Midseason Pilot Review: Zero Hour

Premise: After his wife is kidnapped after finding information about a centuries-old mystery, a conspiracy theorist sets out to find the truth.

Initial Thoughts: I was torn based on the premise. On one hand, I love historical mysteries and conspiracy theories. On the other, it sounds a bit like it’s trying to be National Treasure or the Da Vinci Code and I wasn’t sure how well that would translate to television and the promos didn’t give me a lot of confidence in the show.

Series Premiere: 2/14/13

Timeslot Competition: The Big Bang Theory/Two and a Half Men (CBS), American Idol results (FOX), Community/Parks & Recreation (NBC), The Vampire Diaries (CW)

Post-show Thoughts: I think I like this show so far. I really liked the flashback opening and I would love to see more from that time period. I also thought the music was used well to add the right amount of suspense. I’m not particularly attached to any of the characters yet, but I feel like I could eventually like them.

I am still concerned about how well this concept will translate to television. Extended mythology arcs tend to fall apart as the show gets into later seasons and since this show is about the mythology and mystery, I have some reservations. I don’t want it to turn into the Rambaldi arc on Alias. However, since I can’t predict the future and showrunners often have different visions that I expect from them, my concerns won’t stop me from watching for the time being.

I would like them to work on the writing a little bit. It got a little heavy-handed at times, such as in the last spoken line of the episode, and there were a couple unnecessary lines of exposition that they should trust the audience is smart enough to figure out for themselves. I also have the feeling that the shot of the clock gears before the show goes to a break could get old after a while.

Predictions: It’s fairly clear that this show is not going to be back for a second season. It’s premiere ratings were the lowest in ABC’s in-season history, which wasn’t totally unexpected given it’s relatively poor ratings and competitive timeslot. If ABC has something else to put in its place that could achieve the same ratings, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it pulled from the schedule, especially if ratings drop in the second week as most do.  

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