TV Review: Stitchers Needs More Life

Stitchers, a new sci-fi procedural, joins the ABC Family tonight, but doesn’t quite bring the heat in the series’ opening episode.

Centered around Kirsten Clark (Emma Ishta), a gifted and beautiful CalTech student, on the outs at school and suffering from a condition the show calls temporal dysplasia, which means she doesn’t feel time pass. Kirsten’s talents gets her drafted into a top secret program that can hack into the brains of the dead to solve crimes, a process that looks lifted from other sci-fi procedurals, like Fringe and iZombie. Obviously, Stitchers requires its audience to severely suspended disbelief to enjoy.

The main problem with Stitchers’ pilot is that it never seems to deliver any kind of spark or life of its own. Storywise, every beat of the hour is painstakingly predictable, offering little surprises. The dialogue is often groanworthy, delivered in a likewise flat style meant to come across as lively. As a main character, Kirsten offers nothing that will draw in an audience. It’s clear we’re meant to take Kirsten as being in a similar vein as The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon, except it seems the personality has been forgotten. Other characters never manage to break this curse either.

Stitchers hints at a deeper mythology to come in the form of the mysterious death of Kirsten’s father, which is a decent enough hook that’s mostly left sitting there in the pilot. I think delving into that instead of a “mystery of the week” approach would have been a better way to draw viewers in, so it’s possible that as the season progresses, it could be more engaging.

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