Stitchers is at face value a not-so-goodish version of iZombie, only with a sci-fi spin instead of the supernatural zombie one. Kirsten (Emma Ishta, a hot blonde with questionable acting skills) is recruited by a shadowy government agency (is there any other kind?) because their program needs someone with her particular condition, which we learn ALL about in an interminable explanation of ‘temporal displaysia’. Basically it boils down to her having wonky perception of time, difficulty with emotion, a distressing tendency to be extremely literal and essentially having carte blanche to be rude and insensitive for which we must forgive her because, you know, temporal displaysia! The premise revolves around so-called ‘stitching’, or allowing a live person to explore the mind of the recently deceased by means of a secretive high-tech lab run by smart aleck misfits, a fish tank and a gratuitous black catsuit. This can only be done for a short window of time after someone shuffles off this mortal coil, in rather flagrant contradiction of the show’s tagline ‘Memories never die’, but the techno-babble reason being the newly dead brain’s pathways and connections degrade (duh!). Kirsten goes poking around in other people’s minds for the ostensible purpose of solving their murders but we as the audience have a sneaking suspicion there’s more to the program than such an altruistic motive. Salli Richardson-Whitfield (Allison Blake from Eureka) heads the Stitchers program as Maggie, and Allison Scagliotti (Claudia from Eureka‘s sister show Warehouse 13) plays Kirsten’s roommate Camille. Neuroscientist Cameron (Kyle Harris) and enginerd Linus (Ritesh Rajan ) round out the team, as well as (Damon Dayoub) playing Detective Quincy Fisher, a local cop nosing around in things “above his paygrade” and also the only character who merits a full name and rank on IMDB.
I make the Stitchers /iZombie connection because not only is Kirsten running around solving murders with knowledge acquired via the murder victims’ brains, she’s also sometimes affected by the experience and occasionally takes on the odd characteristic of the decedent. But iZombie is rather brilliant, a fabulous mix of the supernatural, police procedurals and stealthily applied comedy. Stitchers isn’t anywhere near the same level of genius, but it may yet outgrow all its endless exposition to become worthy of a few more stars. There are some inconsistencies with characters, for instance someone accepts a bogus explanation/motivational speech for the sole reason of it being necessary to the plot, not because it makes any sort of sense and I really dislike plot-driven stuff like that. The writing tends to be a bit hackneyed (“You’re the detective. Detect.”), pseudo-philosophical (“Trust me, just the way you want me to trust you.”), obvious (“I know you don’t get relationships, like, at all.”) and flippant (“I don’t think you’re an idiot. You’re more of an imbecile.”), but once in a while, there’s a line that’s beautifully stark and loaded, like when Kirsten references a painful moment from her childhood. “When my mother died, Daddy saw no benefit in me.” On a purely aesthetic note, I really don’t like the makeup designs for Emma (those creepy spidery eyelashes!) and Allison, whom they actually manage to make less attractive than she is in real life. But personal gripes aside, the show has potential and I’ll be interested to see if it ever grows beyond its rather prosaic and heavy-handed beginnings. – BETHANY
My first review exclusive to this blog!
For more on Stitchers, visit: The Internet Movie Database
“You want to insert my consciousness into this guy’s dead brain?”
“It sounds icky when you put it like that.”
Tron, Splash and a host of other stuff make up the visuals for this sci-fi pastiche.
Stitchers goes all Rear Window.
“Okay, you want to use my laptop to hack into the L.A.P.D.’s Data Server? ”
“Well, that’s … help me, … what is the word I’m looking for? — Illegal.” (Allison Scagliotti as Camille)
Detective Fisher (the ridiculously handsome Damon Dayoub) and Kirsten have words.
Linus and Cameron try unsuccessfully to look like they fit in at a rave.
(image courtesy of cafepress.co.uk)
Some interesting behind the scenes bits from a Stitchers interview:
Photos courtesy of StoryBy Productions, ABC Family Original Productions and Prodco (unless otherwise noted)