't work on a regular basis or on a crime-of-the-week level.

Carrie, no longer a detective when the story begins, lives one floor beneath a woman who was murdered and is swept into helping solve the murder when her ex, a detective with the NYPD, brings her on as a consultant because there's no evidence. She has the perfect memory and can step back into moments in time to see things like a missing photo on a wall in an apartment that the police can use for clues since they have no productive leads of their own.

Carrie has a tragic backstory, of course. Her memory stems from a traumatic event from when she was 8 and is called hyperthymesia. Through the course of the pilot, she begins to rememberer bits and pieces that she never recalled before about the traumatic event. Why, precisely, the memories are starting to filter back in now as opposed to years before when she was a cop isn't explained, though it's conjectured that if she can rememberer what happened (involving the death of older sister Rachel), then she'll be cured of her hyperthymesia.

The pilot uses a visual trick to get Carrie to find clues. If she was in any given place at any given time, she remembers it as if it's recorded on a DVR and can go back, step out of herself, and rewatch a scene unfold, noticing details, dialogue, etc. The memories are of course limited to things she heard or saw, so she doesn't have, for instance, a full 360° picture of the past. The edges of her vision are blurry and then blank.

One must assume that in future episodes, should CBS choose to lump this in with its plethora of crime dramas, that Carrie would not have a personal connection to each victim. So, on all other cases that she's consulting on... I'm not precisely sure what function she serves besides having an eye for detail that, honestly, most competent cops on TV shows tend to have.

Part of me hopes the show is picked up just so I can make more rememberererer jokes. But I won't be watching.


DuMont said...

While it sports an interesting twist, I would prefer to see the character to be plunged into a scenario where her powerful memory plagues and haunts her instead of enabling her to be yet another CBS crime-solver.

What happened to the CBS of old that used to develop a half-dozen or so genre-busting concepts each season?

Anonymous said...

Now renamed "Unforgettable" (which was a great move) the show is awesome! Very intriguing and "edge of your seat" plots. Perhaps this review should have waited until you saw the first episode. Fantastic show with somewhat of "magical and surreal" plots...this is definately a show to watch! Catch the first few episodes online and then start watching. VERY worth your time