Ah, NBC. I know you really, really, really would have liked to have Lost on your network, but it was ABC that had it. So you created a new one, with a relatively similar tone…people are together, catastrophe happens, they wake up in a new land after passing through a very white light, and have to learn to survive with sharing food, building shelter, finding water, fighting off large ravenous polar bears, err, I mean wolves. Heck, the show even drops a ref to being in an episode of Lost. When the show was listed, I wrote the following:
La Brea on NBC premieres next week, and I would love to make fun of it. I mean, after all, there’s a lot of material to work with…a tar pit that collapses into a sink hole in LA? That transports people into another dimension? Really? I have to say cancellation on that basis alone. It isn’t LOST, and it ain’t even Manifest. But here’s the thing. The main star is Natalie Zea. OMG. I loved her on Justified, she is just knock down gorgeous to watch doing anything. On Unicorn, he was getting a girlfriend, and I thought, “meh”, until I saw it was her. Then I was like, “Yes! She has presence!”. The fact that I loved her all the way back to Dirty Sexy Money is not relevant to the conversation, is it? Okay, maybe it is, but I’m also excited to see Eoin Macken who I used to really enjoy on Merlin (oddly, I just binged it again recently). I expect cancellation, but I’ll be watching anyway.
Sooo, the tar pits part is relatively irrelevant. I’ve seen EP1, and I didn’t even recognize Eoin Macken as Natalie Zea’s estranged husband. Let’s recap the premise a bit now that I have more details.
Mom, newly-one-legged daughter, and brother are driving in LA when the world’s largest sinkhole opens in front of them, next to the La Brea tar pits, and sucks Mom and Bro into the giant hole. Sis manages to escape. But the hole is huge, like several city blocks by several city blocks big. Whole buildings collapse. The government shows up, says there’s nobody to rescue, they fell too far, the hole is too big, and well, too bad buttercup, that’s all there is. Except they then talk to each other about how they’re lying to everyone. Dun dun dun.
Mom and Bro wake up in a new land, lots of grass and trees, and after travelling a fair distance to get to a smoke column, they find each other and a bunch of other people. Now, let’s ignore the fact that the hole would have taken thousands of people and about 50 make it to this encampment. I mean, we have to ignore it, as there’s no explanation of where everyone else is or the fact that millions of tons of debris and concrete fell into this hole, and what’s around are some cars, a few trucks, a couple of signs, etc. Virtually no rubble. Huh?
Meanwhile, back in normalcy, the ex-husband is trying to get a job as a pilot, back in the air force. Except that he’s meeting with a senior air force person to get them to pull strings to get him back in after a plane crash led to him seeing things. Despite the fact that recruitment would be regular through recruiting offices or his post-military liaison, not cold-calling an air force bigwig like he’s applying for a private-sector job. Oh, and btw, the images he’s been seeing? They’re of the same place his wife and son are now trapped.
I wanted to give this show a fair shake, and all I kept seeing were scenes that looked like rip-offs from Lost. Oh, look, one of the guys taking charge is a surgeon. Really? REALLY??? At least they didn’t call him Jack.
Oh look, someone is injured and they have to find bandages, and meds, and medical supplies in general, oh my! They pool food, some people pull a Sawyer and try to hoard. And I swear to god, they find HEROIN in one of the cars. Good news if you’re an addict like Charlie. Oh, wait, that was Lost, right.
But there’s at least no one who seems to have been miraculously healed by the transfer and has the ability to lead others. Although that shrink was suicidal and now seems to be finding himself. Never mind. Let’s just call him Locke.
Now, I have to give a giant SPOILER ALERT. Normally, in a show like this, they throw the premise at you, like Lost did, but don’t really explain anything. The mystery pulls you back, trying to figure out where they are, what’s happening, what’s really going on.
Except this show tells you in EP1 that somehow they have gone back in time. Birds that are extinct came out of the hole; a boulder that the husband and wife had visited in present time is back in the past in his vision, along with her wedding ring lost in the past but able to found relatively unmarked lying near the boulder to prove they are somehow stuck in the past; and, oh yeah, Mom recognizes the Hollywood Hills without the Hollywood sign, and realizes she’s still in LA. So everyone knows what’s going on, including the viewer. And if you were still confused, a live sabre-tooth tiger attacks.
Well, at least they weren’t dinosaurs.
But the show is terrible. It is one ripoff after another, and as much as I would like to follow it, they even seem to have ripped off Star Trek. There is a light that they passed through, and I swear it looks exactly like the Nexus from the movies. Really? REALLY?
I can’t even watch it. Even with Natalie Zea in it. Hopefully, they’ll cancel early so she’s free for another show in the next pilot season. Maybe another romantic comedy or she can read the phone book for all I care.