Limitless

Discussion in 'TV Show Talk' started by TomCat, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    I am curious as to whether this will get an audience or not. Even after watching it.

    I thought it was very well done, with a good cast. But I finished not really sure where they were going with this, which to me is a significant failing in a pilot. I think it is important to leave the viewer with a good idea of what the show episodes are actually going to be about, and I don't feel that we have a solid feel for that yet. I hope the writers do. Still, enough to get me back next week.

    I had somewhat a similar reaction to the movie. I had a 5-hour flight to Boston ahead of me, and while I don't watch a lot of movies, this story intrigued me, so onto the iPad it went. But I remember next to nothing about the movie, except that there was a lot of flash and not a lot of meat on the bone. The first two-thirds were entertaining, but then it fizzled as they had no Act 3, and I found it ultimately disappointing, and a waste of time.

    I am hoping that I am not set up for the same sort of disappointment with the series, because while I liked the first two-thirds of this pilot as well, it also got a little muddled and aimless near the end. I actually thought the movie was not that successful, and was a little startled that it had generated a series version.

    I mostly liked this, but I found the whole "I need to solve a mystery of what killed my [father/mother/sister/brother/fill in the blank] regarding this [drug/crime/conspiracy/fill in the blank]" to be a fairly tired old serialization trope too commonly used to hang a series on, so I am already a little unimpressed that they went there. A little knee-jerk and uncreative. It made me feel like I had just realized that I had already seen this before, or something just like it, in Castle and countless other shows. "This must be where I came in". Sorry, no, its the second day of the fall TV season, give us something fresh and new, please. I had also just seen a male and female lead character shoved clumsily together by fate once already tonight, in Blindspot, which is probably a better show. Also an eye-rolling move far too common in TV drama to not induce ennui and boredom pretty quickly. So, lukewarm it is.

    Rotten Tomatoes has Limitless the movie with more critical acclaim but less audience likes at 70/74 vs. Limitless the series at 50/80. With all the promotion, today I got click-baited to some clips of the movie on YouTube. From those clips, it seemed like a much better movie than I had remembered, but I am also surprised that I don't remember very much about it. I think that can happen when it is mostly flash instead of real story. But it must not have been able to leave much of a lasting impression when you don't even remember that an actor with the stature of Deniro was one of the key characters.

    But then Limitless was no Taxi Driver, as unfair as that comparison might be. Its been 40 years, but few of us will forget that iconic image of Travis Bickle mock-shooting himself in the temple with that blood-dripped index finger. "Are you talking to me?" Scorsese essentially invented slo-mo as a dramatic embellishment. But I forgot everything about Limitless in under 3 years. In the current political climate, I'm not sure a Paul Schrader could even get a script like that green-lighted anymore. Sorry, I digress. A lot.

    No Deniro in the series, but there is a lot of potential here, and I liked the lead very much, which is probably good, since this story is essentially about this one character's experience rather than it being an ensemble. All they have to do now, is deliver.
     
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  2. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I really liked the movie... have watched it a few times. I haven't watched the TV show yet. While the movie did kind of leave things open for a sequel, I'm not sure how much room there is for a 20-episode TV show.
     
  3. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    Watch the pilot and you will see where they are headed.
     
  4. Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

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    They covered a lot of bases in the first episode. Now to see where they take this.
     
  5. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    After seeing the second ep, I am all in. I think we might have a breakout here. They were a bit hampered in the pilot because it was a pilot, and they needed to make it as much like what folks would expect after being familiar with the movie, so they didn't have a lot of creative wiggle room.

    But the tone is much different in the second ep. We got a hint of the differences from the movie in the pilot, but now they are heading towards their own vision, which is now fairly clear. It is now nothing at all like the movie, which was a serious drama with political and societal overtones.

    I was surprised, and even delighted, with how much humor there is here. I think humor is important in every show, including garden-variety procedurals. The X-Files would never have made it without the dry humor of Duchovny, and CSI would not have made it for 15 years without the quirky ironic whimsy. Shows centering on crime and death and mayhem at least need some sort of comic relief, something even Shakespeare understood.

    This show is also not afraid to show the flaws in this character. And the overarching conspiracy driver for the female lead has, thankfully, receded into the background, at least for now. It's creative and interesting, it feels fresh, and its just a lot of fun.

    This has the potential to be a long-running hit, on the order of Castle, which is a very high bar. It even feels like Castle, without being a rip. The key thing in both of these shows is how charismatic the lead character is, and how much fun it is to be a spectator in their lives. Add good stories and a healthy supporting cast, and you have a potential winner. There is nothing glaringly insufficient that will hold this show back, which is not something you can say about many new shows, so I am rooting for this one.
     
  6. RVRambler

    RVRambler Legend

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    I think it will take 4-5 eps to know if it can maintain its uniqueness, but so far I like it, the end of ep 2 was an interesting bit.

    I just re-watched Lucifer (yet another DC comic tv show) pilot, and I must say I will probably like it as good or better. The cute lesbian paramedic from Chicago Fire is the lead Detective, and it seems Lucifer finds her intriguing. I just hope the religious freaks will be kept at bay and Fox will have the courage to give it a shot.

    The Pilot is great, I think just like Limitless, it could be a solid win, for at least a season - but like all, you need great innovative (not wacky) writers assuming the actors are up to it with nice plot twists and so forth.
     
  7. Oct 5, 2015 #7 of 30
    TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    What happened to that one? I thought it was supposed to be on this fall. If Minority Report doesn't get better, it just might be. The extended preview at the upfronts was pretty good. I also was impressed by Tom Ellis in Rush, and I was sorry that didn't get picked back up.
     
  8. Oct 9, 2015 #8 of 30
    4HiMarks

    4HiMarks Hall Of Fame

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    I agree it feels like Castle, but with a little bit of Scorpion thrown in to get the genius part.
     
  9. chevyguy559

    chevyguy559 Fresno State Bulldog!

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    So far I am really liking this show....but usually new shows that I like end up cancelled...I hope this one survives...

    As a side note, I've never seen the movie Limitless....should I watch it? Or would it ruin the show for me? Or would it matter?
     
  10. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I haven't watched the show yet... I have to think the show is made to work with the movie, though since Bradley Cooper was one of the stars of the movie and he is one of the people behind this TV show.
     
  11. Delroy E Walleye

    Delroy E Walleye AllStar

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    I saw the movie on TNT (can't seem to find it anywhere at the moment with search). I have to say that I did enjoy it. Haven't got around to watching the series, yet, but will eventually.
     
  12. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    Bradley cooper is actually in this and continuing his character. He's not on screen much but his story arch Is significant and overall driving the show in some ways.

    The series is getting better as it goes along. The first episode was a bit over the top. But it's really settling into a nice groove now.
     
  13. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    CBS has picked up Limitless for a full season order.

    Peace,
    Tom
     
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  14. longrider

    longrider Well-Known Member

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    Glad to hear that. I have been enjoying it
     
  15. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I thought that was the case... but since it is still piling up on my DVR I haven't seen for sure. That makes me feel a little more positive about trying to find time to catch up at some point.
     
  16. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    The trades are saying Melissa Benoist and Rachel Bloom are the fall breakout stars. They might be, but I see Jake McDornan as the real breakout. This kid just gets better every week. What a talent.

    If this were a bad show, I think he could, by virtue of his ability and charm, still carry the show to success on his back. Luckily for all of us, he does not need to; its already a good show.

    I think what I find intriguing about the underlying hook of Limitless, both the movie and the TV show, is the metamorphosis. I can relate to that, literally, and while I suffered from severe sleep apnea for years, once I had the therapy it was as if a huge dark cloud was lifted from my mind, and I felt like my IQ shot up about 30 points. Certainly nowhere near as dramatic as what happens when Bradley Cooper drops NZT (sounds a little too close to AZT for my tastes), but I spent decades being strangled partially awake 56 times an hour every hour as I slept without even knowing it, so my brain could not rebuild new pathways with any efficiency. What would you be like if you never got more than a minute of solid sleep in a row for most of your life? Now I am like a different person (although many of you probably liked the old me better...OK, enough about me).
     
  17. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    I think it's the best new show you on tv myself. It'd be the one show I'd be mad if they canceled. Makes me think I need to clear some shows off my DVR actually.
     
  18. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    One day I will catch up on the DVR... some of the promo spots for this make it seem a bit like the NBC show, Chuck, from a few years back.
     
  19. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    Not as campy. But good fun.
     
  20. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Yeah, I got the sense it was a bit more serious... but it kind of looked like they were putting this guy in similar situations... contrasting his "super pill powers" with otherwise ineptness somehow... which is kind of what Chuck did. I still want to watch Limitless since I liked the movie and know Cooper is in and behind this TV show.
     

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