Pilots! – Limitless (CBS)

If you’re looking for something on the grittier end of the speculative fiction spectrum, you’ll want to check out Limitless this fall.

For me, this one fell solidly into the ‘better-than-middling, but probably won’t be setting my DVR’ category.  It has a solid premise, snagged from the 2011 movie of the same name.  Things are rounded out by a decent cast and enough intrigue to fuel a couple of seasons of plot before needing to branch out, if handled properly.  The biggest challenge is going to be continuing to write the super-functioning lead believably.  The tv scene is littered with geniuses who suddenly dropped dozens of IQ points once their intelligence was felt to be established.

While I wasn’t particularly wowed by the pilot, I can respect what they’re shooting for.  Those who do like this particular corner of the genre will enjoy it as a good hour of television, at least in the beginning, and by keeping the science mostly to the realm of hand-waving, it has a good chance of bringing in a wider audience.  I’m also willing to give the show a lot of credit for going with a slightly less Hollywood look to the cast – all of them are attractive, but not unbelievably so, which meshes well with the wrong-side-of-the-tracks-jumps-the-dream-train theme.

If the show continues down the track laid down in episode one, expect to see it around for several years.  If the writers’ room gets too crowded, expect it to fizzle by episode 10.

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