Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New TV, Old Tropes: A Review of "TOUCH"

See Ken & Barbie laugh, see Ken & Barbie cry!
See them fight evil monsters from Mars and kiss and have babies!
Sometimes creating new TV seems as easy as dressing old stories in new clothes.

If you look hard - or like for most shows,  not that hard- you can still see Mary Taylor Moore, the Lone Ranger, Marcus Welby, MD or Hill Street Blues underneath all those Jimmy Choo's ecologically responsible leather pumps and electric blue moire shirts. The Jeffersons "antics" are recycled daily on black sitcoms and our new "girl power" is all about singing and dancing and twirling in great looking clothes - with or without magical drama.

So I usually skip TV nowadays like I skip politics. Better for my overall health and brain capacities. But bright moving pictures have their attractive forces, some even call it culture, others entertainment or calling out to our voyeuristic nature.  I however am just dying to see how TV execs juggled and weave yesterday's successful ideas with today's superficial seasonings...  Let see...

Touch: I'm happy that Kieffer Sutherland is back on TV in a show that will give him more to do than torture and kill bad guys while screaming about it. Time that he flexes his emotional muscles for a change. But Touch is just too much of it. Even Touch by an Angel was less emotive or preoccupied with spiritual pandering and more restrained. All this talk of "destiny" sound like an echo reverberating from old "Heroes" episodes. But the superpowers here are replaced by the combined  abilities of super-serendipity and ultra-synchronicity.
Managing so that the random addition of actions at the four corners of the world make sense beautifully in less than 60 minutes is the whole point of the show.
That kid may well be Jack Bauer's descendant after all...
With the obligatory unnerving soft smiled boy genius, mean incompetent if for once beautiful black woman, 911 references and a terrorist cell of Arabic descent. Danny Glover lends his credibility and generous empathy to this affair to not much purpose.

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