When I first read about Touch, the new FOX series that sees a special preview airing on January 25, I wasn’t too sure about the concept.
If anything, it sounded overly deep, possibly pretentious, and I wasn’t entirely sure what would keep me interested. I actually wasn’t a huge 24 fan (sorry, Kiefer Sutherland), and although I have been having Heroes nostalgia lately, “from Heroes creator Tim Kring” didn’t quite have the same kick it would have had five years ago.
Fortunately for me, I was able to see the pilot a few weeks early. And I was very pleasantly surprised.
One of the best aspects of Heroes, particularly in the early days, was the interconnectivity of it all. Police officer Matt Parkman could pull over Eden McCain, Ando could be a fan of Niki Sanders and her online video shows, and those coincidences could sometimes converge – even in a place like Odessa, Texas. Sure, eventually (and most egregiously in the episode “Villains”) it became a bit too much – but it was a nice idea and a great start.
I don’t think it is psychoanalyzing to say that Tim Kring is fascinated by interconnectivity as he has woven it into this new project. Bringing in an actor like Kiefer Sutherland and having him play a character that is very much NOT Jack Bauer is another aspect that makes this show work. Touch happens on a global scale – and like Heroes, you’ll see some of the tropes. The wacky subtitled characters. Different parts of the world. You might even hear a reference to an “Ando.” But it’s not Heroes Redux by a longshot.
A lot of the world of Touch revolves around a special young boy named Jake Bohm, played by a talented young man named David Mazouz. Jake is the son of Kiefer Sutherland’s Martin character. Jake doesn’t speak, he doesn’t like to be touched, and he does things that many would find to be peculiar. I do not have anyone with any form of autism that I’m aware of in my family, but I have friends who do, and I HIGHLY recommend that they watch this, because it portrays Jake in such a way that he’s not weird; he’s just different. And aren’t we all? Jake is an incredible kid, and he may not be the only one. Guest star Danny Glover’s Dr. Teller and his “Teller Institute” have examples of this happening in other places.
Touch isn’t a show where the action moves quickly, but it is far from boring. I strongly suggest watching all the way through – once the whole thing has aired, you get it, and if you’re like me, you’ll want to see more.
Again returning to the Tim Kring “Heroes tropes” concept – this show made me remember the best of Heroes. A lot of people tend to have forgotten that, when everyone was talking about what would happen next with the show and curious for every bit of information related to the series. This show has a much smaller cast, but it still revives that feeling, which makes me very happy. It also made me miss Heroes. Yeah, I admit it… but you cannot deny that in its best days it was a great show. So, any comparison I will make here between Touch and Heroes is a positive one.
FOX is doing a special “preview airing” of Touch on Wednesday night, January 25, before the show has its regular premiere in March. (Sadly, not on 3/18, which is a gimmick you won’t get until you actually see it). I think – or hope – that we can take this advance airing as a sign that the network has faith in the show and is aware that this is something good. After all, they wouldn’t show something that stinks as a “preview” and then bring it back later if it does poorly, right? So check it out. See if you like it like I did. And come by the KSiteTV Forum afterward to talk about Touch. Hope to see you there.