Saturday, September 23, 2006

TV: Six Degrees

Six Degrees stars Hope Davis, whom I love, and is "from" J.J. Abrams (he executive produces, but I can't find any evidence that he actually created the show), and yet I still found it hard to care at all about the show.

The show's title is taken from the "six degrees of separation" premise, but I'm not sure why. There are six main characters, but by the end of the pilot episode, they're all separated by at most two "degrees". Degrees, degrees, degrees. Degrees is a funny word. But I digress. Digress, digress, digress.

Anyhow. Just because there are six people doesn't mean there are six degrees of separation between any of them. Most of them only have one degree of separation. Wait, does direct contact between two people make them separated by zero degrees, or one degree? Okay, you know what, I'm gonna talk about something else now.

The real problem here is I didn't really care about the six people in question. Erika Christensen is on the run from someone, hiding a box that holds something. Jay Hernandez is... I'm not sure what. A lawyer of some kind? Mostly he's just trying to stalk Erika Christensen. Campbell Scott is a photographer, and also kind of a dick. Dorian Missick is a limo driver with a gambling problem. Bridget Moynahan works at a P.R. firm and has a cheating fiance. And Hope Davis lost her husband in Iraq and likes Sonic Youth. They all came across more as character sketches, rather than fully realized characters. None of them made enough of an impression on me that I cared to find out more about them. I was more interested in watching Sarah Vowell in a small role as Jay Hernandez's co-worker than any of the supposed leads.

And the gimmick that has the six of them passing in and out of one another's lives, sometimes making real connections, sometimes just brushing silently by, didn't grab me either. So, they don't all know each other yet. Apparently they soon will. But why? What's the significance of these six people getting their lives tangled together? Is there a larger purpose to it all? Doesn't seem like it; feels like nothing more than soap opera storylines criss-crossing. So what if the limo driver doesn't know the grieving widow. On most TV shows with a large cast, there are characters who don't know other characters. Why make such a big deal out of it here? The whole concept is labored and uninteresting to me.

I kind of wanted to like this show, because of Davis and Abrams, but while it's not offensively bad, and does feature decent acting and random Sarah Vowell cameos, there's just nothing to pull me in, no reason to tune in again. And so, I don't think I will.

Rating: 4 out of 10

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