Vampires and zombies are so last season. Now it’s time to get a fresh perspective of the supernatural world with the long-awaited premieres of two new series: Resurrection, and Believe. Early critiques of both shows have announced shortcomings, but the fate of the two shows will be put in the hands of the viewers shortly; Resurrection premieres on March 9, and Believe premieres on March 10.
Several past supernatural series have won a solid place in TV history. The X-Files (a science fiction series from the 1990s) lasted for nine seasons and made Mulder and Scully household names. Then on the faith-based spectrum, Touched by an Angel also last for nine seasons (in the 1990s). In recent days, the most popular primetime series dealing in otherworldly matters (other than vampires and zombies) would be Supernatural, recently renewed for a 10th season.
Is there room for two new supernatural series in the primetime lineup? This question should be answered in the next several weeks as the ratings come in. If the premieres of Resurrection and Believe are widely viewed, and they are able to keep their audiences through the first few weeks, they may come out on top, but the questionable reviews of these supernatural series show that both may have their work cut out for them.
Resurrection has been highly publicized in the past several weeks; several commercials for the show ran during the Oscars. The show’s story begins with the reemergence of a little boy who had died more than 30 years earlier. Not only is the child returned to his parents in healthy shape, he is the same age as he was at the time of his death. Cue the twilight zone music. It is soon revealed that the little boy is not the only one who will “return” from the dead, and of course, everyone in town wants to know why and how this is happening. If this innovative premise sounds familiar, it might be because it was carried out a year ago in a French series called The Returned. According to many reviews, The Returned series is superior to its American counterpart, but subtitles are not for everyone, and the opinions of reviewers do not always line up with the reality of which shows become successful.
Believe is the story of a “Christ-like” ten-year-old girl with supernatural powers including telekinesis and healing. Like Resurrection, the show will depend on building a viewership of fans that will return week after week to see what happens in the suspenseful series.
Resurrection and Believe will not only be going up against the other television series in their timeslots, they will also be up against the current expectations of viewers. It has become a major trend for shows to offer stand-alone episodes. Audiences have gotten more and more used to tuning in, being introduced to a problem, and seeing that problem solved in 60 minutes, including commercials. Will audiences hang with the drawn out storylines of these new series? Stranger things have happened. After Sunday and Monday’s premieres, it will be revealed if audiences believe in the power of a complex plot, and if there will be a resurrection of supernatural shows, or if the zombies and vampires will still be the frontrunners.
By Bonnie Sludikoff