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The Forgotten: Premiere Review

Posted by CJ Cregg on September 22, 2009

“Without who is it, there’s no whodunit.”  –Alex Donovan

Nooooooo!  Not another show that starts with a voiceover!   But it’s the voice of a dead girl (alias Highway Jane), so that’s a (potentially) interesting twist.  A group of volunteers, The Forgotten Network, gets together to try and figure out what happened to said dead girl.  Their goal is to help tag dead bodies without identification, like Highway Jane, the girl in question in this case.  The volunteers zero in on her clothes and other features to attempt to figure out who she is and what happened to her.  (You can really figure out who someone is by looking at their nail polish color?  What?  And how did they figure out where she bought the blouse?)  They find out that Highway Jane is a girl named Vivian and slowly figure out where she hung out, what she was like, and where she lived.  They turn out to be wrong.  Vivian Simmons lives in Evanston (HOLLA!) and is very much, well alive.  But her purse was stolen at the Art Institute, so some identity theft is going on.  They also figure out the tattoo on the dead body is of a high school mascot, and trace her to a high school in Iowa, where they happen to run into the dead girl’s mom and are able to break the bad news.  They find out her real name is Tracey.  Turns out she ran away from home after her dad died.  They also figure out her murderer was one of her friends who was upset that Tracey girl lied to her.  (But seriously, what the heck?  Who gets that mad about stuff like this?  Tracey lied so the friend killed her?  It’s just not a very well done crime drama, I don’t think.)

The voiceover of the dead girl is annoying.  And frankly, after watching the first 15 minutes of the show, I was kind of bored.  The volunteers dedication to their task and to the humanity of discovering who people are is admirable.  I like that the show is set in Chicago.  (Love the Evanston shoutouts.  Go ‘Cats!) The show had too many montages of volunteers pounding the pavement trying to find out who their dead girl was, but that made it hard to get a grasp on what they were actually doing and how it is that they were SOLVING the crime.  A mark of a good cop/detective show is the audience being able to figure it out with the detectives.  The leaps in logic are just too great for me to be on board with solving this crime.  (Who gets devil tattoos because of their high school mascot btw?)  Also, as of now there are no relationships between the volunteers to add a humanistic element to the show.  The relationship between the volunteers and the local police department is complicated, but not that interesting.

All in all, the show isn’t terrible, but it is (forgive me, dear readers) forgettable.  I would watch it again, but I’m not itching to, and I’m a busy girl, so I probably won’t.

Grade: C


3 Responses to “The Forgotten: Premiere Review”

  1. Mr. Feeny said

    I hate that voiceover as well. So cheesy and unnecessary. I actually like Christian Slater, who was recast in this role. It’s the only thing that makes me actually want to keep watching. It really is the same as Cold Case or Without a Trace. It’s Cold Trace on ABC. The clues were way too convenient and solving them even more of a stretch. And other than Slater’s character, what did we learn about anyone else? Definitely pass, but if it stays on the air and there’s nothing else on, check it out. But that’s ridiculous. The Good Wife will be on. So never watch it.

  2. Mr. Feeny said

    Oh, also, your picture…is from before the recast it. No Christian Slater, and I see Reiko Aylesworth (24, LOST), who was also replaced.

  3. CJ Cregg said

    Heh. Shows how much time and effort I put into reviewing a show I wasn’t really feeling. In my defense, grad school is making me blind.

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