Hercules Is Not Feeling
Fox's TOUCH, The Latest Superpowered-Kid Series From HEROES Mastermind Tim Kring!!
A disagreeably absurd new Fox hourlong from “Heroes” creator-showrunner Tim Kring, “Touch” centers on a seemingly autistic lad named Jake Bohm who can use mathematics to predict the future --and a lost cellphone to save the lives of strangers overseas.
The seer this time around not a heroin-addicted artist who paints future events; the mute Jake predicts by obsessively filling his paper canvases with vast strings of numbers.
The series stars Kiefer Sutherland as the kid’s father, a Manhattan-based former big-deal journalist named Martin, and is earmarked to fill (beginning March 19) the timeslot long occupied by “24.”
In the “Touch” pilot Sutherland amusingly but distractingly breaks out more than one Baueresque “Damn it!” Since Fox can obviously afford Sutherland’s services, I’m left to ponder why Fox didn’t simply order another season of the far better “24” (which got good to decent ratings even with its weak, New York-set 8th season). There’s even a precedent for an extended hiatus, since “24” already had to skip a year thanks to the 2007 writers’ strike.
One substantial difference between the “Heroes” pilot and the “Touch” pilot is I’ve little desire to see the second episode of “Touch.” I felt in 2006 there was an interesting mystery behind the early events of “Heroes” (I was really wrong); at the conclusion of the “Touch” pilot I didn’t feel it posed any questions I was keen to see answered.
In the interest of full disclosure I’m still plenty sore at Kring, who kept promising that “Heroes” would right itself following the infuriating conclusion of that show’s first season. Kring turned out to be a lying swine; after writer Bryan Fuller left “Heroes” to create “Pushing Daisies,” “Heroes” rapidly collapsed into a formless, pretentious, nonsensical mush that flailed about another three years.
The Fuller-free “Touch” pretty much gets to that collapse by the end of episode one.
... as muddled as much of "Heroes" was. ... isn't content to let its premise breathe; it hammers home its central points so frequently that I do not recommend that you drink every time you hear the words "destiny," "dreams" or any iteration of the word "connect." … Nothing about these connections feels particularly earned and many of the twists and turns of the pilot feel contrived and obvious, especially toward the end. …
... knowing what I know about "Touch" creator Tim Kring — and seeing the many commonalities between this show and his work on NBC's "Heroes" — makes me much less optimistic about the new series' future than I might be if I couldn't recognize the order lurking within the chaos. … it’s pretentious as all get out, but at least speaks to an ambition that's rare in a network TV drama these days. …
... “Touch” happens to have been created by Tim Kring, the writer and producer also responsible for “Heroes.” But the earlier show, with its unapologetic pulpiness, was initially a lot of fun. For his new show, Mr. Kring has jettisoned the crude cartoon energy but has kept the New Agey mysticism and quasi-Asian spirituality ...
... given a show that so clearly wants to touch its audience — from that weighty one-word title on down — we have met, apart from Martin, hardly a single character who incorporates more than the hint of an actual person. ...
... Jake’s world is all about numbers and “Touch” makes it an article of faith that where most folks would see coincidences, this show sees purposeful attempts at connection. This requires a massive suspension of disbelief on the part of viewers. …
… may cause gasps and a few tears, or perhaps a big shrug of incredulity. Yes, to a large extent "Touch" is pretty much like CBS' "Numb3rs" with more schmaltz. ... It's not clear from one episode whether the show's warm and fuzzy message can successfully counterbalance implausibility …
... convoluted ... The strands of all their stories eventually are bound together and have moving repercussions for all concerned, even Martin and Jake, although not in ways that are especially convincing. You may resent having your heartstrings yanked so clumsily. …
… How much “Touch’’ grabs you will likely depend on how much you buy into its central premise of interconnectivity, and the possibility of a superconnector like Jake existing. Creator Tim Kring (“Heroes’’) is no stranger to asking viewers to take leaps and, in the pilot anyway, he and his co-writers do some nifty wrangling to tie those threads together. The hardest bits to swallow are not whether or not bombs get defused with seconds to spare, or the likelihood of everyone who comes in contact with a smartphone choosing to simply record things on it and pass it along. It’s the details, like the world’s most helpful cellphone customer service representative, whose unusual level of assistance is crucial in an especially tense moment. …
... The premise is obviously a stretch, and the question for episodes to come is whether producer Tim Kring will stretch it beyond all logical constraints, as he did with Heroes. For now, enjoy Sutherland's terrific performance and his ability to ground even the oddest concepts in emotional truth. ...
... shows every sign of a series likely to hold audiences in thrall. ...
… With a show this heavy-handed, a promotional light touch hardly seems appropriate. ... In the broadest terms, "Touch" has its "We Are the World" heart in the right place. But like another song says, we don't need another "Heroes." …
9 p.m. Wednesday. Fox.
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
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Jan. 25, 2012, 3:51 a.m. CST
That word used to have real meaning.
Jan. 25, 2012, 4:28 a.m. CST
it implies something great that must be viewed early...this will just save people the trouble of watching it in March...Alcatraz will get renewed while Touch and Terra Nova will get cancelled
Jan. 25, 2012, 4:53 a.m. CST
Already bored with Alcatraz.
Jan. 25, 2012, 5:02 a.m. CST
This is an instant NOT WATCH for me then. Developed by someone competent and capable of producing compelling television, I'd give it a go but Kring? Nah, HEROES was the nail in that guy's creative coffin.
Jan. 25, 2012, 5:07 a.m. CST
another season of 24 would indeed have been much better. i can't imagine anyone would waste their time on this after watching Kring destroy Heroes painfully over 4 years.
Jan. 25, 2012, 5:08 a.m. CST
Just to apologize for the last season... (and season 6!) I have high expectations for the movie, though! *President Bauer, it was a pleasure working with me!* *Thank me, Mr. President!*
Jan. 25, 2012, 5:13 a.m. CST
heroes season 2 was the fucking shit, season 3 is when they began to retcon shit and make no sense of anything, and season 4 was just weird until its awesome last ep
Jan. 25, 2012, 6:44 a.m. CST
Jan. 25, 2012, 6:48 a.m. CST
C'mon, not one reviewer had the balls to use that line? Hrmm, maybe Kring was touching them. Horrible, pretentious mess. And gee, how original, naming the kid Bohm... after the famous physicist. Get it? It's like Lost!
Jan. 25, 2012, 6:57 a.m. CST
I'm sorry Dannicus. But sometimes it's better to reread your own sentence, before pushing enter. I think you accidentally put in the, it probably should have read; heroes season 2 was fucking shit. And before you guys start, I watched every fucking episode untile 4.02 by then I was just fucking done and couldn't think of one reason to continue watching.
Jan. 25, 2012, 7 a.m. CST
You're not getting any younger, Keifer and Chloe's gotta eat.
Jan. 25, 2012, 8:31 a.m. CST
Doesn't matter either way though. I don't do TV.
Jan. 25, 2012, 8:40 a.m. CST
Wait, I guess this time its turning lead into lead. I hope this show gets cancelled tomorrow.
Jan. 25, 2012, 8:43 a.m. CST
I was very interested in Heroes Season 1 and Heroes Season 2 was some of the best television I've seen...but what the heck happened after?? How did such a good, compelling show go so wrong so fast? Theories?? Bueller?
Jan. 25, 2012, 8:44 a.m. CST
@dannicus....I gave up before getting to season 4....how did the weird, awesome last episode end Spoiler Boy?
Jan. 25, 2012, 8:50 a.m. CST
I forgave a lot of shit in HEROES but having an epic showdown happen offscreen and behind a closed door was the last straw.
Jan. 25, 2012, 8:58 a.m. CST
by Truxton Spangler
I don't think more 24 on TV would have done any good. It would have been treading more water. If people crave more TV like that, watch Homeland, which is a superior show, and has Howard Gordon among its producers. For those who want more Jack Bauer, they're supposed to begin shooting the movie in a couple months, at least according to what Kiefer has been say while doing press for Touch.
Jan. 25, 2012, 9:13 a.m. CST
Jan. 25, 2012, 9:16 a.m. CST
Fuck that show. It sold me the world and delivered shite.
Jan. 25, 2012, 9:19 a.m. CST
Seems to be the only one that likes this show. It seemed pretty dumb from the commercials, but I like Sutherland so I'll give it a shot.
Jan. 25, 2012, 10:35 a.m. CST
by Raptor Jesus
I don't like to be entertained by racists.
Jan. 25, 2012, 10:57 a.m. CST
Jan. 25, 2012, 11:14 a.m. CST
you guys are so cynical...Ridley Scott and Spielberg have had their fair share of disappointments as well...the guy deserves a chance to redeem himself...I don't think Touch is that show but geez the guy is obviously talented enough to make a successful show
Jan. 25, 2012, 11:29 a.m. CST
And somebody from some other series and stuff.
Jan. 25, 2012, 11:30 a.m. CST
Jan. 25, 2012, 12:17 p.m. CST
Jan. 25, 2012, 12:18 p.m. CST
... I don't have to hang my cock in a campfire to know the experience is going to suck. Seriously... who DIDN'T do a face-palm with eye-roll when seeing the preview trailer for this turd-like nugget of anti-joy?
Jan. 25, 2012, 1:13 p.m. CST
He'll take anything good/promising and turn it to a steaming pile of $hit. F_ck that a-hole moron. I wouldn't even go within 100 yards of a restaurant where he took out the garbage
Jan. 25, 2012, 1:15 p.m. CST
Kring had the opportunity to do something epic with Heroes, and the guy just wasnt up to the job. We never got the swordmaster with the pony tail. We nev er got the metahuman fights glimpsed in first season. We never got Copycat doing her Batman schtique. (Oh and where did she go?! Kring wrote her out, with ZERO EXPLANATION the silly twat) Kring should be nowhere near genre TV. Tim Kring=Fail.
Jan. 25, 2012, 2:04 p.m. CST
by rakesh patel
That's an hour saved, but gives kiefer more time and impetus to work on a 24 Movie full throttle.
Jan. 25, 2012, 3:07 p.m. CST
by Marc Cerasini
Funniest line in this talkback "I don't think Touch is that show but geez the guy is obviously talented enough to make a successful show." A "successful show" on National Bullshit Company, currently ranked 8th behind other networks including Univision because of past horseshit like HEROES and current crap like 30ROCK.
Jan. 25, 2012, 3:36 p.m. CST
In the interest of full disclosure I’m still plenty sore at Kring, who kept promising that “Heroes” would right itself following the infuriating conclusion of that show’s first season.
Jan. 25, 2012, 3:43 p.m. CST
Duh, they're all super geniuses.
Jan. 25, 2012, 3:44 p.m. CST
You're too old for this shit.
Jan. 25, 2012, 4:16 p.m. CST
and isn't "Heroes" just a rip off of "the 4400"?
Jan. 25, 2012, 5:52 p.m. CST
more "Mercury Rising"
Jan. 25, 2012, 7:23 p.m. CST
they must figure if their child is labeled autistic their kid will be a quasi genius or have super powers...
Jan. 25, 2012, 7:49 p.m. CST
Jan. 25, 2012, 9:28 p.m. CST
then it wasn't too bad. it's like jack is finally retired and sitting at his kitchen table figuring out number puzzles.
Jan. 25, 2012, 9:33 p.m. CST
I just can't see how they can make this interesting week to week. Its like crash the series.
Jan. 25, 2012, 9:41 p.m. CST
by Nasty In The Pasty
Robble robble robble...
Jan. 25, 2012, 10:21 p.m. CST
...but I can see it going downhill pretty rapidly. I also couldn't help but notice that, as with Heroes, Kring rips off a lot of disparate source material here that he will pretend in interviews to have never heard of.
Jan. 25, 2012, 11:07 p.m. CST
one is I am one who did like the show, and the reason is because the lead has autism, and having aspergers autism myself i can relate to the character and two, kiiefer recently gave a update and also fox has come out and giving a synopsis of where the movie would pick up and spoiler alert, it will pick up after the events of the final season, and I belive keifer came out and said they would start shooting her i believe in april
Jan. 25, 2012, 11:43 p.m. CST
Jan. 25, 2012, 11:46 p.m. CST
Jan. 26, 2012, 12:07 a.m. CST
Jan. 26, 2012, 12:40 a.m. CST
And Tim Kring totally fooled me with Heroes (loved season 1 tho). Kiefer needs to be on a show that's more, "lively". The fact the main character doesn't talk and you have an energetic actor, like Kiefer running around, neither saying and doing anything that's exciting, the shows boring. Is this Mercury Rising? Another, potential flop for Fox and for Tim. Sorry, Tim...time to hang up those ideas or have someone else help you with them.
Jan. 26, 2012, 4:42 a.m. CST
by Jonathhan Kana
a corny pile of poo. the first hour felt like a rushed 2 hour movie that robin williams would have starred in with cuba gooding jr like 15 years ago, but it had all the character development and shit taken out.
Jan. 26, 2012, 4:46 a.m. CST
by Jonathhan Kana
I mean shit man, you shoe horn all that shit into the show you might as well just fucking make another season of 24. watching this show is like the first time I saw Clear and Present Danger. I wanted to see Han Solo, Indiana Jones...but I saw this flat foot motherfucker who couldnt use a gun and I got pissed off. im cool with it now, but I still hate the gay way Harrison moves in that movie. when i heard Bauer say he was scared of heights during this shitty show it just made me get all kinds of depressed, ya know?
Jan. 26, 2012, 11:30 a.m. CST
Network dramas do NOT suck. FRINGE says hello.
Jan. 26, 2012, 11:42 a.m. CST
My retarded local fox affiliate cut off the end of the pilot, I was left with the arab walking nervously and then.... it cut to shitty local news. What happened, did Herpa Derpa go boom? Also, whoever slammed 30 Rock as crap doesn't have a clue, that show is the funniest on the big three.
I thought that the pilot was well-done, but I can't for the life of me believe that Kring has the ability to ride that fine line it takes to not go either too ridiculous or too emotionally manipulative. I just can't see how this would sustain interest for a season, let alone more.
Jan. 26, 2012, 1:11 p.m. CST
Well you know, there are plenty of other, better programs that feature autistic or "on the spectrum" characters: The Big Bang Theory, Parenthood, Community, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Shield, Bones (IMO). It's kind of in vogue these days. Which is fine with me. Since plenty of people who've been diagnosed have since gone on to live relatively normal lives, I think it's cool to show people who've never even heard of "Ass Burger's" that being different isn't necessarily a death sentence. However, Touch flirts with and will probably cross my own personal line, which is treating autism like it's magic. "Is Jake Bohm mute because he has a learning disability and a crippling fear of society, or is he simply too wise to be comprehended on our mortal plane? You thought it, I didn't say it!" I see what Kring is going for and admire his ambition -- that even those of us who are normal are connected in ways we can't understand -- but it's just not a premise that can sustain itself over the course of a series without falling apart.
Jan. 26, 2012, 1:36 p.m. CST
Jan. 26, 2012, 1:45 p.m. CST
...I actually really enjoyed it and can't wait for the official season to start. I think there is a lot they can develop from though I admit they have some work to do to polish this idea up a bit. By the way, I stand by my "Knowing" comparison after seeing it only the numbers don't point the way to the end of the world... yet! Don't be surprised if this element gets added as a story arc later. A good story arc is what a show with this concept really needs, something where the viewer can really see something big is looming on the horizon.
Jan. 26, 2012, 3:05 p.m. CST
They had a LOT to do, trying to cram such a large premise into one hour. Overall, I think they succeeded. Except for a few mis-steps (Glover quickly inviting in a stranger and knowing everything there is to know about the situation and spoon feeding it to the audience. I actually think the pilot would have been better without beating us over the head with this info). But the story really took it's time with the concept (which is rare enough for a pilot), and tying up quite a few threads in a short amount of time. Was some of it implausible? Sure. But either you go with this premise or you don't. Either you can go with it and enjoy it for what it is - or you can sit there rolling your eyes the whole time. My wife loved the heart the show had - me, I enjoyed it. I'll take this over trite sitcoms and reality shows anyday. So far - I'm on board and will see where this goes.
Jan. 27, 2012, 2:28 a.m. CST
by Gene Cowan
And not just because he was THE MAN IN BLACK. And not just because he had a terrible accent in SONS OF ANARCHY. He just is a really good "special guest star." Usually, special guest star means you're either going to die, or you're going to go out with a bang. I hope he stays around for awhile tho.
Jan. 27, 2012, 2:32 a.m. CST
by Gene Cowan
Pleasantly surprised. Most of you are right, though. This has shades of "Heroes" written ALL over it. I loved season 1 of Heroes, but the love did not last long. Sadly. Kiefer IS king. So I will watch.
Jan. 27, 2012, 2:34 a.m. CST
by Gene Cowan
Or anyone else, I guess. The question is: Is this show going to be a procedural ... or a serial? I ask because from the premise it totally sounded like a serial (much like 24, or Heroes), but the last couple mins of the episode made i feel like it could totally be proceduralized.
Jan. 27, 2012, 3:32 a.m. CST
Herc doesn't like Tim Kring. At all. There was never a chance we'd get anything close to a balanced review. Which just makes this the rantings of a former fanboy who didn't get the show he wanted, and is now whining like a jilted ex. Also, if 24 WAS profitable it'd still be on the air. That it isn't suggests it wasn't making enough money with the ratings they had. Which is logical for, oh, say anyone who knows ANYTHING about TV to deduce, given getting 'decent' ratings in S8 isn't as good as getting 'decent' ratings in S1 when you have Kiefer Sutherland earning exponentially more per episode than he did at the start.
Jan. 27, 2012, 3:22 p.m. CST
Agreed. I loved Touch (as well as the first two seasons of Heroes). All of the reviews posted in the article above can suck it, in my opinion. I have a teenage son with high functioning autism and was not at all offended by the use of autism as a storytelling mechanism in this show. As anyone with any connection to autism will tell you, NO ONE KNOWS WHAT IT IS. It's not a disease like MS where, if you have it and I have it, we know for certain that we both have scars in the myelin coating of the nerves in our spinal cords. Autism is just a word to describe a bunch of symptoms. So, for all we know, if your child has autism and my child has autism, they might be two completely different sets of biological events that we're witnessing caused by two completely different sets of factors. So if you're willing to accept the show's premise that there are connections between people that result from there being an order to the universe that's based on a measurable, real world mathematical phenomenon (the Fibonacci sequence - which is not at all new), that can only be perceived by certain people, why wouldn't that group of people be portrayed by a real life group that is still a black box to the medical community in terms of what they can and can't perceive and what they are and are not capable of? On the other hand, if you're not willing to accept the show's premise, or if it "requires a massive suspension of disbelief", what the fuck were you doing watching Heroes?
Jan. 27, 2012, 7:55 p.m. CST
As far as im concerned HEROES was awesome from beginning to end, I dont know what show some of u were expecting, but it delivered for me. The only reason I can see for the hate is that many of u get distracted and bored if there isnt something exploding or humping onscreen, so when the people werent using their powers, you would get distracted by the pattern of dust on your furniture, or by the pattern at which your dog wags his tail..all that because people were TALKING, and not fighting with super powers. HEROES came full circle at the end, much the same way LOST did. Claire beginning and ending the show with the same line, only at the end was it more dramatic because instead of it being her personal journal, it was the outing of the super powered amongst us on national TV. It might have went on a few weird tangents, but it ended solid in my book. TOUCH was very, touching ? lol sounds silly, but it was. The concept is realistic, because mathematics are the foundation of everything, the fibinaci sequence(i know i prob spelled that wrong) is real, everything presented is possible....although the only stretch was strangers finding a smartphone and simply recording stuff on it and passing it on, when a real person would have kept it, personalized it, and erased it....but i couldnt have been the only one that got teary eyed when that dude got to see his dead daughter again, and again when jake hugs his dad after he tells him that he hears him and he understands....i cant wait to see what more the show has to offer when it premiers in march..... You should never rule out watching something based on previous "opinions" u may have about something prior. ...i thought The Dark Knight was a pile of steaming crap, but that doesnt mean i wont sample other Christopher Nolan movies....why ? its silly to hold grudges.
Jan. 28, 2012, 12:08 p.m. CST
They piss and moan about 24 when the show's on, and when the network cancels it, the same people piss and moan that they want it back. Make your fucking minds up.
Jan. 28, 2012, 1:52 p.m. CST
Have convinced me to check out the pilot, I was seconds from deleting it from my DVR.
Jan. 29, 2012, 12:11 a.m. CST
i thought it was brilliant in parts the last 15 mins or so were amazing loved the intertwineing of all the charecters. now i wont lie some stuff you had to take a leap of faith on but i enjoyed it alot look forward to more of it. not much on tv these days to be proud of still kiefer should have throat chopped that @!tch in to next week
Jan. 29, 2012, 2:12 p.m. CST
Just watched it this morning. Touch isn't too bad. You need to suspend disbelief quite a bit, but that's fine. As far as whether this will be a serial or a procedural, here's hoping for a procedural. I don't have the same amount of hate and vitriol as Herc has for Tim Krieg, but the man should never be trusted with a serial again. As a procedural, I think it could work, but the pilot will be hard to beat as far as being a very tight mystery to unravel and tie up.
Jan. 30, 2012, 7:44 p.m. CST
Why do all people with autism in the movies have magical powers or some amazing ability to do something fascinating and unexplained by science? <br> <br> Every person I've ever met with autism does not have a single superpower, isn't magical, and doesn't have some ability to do calculus in his head or mimic people perfectly or anything like that. <br> <br> I also never meet female homicide detectives who are hot as hell, wear short skirts, have amazing tits, but yet are "tough as nails" and always a threat to the men on the police force.