Stitchers Review – ABC Family Hits Sci-Fi Home Run

Many shows live and die by their main character’s ability to make you stop caring about anything else that might be sub-par. You may need a semblance of general story, depending on how hard you push the episodic nature of the show, but if you have the right lead, you only need above-average plot lines to keep people in their seats.

Stitchers has a lot in common with House M.D. in this regard. The cases were often intriguing, and though the perpetual doubt of House’s abilities grew tiring, the overall arc was pretty good. Still, Hugh Laurie made the show.

The plot of Stitchers is a “sci-fi fun” one, which for ABC Family means it balances the “need to know” with the “just play along,” and it doesn’t overwork the complexities of things, nor does it talk down to the audience… much. It’s solid, though perhaps not quite great on its own. Emma Ishta, on the other hand, is solid gold.

She plays Kirsten Clark, a genius doctoral student with a very rare condition which renders her unable to experience time. You get a very handy explanation early in the show. As a side-effect of the condition, she doesn’t really experience a lot of emotions, because it turns out that they mostly require a connection to time, which is at least something interesting to think about. As you might imagine, the semi-robot demeanor isn’t a real crowd-pleaser, and she doesn’t have a lot of friends. buy clomiphene online https://cpff.ca/wp-content/languages/new/overthecounter/clomiphene.html over the counter

Stitchers ABC Family EMMA ISHTA, KYLE HARRIS
ABC Family/Adam Taylor

Then things get interesting. Approached by a secret government group, Kirsten finds herself at the center of the Stitching program. Using lots of LED lights, and much whirring of that which whirs, said group of scientists have discovered a way to get information out of the brains of dead people. In a nutshell, having a living person connected to the deceased lets them enter their synaptic pathways, and (insert mumbo jumbo), which lets them “see” their memories.

At the moment, the clock is ticking, because our little group is hoping to stop bombs from going off, and it’s up to Kirsten to root around in the bomber’s brain for the locations of the other ones he set.

As I said, the story isn’t the best you’ll see, but don’t be fooled by that statement. It’s clever, true to its own world, and doesn’t talk down to its audience, which is more than can be said for most everything aimed at adults these days. It also has a unique mode of delivery, which combines a sort of self-belief with an awareness of all the inescapable shortcomings inherent in its own effort. buy lasix online over the counter

Stitchers ABC Family
ABC Family/Adam Taylor

It reminds of the oddly connectable iZombie, not only for that kind of determination in the face of what might sell better, but also for the obvious heroine connection.

Best of all, the show makes no apology for Kirsten, and she makes no apology for herself. Not because of some dogmatic commitment to some bumper-sticker “everyone is allowed to be however they are,” blather, but because she isn’t wrong.

Moving along these lines, the show adds to its own difficulties, because unlike certain other shows (Scorpion leaps to mind), this one is written by people who, at the very least, might have met some smart people in their life, and thus has the ability to include smart characters who actually act like they’re smart. This is in contrast to having “smart” characters who don’t act particularly clever, but are referred to as “smart” a dozen times an episode.

The result there is that Emma Ishta is either fairly brilliant, or the show turns to garbage almost instantly. Luckily… buy furosemide online https://cpff.ca/wp-content/languages/new/overthecounter/furosemide.html over the counter

The rest of the cast, to be completely honest, doesn’t stand out, at least not yet. They work, but they don’t get the opportunity to pull you in themselves, and they’re having trouble keeping pace with Ishta. Allison Scagliotti is closest at this point, and it seems her role may get more attention before long.

In the end, this curious mix of Bones-ian character play and iZombie-esque modus operandi doesn’t quite live up to the best parts of either series (Bones has gone downhill for a while), but it’s close.


 

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ABC Family’s first procedural drama, “Stitchers,” follows Kirsten, a young woman recruited into a covert government agency to be ‘stitched’ into the minds of the recently deceased, using their memories to investigate murders and decipher mysteries that otherwise would have gone to the grave. Working alongside Kirsten is Cameron, a brilliant neuroscientist whose passion for the program is evident in his work. The secret program is headed by Maggie, a skilled veteran of covert operations, and includes Linus, a socially immature bioelectrical engineer and communications technician. Kirsten’s roommate, Camille, a gifted computer science grad student, is also recruited to use her skills to assist Kirsten in her new role as a ‘stitcher.’

“Stitchers” is executive-produced by Jeffrey Alan Schechter (“Overruled!”), Jonathan Baruch and Rob Wolken. The series stars Emma Ishta as Kirsten Clark, Kyle Harris (“Carrie Diaries”) as Cameron Goodkin, Ritesh Rajan (upcoming “Jungle Book” feature) as Linus Ahluwalia, Salli Richardson-Whitfield (“Eureka,” “I Am Legend”) as Maggie Baptiste, and Allison Scagliotti (“Warehouse 13”) as Camille Engelson.

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Marc Eastman
Marc Eastman
Marc Eastman is the owner and operator of Are You Screening? and co-host of the Are You Screening? podcast with co-host Shane Leonard. He has been writing film reviews for over 20 years, and several branches of the internet's film review world have seen his name. He has been member of the Critics Choice Awards for well over a decade.

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