Thursday, November 17, 2011

What You Should Have Watched #13

Cancelled Gems #1 – Daybreak

I totally understand why this never caught on. This was a show you really had to pay attention to, to get involved with. Miss an episode and you’re screwed.

But first, let’s talk about what this show got right.

This was Taye Diggs’ first starring vehicle if I’m not mistaken, and that’s a good thing. I don’t search out shows or movies that he’s in, but I don’t think I’ve ever not enjoyed anything I’ve seen him in. He was good in Will & Grace, and he was a wonderful foil for Christian Bale’s character in Equilibrium. Det. Hopper was a great role for Diggs, and I wish we would have been able to see where his character went.

Moon Bloodgood. Awful name, but oh so pretty. J

Then we’ve got the reason I started watching the show: Adam Baldwin. This was his gig between Firefly and Chuck, and it’s because of his awesome work in Firefly that I followed him to Daybreak. He’s definitely more like Casey here than Jayne, but he’s not nearly as uptight.

Now, back to what probably kept this show from lasting longer than the five or six episodes that aired (although ABC was awesome enough to stream the rest of the season online).

The best way to describe this show is as a serious take on Groundhog Day. Diggs’ Det. Brett Hopper is an L.A. narcotics detective who winds up framed for murder. His friends, colleagues and family are all snared by the net that pulled him into this conspiracy, and by the time he goes to bed after being framed for murder, his life seems to be ruined. Buuuuuuuuuuuut, when his alarm goes off and he wakes up, it’s like a reset button has been reset and he gets to attempt to figure out what happened before some things actually start to happen. Yeah, it starts to get a bit confusing pretty early on.

Through all the days that Hopper keeps repeating, he’s the only person who knows what’s going on. But his actions aren’t static; they can actually change things. If something he does changes another character’s life drastically enough, the ripple that it causes sometimes causes them to get a “feeling” that something is amiss, and they change their actions without Hopper’s intervention.

Despite the great acting showcased in this short-lived show (with a guest by Deadwood and Supernatural’s Jim Beaver, yay!!), there really was just too much going on for an audience to really invest time and energy into. The show premiered during the third season of Lost, a show that already required a heavy commitment from the viewer. Both were good, and both were different, but really, how much time is the average viewer really supposed to be expected to devote to their TV viewing each week?

Now, I firmly believe that had DVRs and OnDemand been more prevalent when this show originally aired, ABC would have aired all the episodes of the show instead of pulling it early and putting the rest of the episodes online. Maybe we would have even gotten an extra season or two.

One of the great things about this show was how, although it ended early, it ended with a satisfying conclusion. Now, I don’t know if the producers knew the axe was coming down and wrapped everything up neatly (the Wikipedia page doesn’t say anything about it), but something that was mentioned here makes me think that it was never intended to have a second season. This was just supposed to be a show that viewers could watch while Lost was on hiatus and then forget about when the more popular show came back on. Now knowing that the show didn’t actually air while Lost was on has me scratching my head a little as to why it didn’t click with viewers. Instead of having to think TOO much during a season, maybe they just wanted a break while Lost was on hiatus and didn’t want to have to think all that much? I don’t know, and I guess it doesn’t matter.

If you want to check out the show, and I’ll go ahead and recommend it. Netflix has it available for streaming, and Amazon has the series on the cheap if you want to buy it. If you want to do a smidge of research first, check out the show’s Wikipedia or IMDB pages.

Also, in case you've forgotten: When I can remember to add this to the bottom of my posts, I’m going to whore myself out with an impassioned plea: click on the ads. PLEASE click on the ads. I don’t care if you exit out of it immediately or actually look around. This isn’t some professional blog where I believe in the products I’m shilling. These are automatic ads placed by Google. But when you click ads, I get a little bit of money, and as a single father of three, every penny from every source helps...especially with Christmas looming on the horizon. So I’m going to keep this tiny bit of begging at the bottom of my posts, and I hope you’ll take an extra 10 seconds after reading my blog to click on an ad. The only thing it costs you is time. :) Thanks so much!

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