Hey TV.com, Should I Watch ABC's Non-zombie Drama Resurrection?

By Tim Surette

Mar 07, 2014

You know what's trendy these days? Trends! And one of the trends that's white-hot right now is dead people who aren't dead anymore. Doesn't matter how they died, as long as they're only dead for a while. Fall off a 100-story building? Cool! Ejected from a helicopter right into the blades? Sure! Choked on a Skittle? Yep. As long as somebody died and came back to life. The latest slice of pop culture to follow this trend is ABC's new drama Resurrection, but how can you tell it apart from all the other dead people out there and how do you know if it's worth watching? Well, I'll tell you in another edition of Hey TV.com Help Me Out Here, My TV Is Attacking Me!

Resurrection, so this is a show about ZOMBIES!?!?

No! Wait, maybe? Do you consider dead people returning from beyond the grave to be zombies? What if they don't eat brains or any other part of the human body? What if they're just like, "Ummm, did I die or something? Because everyone I used to know got old." That's the case with Resurrection's not-quite-zombies. The show is set in a small Missouri town called Arcadia, and when the story begins, late former residents are popping up very much alive, all over the world, and when they return home, they're met with the expected mixed reaction of "It's great to have you back" and "AHHHHHHHHHHH!" In the pilot, a boy named Jacob wakes up in the middle of a rice paddy in China, and his reappearance is at the forefront of the series. Resurrection is an ensemble drama, so expect all types of people—cops, parents, priests—to attempt to make sense of what's going on. Oh and just for the heck of it, there's a murder mystery thrown in for good measure. 

Who created the series and who stars in it?

Resurrection is based on author Jason Mott's 2013 novel The Returned, and was developed for television by Aaron Zelman (DamagesThe Killing). There are a few recognizable faces in the cast, specifically Omar Epps (House) as the immigration agent who brings Jacob back to Missouri, and Kurtwood Smith (That '70s Show, you dumbass) as Jacob's father. Devin Kelley plays Jacob's now-grown cousin, Samaire Armstrong (The O.C.Entourage) plays one of her friends, Frances Fisher plays Jacob's mom, and Matt Craven (NCIS) plays the local sheriff who thinks something fishy is goin' on. 

When does Resurrection rise up from the realm of the dead?

Resurrection premieres Sunday, March 9 at 9pm on ABC, pushing Revenge back to 10pm.  

Who will like Resurrection?

Fans of mellow, existential dramas should find it appealing. Do not tune in expecting horror, as Resurrection's "zombies" are way nicer and gentler than Walking Dead variety. But just because nobody's craving human flesh doesn't mean you're in for a romp; the pilot makes no attempt to create a happy atmosphere, so make sure you're okay with heavy subject matter and have a strong drink or some candy in hand before you watch. You might need the pick-me-up.

What's to like about Resurrection?

This calmer approach to dead people coming back to life isn't anything new—SundanceTV's French import The Returned did tackled it last year—but Resurrection's story is intriguing nonetheless. What would YOU do if a deceased loved one showed up at your door all ready to hang out? The cinematography magnifies this feeling with some gorgeous shots; this is a pretty show that really draws from a sense of wonder. And if you like mysteries, Resurrection has plenty: Why are dead people coming back to life? Why haven't they aged? And so on.

What elements of Resurrection should've stayed dead?

This won't bother everyone, but Resurrection is on the slow side; it's probably a little too slow. And the pilot doesn't focus on the question of WHY as much as you might expect. In fact, it pays a lot of attention to the particulars of what really happened the day Jacob died, which adds a cold-case type of mystery. Finally, because I have seen The Returned, I can say that Resurrection does everything The Returned does, but The Returned is a thousand times better. 

So, should I watch it?

Provided you haven't seen the far superior and very similar The Returned, I'd say give Resurrection a go. However, if you HAVE seen The Returned, you'll just spend the hour thinking that Resurrection could have been much better. But hey, at least it doesn't have any pesky subtitles!

Let's take a look at a trailer.


Resurrection premieres Sunday, March 9 at 9pm on ABC.

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  • creedchick02 Mar 09, 2014

    Love shows like this, gonna give it a go.

  • zsandmann Mar 09, 2014

    Sounds like Allysian Fields....

  • Grazzy Mar 08, 2014

    I've seen The Returned and really liked it in the beginning, but I have to say that the theme got stale by the end. Still, I think it's worth watching it. As for Ressurrection, I'll give it a pass - one series about people inexplicably coming back from the dead is enough for me.

  • nyckjay Mar 08, 2014

    I wonder whether this show is at all similar to Syfy's 4400.

  • ArjunaJenning Mar 08, 2014

    USA's The 4400, you mean.

  • CherokeeRose4 Mar 08, 2014

    I read the book and it was slow and long-winded but the premise was interesting (if not all that original at this point). The pilot looks like it will be good so I'll watch but if it tries to remain too true to the book, I won't last long.

  • DavidJackson8 Mar 07, 2014

    I'll try it out.

  • current Mar 07, 2014

    I'll stick with the cold, bleak and subtle depths of Les Revenants. My blood sugar levels would no doubt burst, like the dam, at least twice if I saw this 'version.

  • ElisaDiaz Mar 07, 2014

    oh yes, this looks VERY similar to The Returned... I thought it was an American version of it, and it turns out it is an independent story? Now I don't know what to do.

  • tamaabi Mar 07, 2014

    Having seenand loved The Returned, I won't watch a lesser "American version" of it. So that's a no for me.

  • JT_Kirk Mar 07, 2014

    Who's airing it, Comedy Central?

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