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Hercules Says RESURRECTION Is Easily The Best Broadcast Pilot Of The 2013-14 Season And ABC’s Best Pilot In Years!!

I am – Hercules!!

Good luck trying to find a review of ABC’s “Resurrection” that makes no mention of The Sundance Channel’s “The Returned.”

An engrossing tale of non-zombies who return home years or decades after they die, looking very much the age at which they died, “Resurrection” was created by writer-producer Aaron Zelman (“Damages,” “The Killing”), adapting the 2013 Jason Mott novel “The Returned.”

Confusingly, Sundance in October began airing the 8-part French series “The Returned,” which was not based on the Mott novel “The Returned” but features a nearly identical premise.

Perhaps the biggest difference between Sundance’s “The Returned” and ABC’s “Resurrection” is where the dead wake. In “The Returned” the reanimated seem to pop up in the woods surrounding their hometown in rural France. In “Resurrection,” a Missouri 8-year-old inexplicably finds himself returned to life three decades later on the other side of the world, on a rice paddy in China. 

Adding to the confusion is Mott’s book was published last August, while critics saw the pilot based on Mott’s book last May, before that book was published.

Adding even more confusion is an English-language remake of the French “Returned” is in development at A&E.

Still not confusing enough for you? ABC has scheduled “Resurrection” for Sundays at 9 p.m., opposite AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”

In a season of disappointments, I was last May relieved to discover how much I enjoyed the “Resurrection” pilot. Then I saw “The Returned” and liked it even more. But “The Returned” did not make me think less of “Resurrection.”  The new series offers a faster pace than the French one, and a strong audience surrogate in the form of the Omar Epps character.

I encourage everbody to give tonight's pilot a gander.

Hitfix says:

... It is non-terrible, but when there is a vastly better take on the exact same idea …

The New York Times says:

... Some series improve with time, but these pilots ["Resurrection" and "Believe"] aren’t very promising: For all their cinematic prowess, they lack the mystique that inspires a leap of faith. …

The Los Angeles Times says:

... Where "The Returned" was content to tell its story in elliptical scenes and character sketches, "Resurrection" keeps them tightly tied together and bound to an investigative uber-narrative — Marty and Maggie are partners in detection with the requisite possibility of romance. …

The Washington Post says:

... a solid yet initially disturbing new drama …

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:

... It has a lot of heart and strong emotional moments that viewers will connect to, but it's also another mystery show that offers a big tease -- why are these dead people now alive? -- and the prospect of a long, drawn-out wait for an answer. …

The Boston Globe says:

... It’s not “The Returned,” and that’s good. It doesn’t try to be moody with brooding undead. “Resurrection” is a different take on a strong idea that has been American-ized and well-adapted from Mott’s book. It’s sometimes gripping, the acting is good, and for many it will seem fresh. Well, as fresh as the undead can possibly be. …

The San Francisco Chronicle says:

... gives it the old college try, but it is pretty much dead on arrival, and I don't mean "Walking DOA" either. …

USA Today says:

... When Resurrection focuses on Jacob and his family, the actors and the concept carry it. But hours must be filled, and the more the show expands to include other Arcadians, most of whom are tiresome, the weaker it becomes. …

TV Guide says:

... Can this Norman Rockwell-meets-Rod Serling approach to such tricky material pay off with a mainstream audience? I hope so, because variety should also be the spice of death. …

The Hollywood Reporter says:

... what Resurrection has going for it is the fact that very few people, relatively speaking, have seen The Returned and thus won't make the unfavorable comparison. And without another reference point, there's reason to believe that Resurrection could find itself an audience lured into the concept that has so many good storytelling options to it. …

Variety says:

… If Resurrection fulfills even half its potential, it could easily become the most compelling drama on an ABC lineup that has become almost comically soapy. …

9 p.m. Sunday. ABC.

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