TV Show Review: “Extant” (2014)


Creator: Mickey Fisher

Series Directed by: Paris Barclay, Matt Earl Beesley, Allen Coulter, Holly Dale, Kevin Downling

Produced by: Steven Spielberg, Halle Berry, Mickey Fisher, Peter Ocko

Cast: Halle Berry, Goran Visnjic, Brad Beyer, Pierce Gagnon, Camryn Manheim, Tyler Hilton, Sergio Harford, Grace Gummer, Michael O`Neill, Jeannetta Arnette, Annie Wersching, Maury Sterling, Hiroyuki Sanada

“Be careful! Don`t trust them. Don`t trust anyone!” – says Harmon Kryger to Molly Woods. But isn’t  this what we hear almost daily on TV?  So we get another new TV series  that is going to remind us every week that ‘doubt’  is a powerful weapon that can make you stop trusting everyone, except yourself. This is what Molly Woods has to deal with in the new CBS series- “Extant”.

I don’t remember ever having seen a new TV series with such heavy-weights (actors) before.  Mickey Fisher  should be proud of himself for getting such big name actors in his project.  Halle Berry is an Academy Award winning actress, who surprised me by jumping from the big screen to the small screen. Camryn Manheim has already appeared in many TV shows and movies,  so her face is easily recognizable on TV. Her appearance in “Extant” was not a big surprise, but rather a welcome one;  Hiroyuki Sanada is one of the most famous Japanese actors in Hollywood today.  He appears in almost every  movie, and has most recently been seen in “The Railway Man” , where he shares the screen with Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman. Brad Beyer and Grace Gummer are two who are never without work on TV.  And, also, there is Goran Visnjic – who I am sure everyone knows.  On top of that, “Extant” has another big name, with Steven Spielberg as Executive Producer. It seems with all these top billed actors and producers, CBS`s “Extant” is doomed to succeed… or doomed to fail?

The plot of the series revolves around astronaut Molly Woods (Halle Berry), who has just returned home from a 13 month solo mission in space and must adjust to being around humans again – including her husband, John Woods, and robot son, Ethan. As soon as she returns to Earth she finds she is pregnant, but apparently, her husband John Woods (Goran Visnjic), is not the father of her child. And, how could he be, if she has just returned home after a year in outer space?

Ethan Woods, is a “Humanic Robot” who was designed by John Woods, a gifted scientist, who works on a future line of “Humanics”. John decides to adopt Ethan, as he sees no other way to become a father since Molly is infertile. However, Ethan is slowly becoming one of the most important characters  on the show because, even though he is a humanic robot, and feels and loves the way human beings do – there is still something about him that everyone should be terrified of; but what this is, we don’t know yet.

Molly tries to hide her inexplicable pregnancy from her husband and from her colleague; however, it looks like they will find out soon; also about the mysterious event that  occurred on the ship.

In ‘Extant” we will see many plots  interwoven with one another. The show produced by Steven Spielberg, looks really promising, but a little overstuffed. Since there are so many characters and stories surrounding the plot, the viewer can easily get lost in the middle.  Having said that, “Extant” has every chance of losing the main idea of the show; taking the viewer nowhere. Even though, “Extant” is a summer blockbuster show, which has such big names, it does not mean that it will be one of the more successful shows on TV.

Based on what I have seen so far, “Extant” has nothing new to offer its’ viewers. Whatever we see in “Extant”  has been shown on TV countless times. “Extant” has such an excellent, and ridiculously talented cast, that I find it hard to believe that, even with these high-rate actors, a connection can be made between the characters and the viewers. And, isn’t it the viewer who must be convinced of the character’s existence?

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