September 21, 2011

TV: Unforgettable (CBS, Tue 10)

It would be an easy cheap shot to simply say that Unforgettable isn't, but that would be a bit too harsh. It's not a particularly memorable show, but it's a perfectly adequate entry in the ever-growing series of CBS crime procedurals, and the audience who enjoys those shows will find this one just as innocuously entertaining as the rest.

Poppy Montgomery stars as Carrie Wells, who has a rare medical condition giving her perfect recall of everything she's ever experienced. (This is a real condition, which fewer than ten people in the world have; one of them is Marilu Henner, who is a consultant on this show.) She's an ex-cop who is the closest thing to an eyewitness in a murder case, and winds up working as a consultant with the Queens Police on the case. (Does Queens actually have its own police department?)

As is obligatory in these shows nowadays, Carrie has her own traumatic backstory to overcome: The one day she can't remember is the day her sister was murdered. The cop with whom she's working on the case in Queens (Dylan Walsh) just happened to be her partner when she was a cop in Syracuse, and he was the lead investigator on her sister's murder; Carrie has never forgiven him for closing the case before it was solved.

Aside from the memory gimmick (and it's hard to imagine how that can be sustained, unless Carrie's going to be an eyewitness to a major crime in every episode), this is fairly standard procedural. It's blandly professional; Montgomery is competent, but rarely more than that; the writing suffices to get the necessary exposition across. But it's a CBS crime drama, so it's not as if the bar is set all that high, and they can probably scrape three or four seasons out of it.

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