Bad Touch

Touch - Season 1, Episode 1

I'll often try out a show I'm not particularly excited about. It's not unheard of that my initial assumptions were incorrect, and a show I thought was going to be disappointing actually captures my attention. Mostly, though, my initial assumptions were spot-on, and the new series Touch is not an exception.

The premise is interesting enough, if increasingly worn: The underlying equations and numbers that our universe is based on could tell us everything we'd ever need to know, if only we knew how to interpret them. Besides that, all I knew going in was Kiefer Sutherland, Tim Kring, and yet another Magical Autistic Child. Two of those three aren't promising. Tim Kring took Heroes, a show with a fascinating story, a good effects budget, and terrific actors, and somehow managed to make it completely unwatchable. The Magical Autistic Child who cannot function socially but conceals some kind of vast talent or superpower is also quickly wearing out its welcome.

I wanted to give the show a fair shot, though, and went into it with an open mind. In a word... Meh. It's not terrible, but there really isn't much story to it. The pilot mostly functioned as a way to show off Sutherland's silent progeny, and his amazing gift for predicting disaster through numbers. I'm willing to suspend disbelief, of course, but a lot of story elements depend on not just the kid's ability to foresee events, but to predict every human reaction to those events. That's not science. That's not even coincidence; it's contrivance.

There's a kernel of a good idea buried in this show, but in order for it to really succeed, it's going to have to depend more on its character interactions than on the weight of a mysterious mythology that is already threatening to collapse. I'll probably give Touch another episode, but if it appears that every week is a new excuse to weave ludicrous coincidences together with no real purpose, the only thing getting touched is the channel changer.

Pilot: C


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