Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Charm--and Faith--of ELI STONE

"Everything has two explanations: scientific and divine. We choose which one to believe."
--Dr Chen to Eli

My fave show of this current TV season (ie, the one that began 9/07) has been PUSHING DAISIES, with LIFE a few steps behind. The latter's appeal rests almost entirely on the protagonist, whereas PD has a great ensemble cast and a superior visual appeal and that lovely glow of magic. Plus lots of laughs.

Well, ELI STONE seems poised to move into a close second, displacing LIFE. It has the lovely combo of wackiness and fantasy with touching and tragic moments that make PUSHING DAISIES entrancing. However, ELI STONE has a different look and sound than PD. They share some genes, but they're not twins.
"God needs to be a little less oblique."
--Eli Stone

It's interesting to see quality fantasy shows propagating, shows unafraid to say, "There is more than just matter. There is mystery. There is the Divine." Like SAVING GRACE, ELI STONE makes room for the prophetic, for intrusions of "Someone Out There." And that suits me down to the ground, even if ELI STONE is decidedly more New Agey in it's philosophy. God is justice. He's love. He's that sunset over there. :::cue the emotive music as I roll my eyes at the last:::

Oh, and I love the acupuncturist and his "special needles". :)

The pilot's theme is "you gotta have faith." George Michael guest stars to sing his hit tune with that phrase. It's kooky, but it works. The ending is both funny and touching. And hey, another show featuring Aqualung's "Something to Believe In." (I like the song. Not a complaint. Just an observation, since I heard it not too long ago on CSI: Miami and somewhere else, forgot where.)

There's also controversy swirling about the pilot due to the vaccine-causes-autism element in the show's litigation.

Jonny Lee Miller (HACKERS, TRAINSPOTTING, MANSFIELD PARK) does a very nice job as Eli, being competent and lawyerly here, and befuddled and exasperated there. I'd like to see what they do with him and his prophetic gift. Here's to having faith it gets better as the episodes move on...

If you missed it tonight, it repeats at midnight (11 central) Friday. (I think.)


heather a. goodman said...

Since PD is my favorite show, and really the only reason I lament the writer's strike (aside from the fact that I think they're right; oh, and I miss Chuck and House, too, but I'm not getting phantom itches like I am with PD), I'm going to trust your judgement and try Eli. (Hubby and I also like Psyche, which you've talked about before, so I guess you know the goods.)
Thanks for the suggestion!

Mirtika said...

Psych continues to be a delightful laughfest. Hubby and I laugh like loons watching Sean and Gus do their thing. Love it. The Spanish novela episode was shown on Latin tv in dubbed Spanish. HAH.


Carmen Andres said...

"eli" is on my dvr - heh, after watching the "Lost" premiere, i was too exhausted to keep my eyes open. thanks for the preview :) blessings.

Selena said...

I watched the premiere of "Eli Stone" and loved it too.

Thanks for the review. You were right about "Pushing Daisies," which I miss terribly. If I hadn't already tried ES, I would based on your review.

Love the Dr. Chen quote especially.

Have a great weekend.

David B. Ellis said...

I enjoyed the show as well. I do have some reservations in that it seems to play on current credulous belief in new age and psychic nonsense. Time will tell whether exasperation at this quality overwhelms my enjoyment of it as fantasy. Depends on what direction they take with the show in future episodes.

CaroleMcDonnell said...

Psych is just sooo much fun. One of the few shows that makes me laugh out loud. Just discovering Chuck. Still haven't seen this one yet. Gotta commit to doing it. -C