Produced by: CBS Television Studios.
Running Time: 43 min.
Limitless is a new science-fiction television show that was based off of the 2011 film of the same name, which in turn was based off a book “The Dark Fields” by Alan Glynn. It stars a man named Brian Finch (Jack McDorman) who is a down and out musician works as a temp one day for a big company and runs across an old friend and bandmate who offers him an opportunity in the form of a small round pill.
This was perhaps one of the most enjoyable premieres that have been viewed this week, perhaps this month even.
The cinematography is great, the use of cool tones and warm tones for the lighting and colour filter to indicate when the main character was on and off the drug was clever, the Sherlock-esque special effects to indicate his thought patterns were a nice edition, but not too overwhelming, and the characters engagement with different parts of the city, while high for the first time were well done. The music was also well chosen, fitting well with the tone and enhancing the light hearted action as well as the tenser scenes.
The characters are engaging with just the right amount of personability, and the beginnings of an instantly interesting dynamic between them. The main character is delightful, with the “average guy” sort of feel that the show was trying to get at, and his internal monologues throughout this experience are reminiscent of Spiderman without being too overwhelming or annoying. The FBI agent Rebecca Harris seems alright, but doesn’t have much going for her yet other than the usual clichés of her character type (crime related tragic past the is the only motivation of the female FBI agent)
The premise itself, while coming from a film, transfers over well onto television, and you get just the right amount of mystery, action, and interactions to pull it off. The plot progression for the episode moved at a good clip, presenting story and characters in exactly the right way to engage the viewers. The only thing that could be a complaint is that the story of a super-enhanced/powered average shmuck who ends up helping to solve crimes has been quite overused (Chuck, The Invisable Man, The Listener, etc.). But as long as they work with it in an engaging and entertaining way and not fall into the inherent clichés and tropes of this trope (ex. Sexy female partner becomes love interest), it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. The mysterious bearded figure (a bit of a thing in shows this week) Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper, the original main character from the film) is just the right amount of politely sinister. Though you would need to watch the original film to get the fine-tunements of his character.
Overall the cinematography, characters, and plot were well executed for a pilot episode, and the story itself can be interesting provided they don’t fall too hard into the cliché and tropes inherent in this type of story, then this show has a promising future.