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PILOT REVIEW: REM


Series creator, Kyle Killen

REM
“Pilot”
NBC
By Kyle Killen (Lone Star)
Grade: A

Oh yes.

It’s no secret I’m a fan of Kyle Killen, whose short-lived Lone Star outclassed every other network pilot from this past development cycle. He’s also the scribe of Mel Gibson’s “comeback” film (of sorts), titled The Beaver. While Lone Star holds the dubious honor of the first canceled network show of the season, Killen himself is obviously talented. Not only does his new pilot REM star a much more marketable lead (Jason Isaacs, also known as Lucius Malfoy), but the premise is much more relatable to the general populous: Detective Mark Britten (Isaacs) wakes up from a car crash, living in two similar, yet distinct worlds: one where his wife Hannah (Laura Allen, The 4400) survives, and another where his son Rex (Dylan Minnette, Let Me In & Saving Grace) is the only other survivor besides Mark. Every time Britten falls asleep, he moves from one world to the next, each with a different therapist, survivor, and partner detective.

Two different cases run simultaneously (in both worlds), with information from one world effecting the other. There are obviously clues within the show to alert the viewer to the dream they’re currently in (different cases, different partners, different alive family members, different therapists), but the show also throws in the visual clues of a colored rubber-band, to boot (green on one side, blue on the other). Duplicity is obviously an element that Killen is interested in; it’s more overt in REM than in Lone Star, but also exists as less of a moral gray area. Can a man live two lives simultaneously? Is one more real; if so, does it matter? REM feels like Lone Star because there are obvious thematic links, only this time with a nice, viewer friendly coat on top. That’s not a bad thing.

Throughout each case are conversations that Britten has with his two therapists (each from a different world): Dr. Lee (B.D. Wong, SVU) and Dr. Stephanie Evans (Cherry Jones, 24). Both act as foils to the other and attempt to win control over Britten’s sanity (also interesting to note, both Wong and Jones are openly gay). Lee makes a logical point concerning the order in which Britten is receiving his information; Evans prints out the Constitution and reads it. Both make valid points to Britten concerning the nature of the realities, but in the end, it doesn’t matter to Britten. It’s almost humorous, like a game of cat and mouse. It grounds the story, as well, reminding the viewer that it’s more than just one man living “a different life,” he’s literally creating another world to cope with death.

Unfortunately, as with Lone Star, Britten will eventually have to confront “the truth,” if such as thing exists. And that, folks, is what makes the possibilities for REM endless.

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3 Responses

  1. […] 17th Precinct – B REM – A S.I.L.A. Brave New World Alpha Mom Reconstruction […]

  2. […] Detective Mark Britten (Isaacs) wakes up from a car crash, …View original post here: PILOT REVIEW: REM « Network Exposure google_ad_client = "ca-pub-9945664573178281"; /* d642 */ google_ad_slot = "3152556272"; […]

  3. I loved Lone Star. It was the only interesting network drama last year and Kyle Kyllen’s interaction with fans on Twitter was super-sweet. If REM were to get picked up, I’d definitely watch.

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