DEBRIS – Review by Susan Granger

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As an avid sci-fi fan, I was eagerly anticipating J.H. Wyman’s new NBC-TV Monday night drama Debris, which looks like an amalgam of X-Files, Lost and Fringe, Wyman’s previous show.

Set in the near future, it focuses on an international team of spies and scientists who examine mysterious material that fell to Earth after the destruction of an alien spacecraft.

Unfortunately, the pilot episode – which should be so compelling that you immediately want to stream the series – left much to be desired.

It opens high in a Manhattan hotel, where some obviously shady characters are negotiating for what looks like a metal chip. When government agents interrupt the deal, the mysterious object winds up on a housekeeper’s cart, dropping her 14 floors to her death in the ballroom far below.

Jonathan Tucker (Westworld) and Riann Steele (The Magicians) co-star as Bryan Beneventi and Finola Jones, a CIA agent and his MI6 counterpart. A physicist, Jones is the daughter of the renowned astrophysicist who first identified the shards as coming from an alien intelligence.

Shortly after, Bryan and Finola are summoned to Kansas, where the body of a woman is levitating in a field. One floating body leads to another, and soon Finola sees a vision of her recently-deceased mother.

Apparently, the woman in the field is grieving over the death of her young son, Kieran Vandeberg, who died in an automobile accident years ago. But now he appears not only to her but also to others whom he guides to their demise. So Bryan and Finola enlist the help of Kieran’ older sister Isla (Alisha Newton).

Problem is: unlike X-Files Mulder & Scully, Bryan & Finola have zero chemistry, let alone charisma. They’re bland, and the procedural format is too familiar.

“I believe this technology, if understood properly, can end famine, cure sickness,” Fiona declares. “I think what we’re doing here will absolutely change to course of humanity.” We’ll see.

On the Granger Gauge of 1 to 10, Debris is an eerie, fragmented 4. To stream or skip it? That’s the question.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.