CBS' new drama 'Unforgettable:' Could it be the next 'Bones' or 'Castle'?

Take a strong female lead, throw in a love/hate relationship with her partner and a couple of good crime cases and you’ve got yourself the next hit series. Am I right? Well, maybe.

Last night, CBS debuted Unforgettable, a new procedural that has some key ingredients in common with the likes of Bones and Castle. Whether that turns out to be a good thing or not is up for debate (and we will debate!), but first let’s breakdown the premiere episode.

The series stars Poppy Montgomery as Carrie Wells, an ex-detective with a unique condition that allows her to remember every single day of her life, except for the one that really matters: the day her sister was murdered. In the pilot, Carrie, who quit the force because she was haunted by her sister’s death, is drawn back in after witnessing a murder in front of her apartment. While Carrie is initially hesitant to get involved, the detective on the case turns out to be her long-lost ex-partner/boyfriend (Dylan Walsh), and he convinces her that the details in her memory could help catch the killer. The two end up working together, and in the process, alternate between vitriol (it wasn’t a pretty breakup) and witty banter. It was all very Seeley/Brennan and Castle/Beckett, except maybe turned up a couple notches on the raciness scale and turned down some when it comes to chemistry (or at least I thought so).

Which, of course, brings me back to my original point. Since Unforgettable has some undeniable commonalities with Bones and Castle, will it share some of the fans as well?

Personally, I thought the pilot was pretty solid  (though, from a cursory glance, it seems like most reviewers would disagree), and while I wouldn’t go as far as to say this is the next Bones or Castle, I do think fans of both series should give it a shot. The highlight for me was Montgomery, who like Emily Deschanel or Stana Katic, has a knack for revealing her character’s deeper, more emotional side without dragging the audience down.

That being said, the show wasn’t without its hiccups. As I hinted, I’m not completely sold on the chemistry between Montgomery’s Carrie and Walsh’s Al. Don’t get me wrong, I really wanted to like them together and I’m sure the tension between their characters will build well throughout the season, but the sparks seemed more like a consequence of the narrative. Considering a huge part of what makes Bones and Castle so enjoyable is the chemistry between its lead characters, this could end up being difficult for the show to overcome.

What did you think of the Unforgettable premiere? Do you think it will appeal to Castle or Bones fans? Were you feeling the chemistry between the two lead characters? Let me know in the comments!


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  • Joann

    Sorry — couldn’t bring myself to cheat on the Bravermans — they are first and foremost on my list of Tuesday night must see TV. I will wait for Bones return in November and continue my love affair with Castle & Beckett. Unforgettable is just the opposite for me — totally forgettable.

    • Kate

      My thoughts exactly on all the above shows. Parenthood, Castle, Bones. . Well said, Joann. Well said.

  • swthompson

    Body of Proof, in the same time slot, has a powerful female lead and the added bonus of Megan’s boss sleeping with her ex husband.

    • Templar

      True, but I find Poppy Montgomery far more likable than Dana Delaney. I really enjoyed the pilot and will continue to tune in. I have an eidetic memory not even close to her capacity, so I find the premise interesting.

      • Dessa

        Wow. I have an eidetic memory also. I thought the way they portrayed the “remembering” as not instant recall was a little more accurate. It really does take time — 30 seconds or more — to sort thru just that much info. (It’s why I can’t watch Matthew Gray Gubler on Criminal Minds, no synthesis of information & monotone regurgitation.) Anyway, I like Poppy Montgomery and I really liked how they hit the ground running.

      • Templar

        I don’t know how yours works [there are variations], but for me it isn’t just visual recall. It’s remembering all I read right down to where on the page a sentence was placed [upper left etc.]. But not page numbers, as I don’t look at them when I read.

      • Dessa

        I can recall sentences in a book on a limited basis, over the course of 6 months, so not so much. I write papers in my head, sentences, paragraphs, edit first & second drafts … write it down. Caused problems in college cuz profs wanted the 1st draft & revisions. If I’m trying to find something I put away 20 years ago (thru 10 moves across 4 states) I have to sit down & remember the various moves & where object ended up, takes a few minutes. Color memory is accurate unlimited time & is instant. Fun to have

      • Templar

        Very cool. Comes in handy with stuff like SS#, credit card #s and friends phones etc. Never had to carry an address book. Of course, now cell phones do that. Makes me wonder if my memory will overload and crash someday.

      • Dessa

        Sometimes when I’m surfing the web my brain starts primal screaming: “Do you want me to memorize all of this cuz I’m about to explode!” Drama queen. There’s no reference point for web pages, except to how you got there. At least for me.

  • Bruce

    It was okay. I’m curious how they will use the central gimmick (based on a real condition) to solve crimes each week. It’s not like she will have known every victim and been first on the scene all the time. Her “total recall” of crime scenes seems like it will be a more serious take on Psych. I think I’ll stick with the funny version.

    • Lina Schade

      I completely agree with your comment Bruce. I know someone who has this condition and they only remember everything in the past as it relates to THEM. What a waste of a great idea.

  • Justin

    I thought it was a solid premiere. As an avid Bones fan, the chemistry between Carrie and Al isn’t on the same scale as Booth and Temperance. However, this is just the first episode. What I really like about this show is the premise – a woman who can remember everything that happens to her, everyday, except for the day her sister was murdered. Plus, its an actual medical conditiion that only 6 people in the US have! I thought Poppy did a great job as Carrie.

  • lettergirl

    it was interesting. i thought the scene of them in the bed was HAWT, but not any of the other scenes when they were together. weird…i’m with you on the chemistry. but, i will give it another go. oh, and i like BODY OF PROOF, so i guess i will just have to catch it on the computer…

  • Ashley

    It was okay. I might need to give it a few more episodes. I also didn’t see any or feel any chemistry between Montgomery and Walsh and I like both actors. I felt the chemistry comes across my screen with Montgomery and LaPlagia. Shame they canceled Without a Trace. I will give it a few more episodes. Still pissed about Cold Case. A good show that showed (at least to me) you didn’t need a romantic chemistry between leads. Just strong actors, some good music and good storylines. Oh wel.

    • Templar

      If you liked Cold Case give the Brit show New tricks a try. I stumbled across it at the library, borrowed the season 1 DVD and became hooked. BTW season 2 was even better than season 1.

  • Torrence5

    agree with swthompson — Body of Proof is way better. Dana Delany is awsome and she has chemistry with her male conterpart. Unforgettable was just that.

    • What?

      “Unforgettable was just that”? Didn’t you mean just the opposite?

  • finnyd420

    Marilu Henner has the actual condition. I wonder if she’ll guest star?

    • Noeladd

      She plays carrie’s mother she was in the premiere…

    • Robin

      She is actually an adviser on the show because she has that condition.

  • McNulty

    How exactly can she see herself from a 3rd person POV when remembering past events? Shouldn’t her memories be seen through her own eyes?

    • Dessa

      I have an eidetic/photographic memory. If I’m tring to “find” something that I put away 10 years ago, I do a replay … and I “see” myself handling the object, see what I put it in and then over the years, I see where I moved it. And the entire time I’m remembering, I’m staring into a middle-space … so what Poppy does in Unforgettable seems more “real”. Compared to what Matther Gray Gubler does on Criminal Minds w/ his instant recall… you know, 10 years of data is a LOT to go thru.

  • Lin

    I watched but won’t again. Too slow-moving and downbeat, don’t like the whole memory flashback, slo-mo effects. Agree, no chemistry between the leads.

  • Kacey

    I like the show and will probobally watch it because nothing else is on in it’s timeslot (for me).

  • Martha

    Loved it! Love the premise! Love M Henner, who’s gift the show is based on and is tech advisor and is the mother with early onset Alzheimers (talk about an acting job…. :)

  • joe

    I liked Norman

  • Greg

    Contrived and gimmicky. Samantha Spade with red hair. Dylan Walsh is miscast. Zero chemistry between them. She had much better chemistry with Eric Close in Without a Trace. And how long will it be before Mr Poppy Montgomery Adam Kaufman makes an appearance, since he can’t seem to get a job of his own?

    • david

      hey greg, do you happen to have ANY inside knowledge of how Adam ended up on WAT? I bet NOT. I’m a close friend of his and I can assure you it wasn’t his idea. BTW…How about you imdb Adam. “Can’t get a job of his own?” LOL. He seems to have gotten alot of jobs. The guy has been in 6 tv pilots! A Spielberg mini-series etc…

  • bnmc9999

    I DVR’d it and might do so one more time. It is in a very tough time slot against some solid shows with female leads. I wish they would have found it a better home

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