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Herc Seeks Separation

I am – Hercules!! “Six Degrees” is a strange and strangely dull ensemble drama from writer-producers Stu Zicherman & Raven Metzner (“Elektra,” “What About Brian”) about a fugitive (Erika Christensen), a public defender (Jay Hernandez), a widowed mom (Hope Davis), a hot publicist (Bridget Moynahan), a photographer (Campbell Scott) and a driver (Dorian Missick), all of whom are all unknowingly interconnected in odd ways – “Lost”-style! J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot production company is behind it all. I find this emphasis on the weirdly connected nature of characters – an element fast becoming my least favorite on Bad Robot’s “Lost” – too gimmicky by half. It’s helpful that the show is so well-cast, since the characters and stories offer nothing fresh beyond the show's dopey central conceit. But what matters Herc’s opinion? Entertainment Weekly gives it “D-plus” and says:
… If you love TV shows based on stupid gimmicks, then Six Degrees is the show for you. …
USA Today gives it two (out of four) stars and says:
… the writers don't know the difference between coincidence and fate, and they don't know nearly enough about the requirements of commercial entertainment. … crosses from interesting if absurd to completely insane. … Six Degrees certainly clips along, but moving quickly between insipid links and boring characters doesn't make them any less insipid or boring. Once you figure out that everyone is going to end up connected to everyone else, the show is out of ideas and out of surprises. …
The New York Times says:
… the particular stories are not what “Six Degrees” is ultimately about. Instead the show’s forte, for viewers like me who don’t mind piety on television, is its ambience of faith, particularly in the ebullient, Whitmanian idea of “contact” in the city, by which he meant everything from a stranger’s glance to her kiss (and more). “Six Degrees” is, yes, a defunct title; John Guare already wrung out its significance in his great play “Six Degrees of Separation.” Though stuck with the title, Mr. Abrams is still expected to have fun with this show. …
The Washington Post says:
… what an old idea that six degrees of separation is, and "Six Degrees" does very little to spruce it up and pass it off as fresh.
The San Francisco Chronicle says:
… this series is no "Lost." It's not compelling at all. The larger mystery that's allegedly going to unfold over 22 episodes -- or five years -- doesn't get enough traction in the first hour to make you want to come back for the second. That's a problem. …
Newsday says:
… This - of course - is a totally bogus premise (for a life philosophy and arguably for a show, too) and one is moved to ask the producers: Have you even been on a subway lately? In fairness, "Six Degrees" isn't asking anyone to believe this bunk but only accept it over the course of an hour. Do that and you'll be treated to a reasonably competent soap. But soap it is.
The Los Angeles Daily News says:
… most of the show is metaphysical horse manure. …
The New York Daily News gives it one and a half stars and says:
… It's meant to explore the degrees of separation that connect people - but after watching one episode, I was ready to make the separation permanent. …
Variety says:
… Pilot is cleverly written giving the characters a heady, just-specific-enough mix of mystery, intrigue and charm - the key in each of producer J.J. Abrams' hits. … If there is one thing crystal-clear about this ensemble after an hour with the half-dozen leads, it is how each one makes life decisions. These aren't characters to fall in love with or even admire all that much, and the actors bring a proper amount of restraint to their characterizations. …
The Hollywood Reporter says:
… owes more to the storytelling tradition of Aaron Spelling than to the societal observations of Paul Haggis. … The pilot starts with a tedious and too-cute voice-over by Jay Hernandez, who plays public defender Carlos, one of six strangers whose lives become intertwined by the time the final credits roll. But get through the monologue about how you never know whether this stranger will turn out to be an important figure in your life, yada yada, and you are rewarded with several highly entertaining, if not always plausible, stories filled with appealing characters. … if the stories aren't entirely convincing, the actors are. …
10 p.m. Thursday. ABC.

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Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 21, 2006, 9:06 a.m. CST

    looks like crap

    by JeanLuc Dickhard

    it does.....

  • Sept. 21, 2006, 9:07 a.m. CST

    Whenever I Read "Ensemble Drama..."

    by Read and Shut Up

    ...I know a good, strong nap's coming.

  • Sept. 21, 2006, 10:08 a.m. CST

    Bridget Moynahan is hot

    by Osmosis Jones


  • Sept. 21, 2006, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Sounds terrible

    by ChorleyFM

    It will do well tonight in the ratings, then die over the next few weeks.

  • Sept. 21, 2006, 11:37 a.m. CST

    this show is a LOST conspiracy

    by Bob C. Cock

    or it's just a big lump of shit

  • Sept. 21, 2006, 12:24 p.m. CST

    Abrams, spreading himself thin.

    by Christopher3

    Get back to "Lost" and "Trek," you goober.

  • Sept. 21, 2006, 1:43 p.m. CST

    Deep Cover, you do know she's a Scientologist?

    by FilmCritic3000

    Just letting you know.

  • Sept. 21, 2006, 2:10 p.m. CST

    Who cares if she's a Scientologist?

    by slone13

    What does that have to do with her hotness? Regardless, this show looks awful. So does The NINE.

  • Sept. 21, 2006, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Difficult to want to watch this...

    by Rinse

    given the shitty boring premise, especially since I don't find any of the actors in the least bit compelling or attractive. Pass.

  • Sept. 21, 2006, 5:04 p.m. CST

    Hope Davis? Fuck, now I have to watch...

    by Big Bad Clone

    I love me some Hope Davis. I kept hoping that About Schmidt would be less about Schmidt and more about his daughter taking a shower.

  • Sept. 21, 2006, 10:34 p.m. CST

    Wow, that was terribly boring.

    by nalapou

    Made it to the 23 minute mark before I lost interest. Definitely no Lost or Alias, JJ.

  • Sept. 21, 2006, 11:23 p.m. CST

    i'll second or third that re: the doability of erika c.

    by TheBaxter

    i'd like to help her out with those "body thetans"... if you know what i mean

  • Sept. 22, 2006, 3:49 a.m. CST

    Erika Christensen? Yuck!

    by Messiahman

    Sorry, but I don't see the attraction to that charmless, pudgy, fatheaded no-talent. The girl has all the charisma and sex appeal of roadkill, and the fact that she's a member of Hollywood's most laughable cult only cements her fugliness. No thank you. Hope Davis, on the other hand...grrrowlll!

  • Sept. 22, 2006, 9:43 a.m. CST

    I enjoyed it

    by OhDaesu

    This show has potential I hope they give it a shot

  • Sept. 22, 2006, 11:49 a.m. CST

    I changed channels as soon

    by LordTwinkie

    as I saw Erika Christensen, I started to feel nausous, that girl makes me sick and so angry anytime i see her deformed face, maybe if they stop trying to put her in sexy roles and maybe something akin to Eric Stoltz's character in Mask then she'd be an actress. I hate her and Julia Stiles both have deformed heads, as if thier mothers tried to smoosh thier faces into the bath after giving birth.

  • Sept. 23, 2006, 3:30 a.m. CST

    At least going to give it a DL

    by Shivv

    I can't believe that any show with this cast can be that bad. Campbell Scott was awesome in Roger Dodger, and thats enough for me

  • Sept. 23, 2006, 8:33 p.m. CST

    Man, who needs toilet paper...

    by cornstalkwalker

    I can't imagine any of those tv reviewers ever needing toilet paper again, considering how much they wiped their asses with that screener.