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October 10, 2015

Six Degrees: Pilot (series premiere)

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 21st 2006 11:26PM

Six Degrees cast

(S01E01) This, by far, is the most disappointing new show of the season.

And it pains me to say that, because I like J.J. Abrams and I like stories with lots of characters set in New York City, but this show starts with a concept that turns out to be pretty damn bogus to start with and then does nothing with it.

Here's what's wrong with it.

The opening narration (and ABC's relentless ad campaign) wants to remind us that this show is all about the strangers that we meet on the street everyday. They could become our best friend, they could have an impact on our lives. We just never know what's going to happen when we meet a stranger. Um, excuse me, but isn't that the plot of pretty much every show when you get right down to it, and even about life in general? This whole "six degrees" angle the show is taking is just a gimmick. It's really just set up like any other soap opera: a bunch of random characters with different professions and personalities who end up interacting with each other. There's absolutely nothing new about it.

Which would be ok, if they gave us something to be interested in, but we've seen all of these characters before: the hot girl on the run from someone, the defense attorney with a heart, the tough business woman looking for more in her life, etc, etc. Really, the only character you have an interest in is Campbell Scott's photographer with the messed up life trying to do something for his son.

As if the whole "six degrees" and "fate" thing wasn't so forced down our throats, they also have to throw in coin flipping and a Magic 8 Ball that Scott gives his son. Gah. And the part with the business woman finding a random photo that Scott took while on a jog. In any other show, that would be called "contrived," but because this is high concept and it's all about FATE and SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION, it's supposed to be dramatic. It isn't.

So, let me summarize: a bogus concept, lame writing, and a bunch of characters you really don't care that much about. You look at a show with tons of characters like Studio 60 or Lost and you see how great writing and direction/editing can introduce them beautifully and really hook you into the show.

But this show isn't Lost. It's just lost.

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I disagree. I think the show was entertaining, and I immediately got sucked in with these characters. With JJ Abrams behind it, and actors like Erika Christensen and Jay Hernandez, how could you go wrong? Needless to say, I love how it is filmed on the streets of NYC unlike other shows that are all filmed in the studio. I am already looking forward to next week's episode!

September 24 2006 at 9:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tony C

The absolute strongest emotional point for me in this episode came from Laura (Hope Davis): In the opening, we get a brief glimpse of her watching TV, looking perhaps a bit pensive, while a news correspondent in Iraq reports a segment from the war front.

We still don't know a whole lot about her, but she appears to be getting over her husband. There's a few hints along the way, like her conversations with Whitney, when she packs up his suits and gives them to Goodwill, and when she removes her wedding band. Though nothing that quite explains the situation.

And then, later on, she's watching TV again (briefly interrupted by Mae) and I'm thinking "Didn't we see this before?". It hit me like a bolt, just before she hit the rewind button, and I couldn't stop the tears. That's when I realized that she was playing back a recording of her husband's last broadcast before he was killed in Iraq. The final piece of her puzzle.

September 23 2006 at 12:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Seems like most of you are upset with the way its marketed by ABC, not with the actual show itself. I liked it a lot. There seems to be a great balance between the characters and the stories similar to Lost. While some shows lean towards the characters and have no plot or story, and some lean too far into the story without addressing the characters, this one has both. I look forward to more episodes.

September 23 2006 at 12:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved it. Its television, remember that. Its your entertainment for the hour, and it did the job for me.

September 22 2006 at 5:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I had thought that with Campbell Scott AND Hope Davis (wow--was Parker Posey not available? That would have made it the perfect indie project) it would have been great. But...not so much.

Bridget Moynahan kept confusing me--she looks too much like Veronica Hamel from "Hill Street Blues."

But she won't be confusing me for long, because I doubt I'll keep watching.

September 22 2006 at 5:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The only role J.J. Abram's has in this show is that he's the executive producer. I didn't see his name anywhere in the writer's credits. So the only thing you should be blaming him for is paying for it and bring it to ABC, as it was originally a WB pilot.

September 22 2006 at 12:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

the only highlight = hope davis

September 22 2006 at 12:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I completely disagree. Every show has to start from somewhere and i thik that it should be given a try. I happened to think the beggining of the pilot was a little drag but it had me after that. I look forward to future episodes. And regardless of how ppl bash JJ Abrams you can never call his writing anything but amazing. This show is basically a more grown up Felicity with more intense storylines, but i like it.

September 22 2006 at 10:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jimmy M

You meantion the stupidness of the opening narration?

I changed the channel 3/4 the way through the opening narration. I was planning to watch the whole show but after that I was neither interested nor impressed. Switched over to ER.

September 22 2006 at 9:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Soap Opera seems like a good way to describe this show. I can just see the show 5 episodes from now, with every character re-acting the same dilemna, is the fiance the man of her dreams or a scoundrel, she'll never know.

September 22 2006 at 9:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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