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First Impressions – Believe

I have been excited for Believe to debut for some time now. I mean, its about a little girl who starts developing super powers and it is being produced by J.J. Abrams and Alphonso Cuaron! How could it not be good?!? Well, now the world has gotten a chance to see the first two episodes and I’m a bit torn. I think its a good show, it’s just not great. It’s certainly not bad, but it has a lot of room to improve.

The story of Believe is about a mysterious young girl named Bo who has developed the super powers of telepathy and telekinesis (mind reading and moving things with her mind). She is being sheltered by a mysterious group that keeps her safe and hidden away from the bad guys that want her for her power. Bo was broken out of a secret medical facility years ago by the former head doctor, a man named Winter. Winter is the leader of the good guys, and most of them are also escaped patients without Bo’s abilities. The bad guys are represented by a man named Skouras. Skouras is a rich and powerful man that owns and operates the medical research facility that housed Bo. When Bo’s handlers are killed, Winter breaks a death row inmate named Tate out of jail and enlists his help to be Bo’s guardian. That about catches you up.

It’s a really good premise, and the execution of it has been done well so far, there are just several things that bug me. Tate is far to much of an asshole. I get that he hasn’t been around kids and that he is supposed to be this rough character with a good heart that was wrongfully accused. It’s just that his bickering with Bo becomes really tedious at times. He argues like a child with her far too often. We have to have a reason to cheer for him. I understand that we are supposed to see him kind of finding his way, but so many of his decisions are so stupid that it just makes you roll your eyes. Also, there is a subplot in every episode where Bo will run across someone that she uses her powers to help. It’s a nice touch as it helps build our affections for Bo, but the way it’s executed so far has been kind of distracting and frustrating.

Tate's childish arguing with Bo is frustrating to watch at times

Tate’s childish arguing with Bo is frustrating to watch at times

There  a lot of good elements to the show as well. For the most part, Bo is really likable as a character. They have set up a lot of interesting mysteries to keep us intrigued. Finding out more about Bo’s powers and the research facility that held her has me excited. I also can’t wait to find out more about her and Winter’s past and to find out more of his personal history as well as what Skouras’ true motivation is. When they have demonstrated the super powers, they have been really good so far. Eventually we will see Bo’s powers increase and hopefully discover new ones, which is exciting. There have been some really great action/fight sequences. Especially involving Tate, which helps make up for his more frustrating moments. I am very interested to see how Tate and Bo’s relationship develops and where their story together goes, as a lot of the show’s success will depend on that.

one of the potentially great parts of the show will be seeing how Bo's powers progress

one of the potentially great parts of the show will be seeing how Bo’s powers progress

The acting in Believe is, well, not the best. Johnny Sequoyah, who plays Bo, actually isn’t bad. I am not the biggest fan of child actors in general, but overall she is very charming and likeable. Jake McLaughlin, who plays Tate, is another story though. I’ve certainly seen much worse, but he really overacts just doesn’t seem comfortable in his role. He has his moments though, so I’m hoping he will improve. Winter is played by Delroy Lindo, who I normally really like. Not so much so far in Believe. I don’t know if its him or the way his character is written, but he is supposed to be the guardian/father figure to Bo and so far their relationship just comes off as kind of creepy. Skouras is played by Kyle MacLachlan, who I am also usually a fan. It’s hard to say whether he is good in this or not yet, because really his character hasn’t been given any substance yet. He has been fine in his scenes so far, so hopefully they remedy that soon. Trieste Kelly Dunn, who also stars in Cinemax’s Banshee, was introduced last episode as FBI Agent Elizabeth Farrell and that gives me a lot of hope. I liked her in that episode and she is terrific in Banshee.

Overall, I actually like Believe so far. I have to say that I have been disappointed in the way the story has unfolded so far, which is unusual for a Abrams show. The story has just been a bit to erratic and distracting. There are too many things that have the audience completely in the dark and there are far too many characters that we know absolutely nothing about yet. I realize we are only two episodes in, but usually we would know more than we do. In the end, I trust that Abrams and Cuaron know what they are doing, and I expect that I lot of my complaints will soon be taken care of. Ratings for Believe so far are so-so. It will definitely run a full season but beyond that, its to soon to tell. A lot will depend on how the story progresses and how they start to unravel many of the mysteries they have posed. I wouldn’t quite say I believe in Believe just yet, but it certainly has the potential in place to turn from an okay show to a great show.

have been excited for Believe to debut for some time now. I mean, its about a little girl who starts developing super powers and it is being produced by J.J. Abrams and Alphonso Cuaron! How could it not be good?!? Well, now the world has gotten a chance to see the first two episodes and I'm a bit torn. I think its a good show, it's just not great. It's certainly not bad, but it has a lot of room to improve. The story of Believe is about a mysterious young girl named Bo who has developed the super…

Review Overview

First Impressions - Believe - 6.5

6.5

Good

Summary : Believe is a show with a ton of potential that hasn't quite reached it yet. It has been a little slow out of the gates and the story is a bit hectic, but there are enough good parts to keep you around to see how the story will unfold.

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About Evan Swafford

Evan Swafford
Evan is a semi reluctant insomniac, who has used his extra time to watch way more TV than is healthy for a normal human being. All his other time is devoted to movies, gaming, and being a sports fanatic and stat geek. Evan has a degree from MTSU in Electronic Media Journalism which he now uses to grow some of the best trees and shrubs money can buy. You can hear his useless knowledge every week on the Free For All podcast.