Emergence Review: There's No Hurry to Solve the Mystery, and That's a Problem

TVGuide.com | 9/22/2019 | Tim Surette
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Almost every TV season, either ABC or NBC must debut a science-fiction series in which viewers are teased with a mystery, answers only lead to more questions, and no one really knows what the **** is going on until the season finale, if the show gets that far. Last year it was NBC's Manifest, the year before that it was ABC's The Crossing, and, in the years before that The Whispers, Resurrection, Believe, Zero Hour (OMG remember Zero Hour?), and The Event, to name a few. The basis of the mysteries may change (The Whispers and The Event had aliens, Resurrection had zombies, Zero Hour had frickin' Nazis) but the results are usually the same: a quick cancellation. Of those shows, only Resurrection and Manifest made it to second seasons.

This season ABC's Emergence joins the group, both in the mystery sci-fi genre and, probably, in the early grave. (Emergence actually comes from both ABC and NBC, as it was developed by NBC, which passed on it, allowing ABC to swoop in; passed over by NBC isn't a good sign.) While not bad in any way, Emergence doesn't make good use of the one thing that can give these types of shows a successful launch, which could be its death knell. On the surface, Emergence's mystery is a simple one: A plane crashes, and a little girl found near the crash site has no memory of who she is and is the target of mysterious bad dudes who want her for reasons unknown. DUN-DUN!

Creators - Tara - Butters - Michele - Fazekas

I respect that creators Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas, who gave us the wonderful Reaper and the less wonderful Kevin (Probably) Saves the World, are angling this as a more character-driven sci-fi series and hired the talented Allison Tolman as the cop who finds and cares for the...
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