Unforgettable

Unforgettable
3
For a show this nondescript to be titled Unforgettable by its creators is practically begging for a deluge of bad puns from the press. But, luckily, no irresistibly asinine quip can possibly compete with the title of the short story this utterly middle-of-the-road procedural was inspired by: The Rememberer. Let that sink in for a moment: somebody titled a story The Rememberer and it was turned into a T.V. series successful enough to be on its second season. Now, what do you think it's about? If you guessed somebody who is super-fantastic at remembering stuff, you are 100-percent correct. If you also guessed that this anti-goldfish uses her special condition to solve crimes, you must have a special form of clairvoyance limited to the field of bland, formulaic entertainment. That's really all Unforgettable is: serviceable pap, competent bupkis. Sure, the easily digestible investigations of Carrie Wells (Poppy Montgomery), a former NYC detective with HSAM (highly sensitive autobiographical memory), are consistently pleasant and rarely outright horrible, but they never for a moment exceed "fine" or "kind of neat." Aside from the super-memory gimmick, which is absolutely a real thing that's just been heightened for dramatic purposes (a fact the creators never let viewers forget during the behind-the-scenes features included on disc six of this 22- episode collection — in fact, Taxi's Marilu Henner, who has HSAM, plays Carrie's aunt), the show's primary hook is a through-story about Ms. Wells trying to piece together the one thing she can't remember: the identity of her sister's killer. As she takes down reliably bait-and-switched baddies week after week using her Sherlock Holmes-esque powers of deduction and instant replay meat hard drive, certain events (often involving snatches of lucidity from her Alzheimer's-ridden mother) chip away at her memory block. Among the interchangeable cases of the week, one repeat villain shows up to make an unsuccessful bid at being her Moriarty or John Doe. It temporarily gives the show a little much-needed zest, as does the mid-season addition of Jane Curtain, as a sassy, wisecracking coroner. But that's simply salting plain tofu: the show still lacks any significant flavour. Other than a Gordon Ramsay reference that's funnier than the typical cornball humour the show trades in — ultra-PG flirtations between Wells and her former flame and current superior, Al Burns (Dylan Walsh), are especially painful to watch — the deleted scenes are as boring as you'd expect. Commentaries from creators Ed Redlich and John Bellucci for the series pilot and season finale are similarly unremarkable. A gag reel shows a bit of life on set that seldom made it on screen, but most of the production features fulfil rote expectations and little more. To be fair, the production designer is very passionate and informative in explaining his duties. Okay, one for the road: Unforgettable fails to live up to its title. (Paramount)