Alfonso Cuaron and J.J. Abrams’ sci-fi/fantasy drama ‘Believe’ premiered on NBC on March 10, opening us up to the world of the Christlike Jo (Johnny Sequoyah), her cult of believers, and of course, the many murderers who aim to bring her down. But was the premiere enough to make you a believer?
Believe opened up with a bang on March 10, as the extremely gifted child Jo (Johnny Sequoyah) lost her parents and met her cult of “believers” in a thrilling premiere episode directed by the Oscar-winning Gravity directer Alfonso Cuaron.
‘Believe’ Premiere Recap: Tate Is Bo’s Daddy
Oh Believe, why must you be so on-the-nose!
Not that there isn’t any good here, folks — both Bo and Tate (Jake McLaughlin) come off as relatively likable in the premiere episode. Sure, everyone else seems like a stock character who can be described with one adjective at the moment, and the “feel-good-of-the-week” procedural element of the show will get old very fast (sorry but I was not a fan of Bo teaching that doctor how to embrace medicine/life again), but it’s a positive when the show’s two leads aren’t innately horrible.
The main problem I had with Believe‘s premiere was how exposition-heavy it was. Why did we have to hear Winter (Delroy Lindo) explain word-for-word every little thing that has happened/is happening in Bo’s life? The reveal at the end that the “death row inmate” Tate was Bo’s father was powerful (and unexpected, at least for me), but the show clearly has decided to abandon a “show me don’t tell me” motto in favor of slapping us in the face with the show’s heavy plot. Also, this show is supposed to be a mystery, so revealing all of Bo’s Christlike qualities week one was — questionable?
Anyway, so yeah. Bo’s foster parents are dead — the latest in a stream of many — and since she can move things with her minds and heal people with her thoughts (ish), she has amassed a cult of followers (not like The Following‘s followers, thank God) that have chosen Tate, her father, as the one man whose mission in life is to protect her.
Tate doesn’t know that he’s her father, or anything about the horrible murderers that are targeting this sweet little girl, but he’s totally in it for the money. And I guess whatever he did to get put on death row wasn’t that bad, because Bo’s followers are also totally okay with leaving her in the arms of a convicted felon.
‘Believe’ Premiere: Everybody Wants A Piece Of Jo
The best part of the episode, of course, was its first two minutes. Cuaron is an amazing director, and he put us right in the middle of that car crash like we were sitting in the passenger seat — basically it was like Gravity’s space station crash minus the budget, celebrities, and outer space. Tate’s escape from prison and the subsequent hospital-snatch were also visually exciting, but it’s not like Cuaron will be directing every episode so we can’t really become too attached to his style of directing.
Those three sequences introduced us to our main villains on the show (I think), which so far consist of a mean British lady — the one who murdered Bo’s “nice” foster parents after the crash — and Sex and the City/Desperate Housewives/Twin Peaks star Kyle MacLachlan, who is clearly the leader of this “find and kidnap Bo” effort because he wears fancy suits and flies in private planes, and directs the mean British lady from afar via cell phone.
So what’s the verdict, HollywoodLifers? Do you believe that this show will be a winner in good time, or did the premiere episode turn you off to its potential?
— Shaunna Murphy