Res­ur­rec­tion Sea­son One

Yawn Of The Dead

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Rated / Dvd & blu- ray -

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

2013 | 12 | DVD Di­rec­tor: Charles McDougall Cast: Omar Epps, Kurt­wood Smith, Frances Fisher, Devin Kel­ley, Mark Hil­dreth, Sa­maire Arm­strong

Pen handy? You

might need to take notes here. Res­ur­rec­tion is the US TV adap­ta­tion of Ja­son Mott’s 2013 novel, The Re­turned. That novel has noth­ing to do with the ace French show Les Revenants ( screened in the UK as The Re­turned, con­fus­ingly). It does, how­ever, have a near- iden­ti­cal premise in which res­i­dents of an iso­lated town find their de­ceased loved ones mys­te­ri­ously re­turned to life and full health. Got that? Good.

Sea­son one’s eight episodes hone in on three of th­ese re­turnees: eight- year- old Ja­cob, creepy crim­i­nal Caleb and Rachel, the lo­cal pas­tor’s ex. This nar­row fo­cus al­lows the show to ex­plore the fraught emo­tions of loved ones who had pre­vi­ously come to terms with their grief. Kurt­wood Smith as Ja­cob’s fa­ther is par­tic­u­larly strong in this re­gard, os­cil­lat­ing be­tween angry dis­be­lief and cau­tious joy.

Still, it’s im­pos­si­ble to get That Other Show out of your mind. Les Revenants wasn’t just grip­ping and strange – it looked amaz­ing too, with a real sense of place. Res­ur­rec­tion, in com­par­i­son, feels like some­thing you’d find on the Hall­mark Chan­nel. It’s vis­ually flat and sad­dled with a tear- jerky score. Char­ac­ters do be­wil­der­ingly stupid things and say lines like, “It’s over.” “No, it’s only just be­gin­ning,” with a straight face. Crit­i­cally, it never feels like it’s quite com­fort­able with its genre el­e­ments, and takes fre­quent drunken lurches to­wards soap opera ter­ri­tory.

And yet… the mys­ter­ies posed are com­pelling. Ef­fort is made to give ev­ery­one a few shades of grey ( the Sher­iff, in par­tic­u­lar, al­ter­nates be­tween be­ing the heart of the show and its big­gest dick­head). There’s po­ten­tial here, but also the nag­ging doubt that Res­ur­rec­tion could just be the next in a long line of un­ful­fill­ing shows that don’t de­liver on their ini­tial prom­ise ( Oh, hi Flash­For­ward).

Ex­tras: A slim se­lec­tion. “On Lo­ca­tion In Ge­or­gia” takes us be­hind the scenes of the sea­son’s film­ing in Don­cast-no, sorry, Ge­or­gia. “Res­ur­rec­tion: Build­ing A Mys­tery” quizzes the cast on where they think the story might be head­ing. There’s also six min­utes of deleted scenes and a brief blooper reel. Will Sal­mon Ja­son Mott was in­spired to write the orig­i­nal novel by a dream about find­ing his dead mother sit­ting at the kitchen ta­ble.

“Oh no… I think your head lice have been res­ur­rected too.”

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