ReGenesis: Season One

ReGenesis: Season One
I’ve been tedious in my CanCon smack downs before, so let me take it down a notch: ReGenesis isn’t the worst show ever made, just the last show you think of when you think of entertainment. Trying ever so hard to look American while maintaining "distinctly Canadian” sanctimony, it winds up generic, dull and inoffensive, with me perking up occasionally for purely personal reasons. The show features one David Sandstrom (Peter Outerbridge) running a genetic emergency organization called NorBac that investigates diseases, bio-terrorism and other natural/scientific shenanigans. Not a bad twist on a thriller premise but this fact has not escaped the creators/directors/writers, who so spike the ball on their originality that they fail to invest any other element with such distinction. Sandstrom is a House-like douche bag with a failed marriage and a bitter daughter (Ellen Page, pre-blow-up), and his team is a collection of ethnic/social identities (spunky Asian woman Mayko Nguyen, sensitive gay Mexican Conrad Pla) that try to bust stereotypes only to create images just as limiting and false. The plots are ingenious enough but don’t have any juice to keep you interested: the characters are so bland and one-dimensional that their implications seem nil. It’s derivative of American television to the point that it has no identity, and the identity that it does insert is so empty in its virtue that it distracts from the business of American-style entertainment. Still, it had one notable feature: Dmitry Cheripovsky’s character with Asperger’s syndrome, which marks one of the few representations of the neurotype that grasps the emotional content of watching romance from the sidelines and coming up with tortuous subterfuges for getting people’s attention. But though I nodded in recognition sometimes, I had to note that the other minorities are so taken for granted that this could only be because we’re the new victim on the block. Wait 20 minutes and we’ll be just as easily dismissed, I mean, understood. Extras include a "making of” that juggles thoroughness with Peter Outerbridge’s super-ham intro, picture galleries and scientific analysis of the various technical shenanigans. (Koch)