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October 10, 2015

The Nine: Pilot (series premiere)

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 4th 2006 11:03PM
The Nine
(S01E01) There are certain words I'm hesitant to use to describe this first episode of The Nine. After my praise and hype of Studio 60, I caught the wrath of many readers who thought I was either overpraising the show a little bit or just completely wrong for even liking the show. So, I'm hesitant to say that The Nine is excellent. It's exciting and well put together and deserves the hype that has been building for the past several weeks.

Having said that, I'd just like to say that The Nine is excellent. It's exciting and well put together and deserves the hype that has been building for the past several weeks.

Even a casual TV viewer knows the plot: nine strangers are brought together after being held hostage in a bank for 52 hours when a robbery goes awry. That's the plot right there, but like most great TV shows, it's how the handle the plot that matters.

We see that one hostage was killed, one hostage was released, and we see that the guy (John Billingsley) who seemed like the coward is now being called a hero. We see one woman acting differently towards her doctor boyfriend (Scott Wolf) because of something he did in the bank, a young girl who can't remember anything that happened in the bank with her dad (Chi McBride), and we see the cop (Tim Daly) come outside and punch the hostage negotiator. I don't know if it's the cleverness of the direction, the solid editing, or the cast that pulls it off (actually, it's all three), but you are instantly curious as to what happened to these people in the bank those 52 hours. And if you've seen ABC's marketing campaign, that's exactly what they want to happen with viewers.

This is the show Six Degrees could have been: a solid drama about a group of strangers who find themselves brought together. Nine is a higher number than six, in more ways than one.

The Nine is a lot like Lost in its use of flashbacks to fill in more of the story. But it's similar only because both use flashbacks. They don't use them the same. Lost uses them in big chunks to almost tell a different story of what happened in a character's past. The Nine uses them to explain why a certain character is acting a certain why, or why a hostage was released, why someone is acting differently after the hostage crisis is over than they were before. It's quite an intriguing set-up, and so far, it's working beautifully.

As the survivors sit in a diner at the end, trying to sit around and talk like a group of normal friends (until a waitress drops a tray and they all freak out), you wonder, where is the show going to go from here? But it's a credit to the cast that you really do care about what is going to happen to them, how the plots are going to progress (why does McBride's daughter go to the prison to see one of the robbers?!), and how the writers will interweave the flashbacks to explain certain scenes in the pilot.

I'm hooked.

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Clara N.

To each his own, I liked it and want to know more of what happened in that 52 hours. INRE the 25 year promise for Tim Daly has anyone seen the TV movie the Outsider. He was never that hot in Wings. The whole cast looks good. Give the show a chance, lots of questions to be answered here . At least they aren't cutting someone up and spreading thier internal organs all over the place.

October 18 2006 at 7:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Kristie: That's it, that's what it was!


October 07 2006 at 3:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved it, & I thought that was an "Eyes" shout-out with Tim Daly also. (It was when Daly's character mentioned he'd rather not use an ATM because he prefers seeing eyes. I'm paraphrasing, of course.)

October 06 2006 at 8:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Personally, I really liked it.

So the pilot wasn't the best I've ever seen (off the top of my head the pilots of Lost, Firefly and 24 were a lot better) but it was really good. The cast is amazing and they together with the writers and directors really did manage to make me feel more for these characters than I usually do for most characters after a season.

I do agree with those who say that the first half was a lot stronger than the second half and that it's going to be a challenge for the writers to keep this stuff interesting. I mean: how long can following a group of severely traumatised people remain interesting?

It feels like they shot themselves in the foot by containing the premise of the show's suspense in those 52 hours and showing us most of the important things off the bat (Eva dies, the rest of the 9 hostages survive, Jeremy had a 'moment' with someone who wasn't Lizzie - probably Franny, etc.) I'm definitely going to give this show a couple of episodes, sticking around after Lost isn't really out of my way, and I'm very positive. I just hope the show can deliver on my expectations.

October 05 2006 at 11:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am absolutely willing to get into this show on two conditions:

a.) More Lourdes Benedicto -- why did ABC kill off the hottest woman (Eva)?

b.) FIX YOUR P.O.S. ONLINE STREAMING VIDEO. It died on me 5 times when I wanted to watch it again (after watching it on broadcast TV)

October 05 2006 at 6:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"It was a 52 hour hostage situation. Would you say 52 hours would be life altering?"

Yes, for the people involved but I'm not sure that most people would then proceed to hang out together. The real problem is that the show didn't convince me that I should care. I don't want to sit around waiting for the show to slowly release an item a week.

I'll keep watching "Lost," but I'm not going to waste my time on another show (including most of this year's new serials) that continually tease me without a decent payoff.

October 05 2006 at 6:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree with folks who said the first 30 minutes were amazing (they really were...breathlessly exciting) and then post hostage crisis, the story kinda limped to the conclusion.

I honestly don't know what to think of this show. I really hope the creative team can pull this one off. It's gonna be a huge challenge, but they've already shown they know how to put together an unbelievable 30 minutes. Now can they do that for the whole hour on a weekly basis?

The Nine's lead in, Lost, showed us that there is another program capable of this. Let's hope The Nine can do it too.

October 05 2006 at 5:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Brad said:

"Also, I just didn't believe that a one-hour hostage situation would be life-altering."

It was a 52 hour hostage situation. Would you say 52 hours would be life altering?

October 05 2006 at 3:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kevin williams

I really like the idea of the show. I think it has a strong premise.

However, I don't like how the mid/latter part of the show was put together. The show jumps from the night after the incident, then all of the sudden it's the funeral, then all of the sudden it's a get together.

October 05 2006 at 3:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I didn't love it either. It just seemed like the week after every church camp I ever went to. All of us who "came together" and promised to "never let our friendship die" suddenly realizing that in the real world, we had nothing in common except that one mountaintop experience.

I'm glad it resonated for so many other folks, and for their sake, I hope it's successful. But I'll be avoiding it.

October 05 2006 at 1:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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