ABC’s drama “Resurrection” debuted its season two to decent ratings, but unlike the dearly departed on the series, many of the viewers who left last year haven’t returned. Each week seems to bring a further slide in the numbers, including a full point lost in the coveted 18-49 demographic. Most ratings trackers have the show on the bubble and likely to be canceled, and there are three good reasons why this should happen:
1. The Slow Pace
TV audiences have gotten used to a rapid pace. One-liners fly non-stop on sitcoms, there’s an earth-shattering event every day on police and hospital dramas, and shows with a mystery have twelve plot lines and end on a cliffhanger each week. It’s not surprising viewers wandered away from “Resurrection,” which ended its first season with a pretty impressive revelation, but hasn’t done much with it since.
At first it seemed like having a single main thread, a small town’s dead returning one by one to the living, was refreshing. We learned about the characters, and how this big event affected them, without getting tangled in a lot of irrelevant tangents. Each episode gave us a few more clues about the “Returned,” and a look into the dark secrets of each family who’d lost loved ones.
This season, however, has slowed to a glacial pace. The plots seem to just keep digging at the same old wounds in these broken families, without any progress. Though Martin (Omar Epps) has learned he’s also a Returned, and is now hooked up with a secret government organization, he’s discovered they don’t seem to know much either. When a show loses momentum, fans start to worry a simple story is being stretched unnecessarily to fill time, or even worse, that the writers don’t know where they’re going with all this.
2. Unlikeable Characters
The biggest flaw I saw in the first season of “Resurrection” was that even though I was intrigued by the storyline, I didn’t care much about anyone in that story. Part of the plot is that these people aren’t necessarily saints and maybe don’t deserve a second chance, which already makes it tough to like them. You have characters like a drunken, bitter sheriff; his wishy-washy daughter who shuns any attachments; two parents who’ve suffered so much they’re empty shells; and a meek “investigator” who is nice enough but doesn’t have a heck of a lot of personality.
It’s bad when most of the show’s emotional core is supposed to revolve around protecting Jacob (Landon Gimenez), and he’s a dull zombie with occasional bouts of demon seed brattiness. The one thing that seemed to help the characters this year was the return of Henry’s and Fred’s mother, Margaret (Michelle Fairley). This woman is so evil in her manipulations that she finally made us feel worried for her family and cheer on anyone who tried to get in her way. Hating one character can only take a show so far, however.
3. Time for a Solid Ending
“Resurrection” still has enough of a good mystery to solve that those who’ve stuck by the series deserve some closure. The network should cancel the show but let season two play out with a few more episodes. With an end goal in sight, the writers can fill the remaining installments with more exciting reveals and build to a satisfying conclusion. We can finally learn whether the Returned are supernatural, spiritual, or alien, and if they really are the people they once were or are mere copies meant for either redemption or destruction.
What do you think? Does “Redemption” deserve to return for another season, or do you think Margaret should just sit the series on a park bench and cleverly convince it that it no longer wants to live?