By GINA GOLDBERG
After my enjoyable experience watching Alfonso Cuarón’s “Gravity,” I was looking forward to watching another one of his works. Cuarón and co-director J.J. Abrams’ “Believe” is an American science fiction mid-season television series broadcasting on NBC.
Subsequently, after watching “Gravity” win numerous Oscars, I set high expectations. Typically I find it hard to stray away from my routinely favorite television favorites, but “Believe” made me glad I did.
J.J. Abrams, producer from New York City known for “Lost” “Star Trek” “Misson: Impossible III” and “Super 8” teamed up with Mexican Oscar winner Alfonso Cuarón to produce “Believe.”
The pilot aired March 10 before premiering in its regular time slot on Sunday, March 16. The pilot followed NBC’s “The Voice” on Monday night, which gave the pilot a boost.
The series begins with an intense opening scene of what seems to be a peaceful family car ride, but quickly transitions to a dramatic car crash with a mom, dad, and who we later learn to be 10-year-old girl, Bo (Johnny Sequoyah). The intensity proceeds as the episode continues for the next 40 minutes.
It is later revealed that Bo is a mystical child possessing inhumane powers such as telekinesis and healing abilities, making her a kidnapping target to the villains who are after her powers.
William Tate (Jake McLaughlin) is introduced an inmate on death row falsely convicted for two counts on felony murder.
Tate, not the typical guy you would think to select to protect the life of a powerful is chosen forBo. He is selected by leader of the shadow organization, Milton Winter played by Delroy Lindo, who is responsible for protecting individuals with rare powers. Tate is reluctant and jaded due to years of confinement, but clearly has an unrevealed emotional connection to her, which could be dissected through his tears that occur from simply being in her presence.
I must say I am a bit confused because nothing is really explained in the premier. The pilot episode is mainly composed of identifying characters while keeping Bo away from the villains. After 25 minutes, I questioned if this show would turn out to be predictable with Bo always running away from the bad guys but wassoon proven otherwise.
I do however still question the ability of the directors to keep the rest of the series from becoming redundant/predictable. Bo, although powerful and the reasoning behind all the drama, carries out a sense of innocence, humor and clarity. Her character has the ability to feel people’s pain and minimize their suffering.
Although “Believe” does not offer the same visual marvel as “Gravity” being that it’s an Earth-based setting it, does however offer numerous similarities. The most intriguing moments in “Believe” are the ones where the graphic cinematography speaks for itself: a tumbling car crash seen through the windshield, a long fluid, choreographed sequence in a hospital in which rescuer and kidnapper compete for Bo. Cuarón does action and intensity well.
As far as the acting, all the faces are new to me, which I found to be refreshing. Johnny Sequoyah, playing Bo, does an outstanding job proving my theory that upcoming young actors are performing more remarkably then ever.
The cinematography, actors, and dramatic effects enable “Believe” to be enticing as well as engaging. I feel “Believe” has chance to be a successful and popular while avoiding redundancy. Having only seen one episode, it’s hard to predict the direction in which the series is heading but when the episode concluded I found myself wanting more. The pilot ends with a dramatic reveal making it safe to say the premiere was solid and giving me hope for them to get the mix right.
- When: Sundays at 9 p.m.
- Length: 42:35
- Where: NBC
- Rating: TV-14-V
- Rating: 4/5 stars