Hey TV.com, Should I Watch Believe?

By Kaitlin Thomas

Mar 09, 2014

Do you believe in life after DeceptionDo No Harm, SmashWelcome to the Family, Sean Saves the World and The Michael J. Fox Show? NBC sure does! The network is still debuting new series in hopes of finally launching a bona fide hit to coexist alongside The Voice and The Blacklist. That's dedication! Aaaaand also life in the television industry. But anyway, NBC's newest offering is Believe, an hour-long supernatural drama and the latest show get the Hey TV.com, Is This Show Garbage or Should I Watch It? treatment. Is it naive to believe this one might actually be worth your time? Read on to find out!

Believe? Please tell me this is that Cher series I've been dreaming about!

Sadly, no, it's nothing like that (don't stop believing dreaming, though!). Believe is a supernatural series about Bo, a 10-year-old girl with extraordinary abilities—including levitation, telekinesis, seeing the future, and more—that she hasn't yet learned to control. She's being hunted by an unseen organization that wants to use her powers for presumably nefarious purposes. After her foster parents are murdered, she's placed in the care of an escaped Death Row inmate named Tate—but don't worry, he's a good guy—and the series will follow the two of them as they attempt to stay hidden while also using Bo's powers to help people they meet along the way.

Who believed in this idea enough to make it into a TV show, and who stars in it?

Believe was created by and is executive produced by Alfonso Cuarón. You probably know him as the man who directed Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Okay, fine, OR as the newly Oscar'd director of Gravity. Also on board as an EP is J.J. Abrams, whose claim to fame is that he lied to the world about Benedict Cumberbatch's role in Star Trek: Into Darkness. He hasn't done much else. Alright, sure, except for LostFringe, and a bunch of other stuff. As for the cast, newcomer Johnny Sequoyah plays Bo, the girl at the center of the series, while Jake McLaughlin (Crash) is Tate, the Death Row inmate who's tasked with keeping her safe. When the series begins, the rest of the characters' roles are a bit confusing, but here's what I do know: Jamie Chung (Once Upon a Time) and Delroy Lindo (The Chicago Code) play Channing and Winter, respectively; they're the supposedly good guys who break Tate out of jail so that Tate can protect Bo. Kyle MacLachlan (Desperate Housewives) is the powerful Skouras, who once won a humanitarian award but may or may not be in charge of the unseen baddies trying to kidnap Bo. And Arian Moayed (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo) plays Corey, who appears to be some sort of tech guy for the dark side but only appears in the pilot for about five seconds. 

When can I start Believe-ing?

Believe makes its debut as on Monday, March 10 at 10pm on NBC, as a "special preview" after The VoiceIt'll move to its regular Sundays-at-9pm time slot on March 16, where it'll face competition from The Good Wife on CBS, the brand-new Resurrection on ABC, and at the outset, Cosmos on Fox and The Walking Dead on AMC and Shameless on Showtime. Good luck, show!

Who might enjoy Believe?

Viewers who don't usually consider themselves fans of shows with a supernatural or paranormal foundation might find themselves drawn to Believe because it's broad enough to appeal to a mass audience. While Bo and Tate are running to stay one step ahead of the bad guys, they're also using Bo's extraordinary powers for good, which gives the series a procedural element as well. 

Tell me why I should believe in Believe!

Cuarón directed the pilot, which means it looks really great. And there's a fun dynamic between Tate and Bo that infuses this otherwise dramatic series with some very enjoyable humor. He gets exasperated with her because he doesn't really want to be her babysitter, and she's outspoken in a way that sometimes makes you forget she's only 10 years old. As a whole, the series has the potential to please several different audiences: Fans of genre TV will automatically be drawn in by the subject matter, while the procedural element might appeal to more casual viewers while also preventing the series from getting too bogged down in its own mysterious mythology. 

Why should I be wary of Believe?

The premise is hardly original: A young girl with mysterious powers is in danger because evil people are trying to capture her and exploit her abilities. And even though it's got two Big Names on its creative team, Believe doesn't feel like anything you couldn't find elsewhere. Television is currently pretty saturated with genre shows, so to stand out, Believe will quickly need to tighten up its writing and make its storylines less predictable. While there IS a twist in the pilot, it comes off as more a "Yeah, I figured" moment rather than an "OMG!" one. Finally, while the show poses plenty of questions, they aren't necessarily that compelling. 

So, should I watch it?

If you're interested in this type of show, I'd say yeah, go ahead and check it out. There's really nothing inherently wrong with it, it just needs some work, which is pretty standard for a pilot.

Let's take a look at a trailer then!

Here you go! And if you like it, why not also check out the first two minutes of the pilot?


Believe premieres Monday, March 10 at 10pm on NBC.

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  • stevemac800 Jun 16, 2014

    love the show

  • agarres Mar 16, 2014

    I was going DVR it but I can only do two at a time. Sorry, but Good Wife and Walking Dead have priority. If I hear good things about it I may watch it via TV.com - but watching anything on my computer is hard - too easy to get distracted

  • dianamartins Mar 13, 2014

    This show is already awesome! Check it out! I hope it gets renewed! :) Off to watch it again!

  • sr42smiley Mar 11, 2014

    Does most of the premise remind anyone else of 2009's Push with Dakota Fanning and Chris Evens? I know there are a few big differences, but the jist of it seems to come from the movie. Little girl with powers (in this show the girl has both Dakota's and the girl they are searching for mixed together), guy who is put in randomly to protect her, big government agency looking for her.

  • jjafargi Mar 11, 2014

    I'm surprised Kaitlin made no mention of Children of Men.

  • bwgooner78 Mar 10, 2014

    Sounds like a mix of Stephen King's Firestarter and the video game 'The Last of Us', both of which were excellent, so the show has a lot to live up to but also a lot of potential !

  • tvfanboy Mar 10, 2014

    I could swear this is identical to a pilot from a couple of years ago...call me crazy but is it possible that this was in the can some time ago and maybe NBC bought the rights or just delayed the original release date? If I'm crazy, what was the name of the show that I'm thinking of...this would have been around 2010, 2011.

  • goldtop2007 Mar 10, 2014

    Seems like a copy of Stephen King´s Firestarter movie. Not a bad move though, as the story has a lot of power. I´m sure the new installment will look a lot better.
    Happy to see good old Kyle McLachlan as well, he´s been sorely missed since Twin Peaks!

  • Gislef Mar 10, 2014

    "they're also using Bo's extraordinary powers for good... which gives the series a procedural element as well. "

    Maybe we need to define what a "procedural element" is. I thought it meant a show that focuses on the same basic procedure every week. Doctors solving cases through diagnostics (House), police solving cases every week (NCIS, Law & Order, Columbo). It seems to have become broad enough to include... well, any show set around people who do good things.

    You might as well call Star Trek a procedural because each week they use Kirk and Spock's extraordinary charm, mental powers, and technology for good as well.

    Or Once Upon a Time a procedural because each week they use magic and swordplay for good as well.

    Or The Prisoner, because each week Number 6 uses his spy talents for good as well.

    Or Modern Family, because each week they use good humor and love for good (i.e., to learn a valuable life lesson) as well.

    "procedural" seems to be one of those terms that is in danger of getting overused, like "dramedy."

  • Caminae Mar 10, 2014

    I don't know what procedural meant originally, you're probably right in that it originally meant it followed the same procedure every week, but procedural, as it's defined now, means a show is made up of episodes that are more stand-alone. It's the antonym of serial shows, where none of the episodes are episodic and jumping in in the middle is really difficult. So the first season of Once Upon A Time was rather procedural, because there would be more stand-alone cases that only further the main character's plot by a little bit, like the episode with Hansel and Gretel, and then the show got progressively less procedural as it moved forward. Most shows, actually, are pretty procedural at the start, so they can attract an audience that's randomly tuning in part way into the season. Once it finds an audience, it moves more of its overarching plot forward.

    So what this preview meant, is that the show won't only revolve around the main plot of Skouras, but they will be more "side quest" elements to the show, as the main characters will help other characters who won't ever show up again. (The ratio of reoccurring characters to non-reoccurring characters is also a good way of telling how procedural a show is.)

  • Gislef Mar 10, 2014

    Sure, but some folks say that Supernatural is still "procedural", for instance. "Monster of the Week." But it has overarching plot elements, too. And that's nine years into that series. :)

  • katelynsunday Mar 10, 2014

    I liked it, I think it has good potential.

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