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

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.

Okay!




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


Comments (74)
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Mar 09, 2014
Love shows like this, gonna give it a go.
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Mar 09, 2014
Sounds like Allysian Fields....
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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.
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Mar 08, 2014
I wonder whether this show is at all similar to Syfy's 4400.
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Mar 08, 2014
USA's The 4400, you mean.
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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.
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Mar 07, 2014
I'll try it out.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Mar 07, 2014
Who's airing it, Comedy Central?
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Mar 07, 2014
Hmmm. Hard to say. Tim says it's slow but he also said that about Black Sails which I thoroughly enjoy whether they're in a ship or not so that's not the draw back. The draw back is that I have watched The Returned and also thoroughly enjoy that show so if Resurrection is just a subpar American version I also say nay.
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Mar 07, 2014
But, Tim! The French Returned had zilch for character development and it often fell into the art-house trap where characters do and say things that make no sense just... because. If you like the color grey, and music like Sigur Ros, the French show is good. But, those characters, man, so bad!
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Mar 07, 2014
This has "4 Episode Test" written all over its face!

Also, has somebody been feeding Skittles to the spammers? They seem to be sugar-rushed! (Unrelated, but Sugar Rush was a really good show.)
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Mar 07, 2014
I watched only 4 episodes of the French The returned and was very bored. It could be the fact that I had to read subtitles. The show started off very well but became slow and boring in the middle.

I been waiting for this for a long time so I definitely would give it a try. It seems though this is a totally different version. It is not a remake of the French series. The remake of the French series is being done by Paul Abbott (of Shameless fame) which is currently titled They came back.

It is supposed to be a limited event so there should be a conclusion at the end which is what I want. I definitely do not want to watch show that will end with a cliff hanger and have no season two.
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Mar 07, 2014
Although I view almost all pilots (hoping for worth), I'll pass this opportunity. I enjoyed THE RETURNED and am looking forward to its second season. Why settle for watered down, un-cinematic, ABC pablum?
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Mar 07, 2014
It sounds interesting and I like mysteries, but if they don't focus on the "why" then I fear it is going to be too ordinary and too much sentimental drama for me.
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Mar 07, 2014
I loves The Returned mainly because of it's brilliant atmosphere and soundtrack. And the first thing I read on some review about Resurrection was that it lacks this atmosphere. I still will probably check it out, but I realy don't have high hopes and I think this show shuldn't have been made in first place.
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Mar 07, 2014
A show about resurrections but without zombies is not worth watching. I'll pass.
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Mar 07, 2014
Check out The Bible its actually a pretty good one.
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Mar 07, 2014
Thanks, but no thanks. I read the book version and it was terrible.
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Mar 07, 2014
Having not seen the stuff you're comparing it to, I'll check this show out. The concept is very intriguing.

Which in my experience means I'll really like it, but it'll be a ratings flop and get cancelled.
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Mar 07, 2014
This show is an "American version" of the show he's comparing it to. If you don't mind subtitles, I heartedly recommend it.
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Mar 07, 2014
and now you can grow and WATCH a real ZOMBIE PLANT as it Plays DEAD when you Touch it! Zombie Plant Grow Kit NOTE...this is real!
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Mar 07, 2014
I'm gonna check it out. I did watch The Returned and freaking loved it, so I will probably spend a lot of time comparing the two but I'm still intrigued for now.
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Mar 07, 2014
A&E bought the rights to the American version of The Returned. ABC's Ressurection, is based on a different book. Its confusing, I know.
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Mar 07, 2014
I know they're from different source material. But the basic premise is almost the exact same, which is why I'll be comparing them, especially because The Returned was so freaking awesome.
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Mar 07, 2014
I have been waiting for this show ever since they showed the promo for it in May. I have not seen the Returned so I don't have naything to compare what I will be watching on Sunday to, but, I think this will quickly climb up to the top of my favorite show list
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Mar 07, 2014
I read about it and ist not the same as the returned so why wouldnt I watch it? The returned wasnt that perfect to be honest - it was good but annoying
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Mar 07, 2014
Watched the trailer -- The Returned seems a lot better. I might tune into the pilot; I like the idea of the kid suddenly popping up in China. But I suspect it will not come close to The Returned.
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Mar 07, 2014
I haven't seen The Returned, so I don't particularly care if it's better than that or not. But I'll check out Resurrection. At least the pilot, see if it has potential.
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Mar 07, 2014
I loved Les Revenants, and don't have high hopes for this, but I'm curious enough to at least check out the pilot.
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Mar 07, 2014
I've very much enjoyed watching Les Revenants (The Returned) and its slow, subtle mystery. Hope Season 2 returns this fall. That said, I'll be watching Resurrection but probably with a lowered expectation that it won't be as good.
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Mar 07, 2014
I can't wait!
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Mar 07, 2014
Is this a miniseries? Cause I don't see how they are going to stretch it beyond one season.
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Mar 07, 2014
"The Returned" French show just wasn't that good. So, saying it was 1000 times better suggests that measure should be discarded as erroneous and this show should be judged on its own merits or lack thereof. I mean, "The Returned" was okay, maybe even good, but not THAT good.
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Mar 07, 2014
I agree !
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Mar 07, 2014
Yeah...well...that's just...like...your opinion, man.
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Mar 07, 2014
I'd be curious to know how much the subtitles thing impacts people not liking The Returned.
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Mar 07, 2014
I remember being very intrigued by that first trailer, but after the embarrassingly bad year ABC's been having, I doubt this will last. Even if it does, how far will they be able to stretch this type of premise? I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't really want to sit through hours of a TV show that constantly poses questions like: "How did this happen?", "What could this mean?", "Are there greater forces at work?" Something tells me it's also the type of series that will never give any real answers.
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Mar 07, 2014
I will watch the premier. I watched The Returned and was disappointed in the lack of answers by the end of the season. The Returned was slow at parts too, and I am sure that a lot was lost in the translation to English subs. If Resurrection is 1000 times inferior....I don't know if I can take it.

They must be really betting on it to be a powerful show if they are almost pitting it against the Walking Dead and Talking Dead. Thats a tough timeslot.
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Mar 07, 2014
French TV/movies are mostly slow and thats one of few reasons why I love them!
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Mar 07, 2014
Since I'm French, I can assure you that The Returned wasn't slow because of subs, it was that SLOW, I liked the show cuz it's way better than everything that's done on French tv but apart fom first & last episode it lacked a lot: action, story development, answers to questions asked; on the other end, character development was quite good. Some will argue that the show's subtle but I wouldn't've minded a little less subtlety & a little more answers. In other words, I'll be tuning in for Ressurection for as long as it lasts with expectations not too high cuz I've already been disappointed once by a similar project...
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Mar 07, 2014
I am not French but I totally agreed with everything you said.
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Mar 07, 2014
I loved it and I didnt mind that it was slow, but I really didnt like the Girl that came back (i was so annoyed I wanted her to be dead again haha) and also Simon ... and what I really hated was that no one asked any questions - if I would be in their sitauation I would ask stuff... especially in the final. all that stuff that happened and no one really asked anyone anything.
Also the Problem with those Shows is that there is no real answer most of the times. They make those Shows and they are exciting but after a while we want answers and they dont have any cause they didnt plan it right
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Mar 07, 2014
There's a reason that they are making a second season...you know...like...to give people answers.
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Mar 07, 2014
Yeah im okas with that I didnt want answers i was just annoyed that no one asked questions
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Mar 07, 2014
Little confused: Is The Returned also based on the novel of same name, as Resurrection is, or are they two different shows that happen to be coincidentally similar with only one based on the book?

No, I've not read the book.

I watched The returned, but was disappointed in the last three or so episodes. I'll still give it a shot if it comes back on Sundance.
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Mar 07, 2014
The Returned is based on the french movie Les Revenants (2004) by Robin Campillo.
Resurrection is based on the book The Returned (2013) by Jason Mott.
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Mar 07, 2014
Thanks all. I'll have to check the movie someday.
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Mar 07, 2014
From what I've heard, they are not related. That is, the French show The Returned is not based on the book The Returned, but the American show Resurrection IS based on the book.
So the shows aren't related to each other, other than having similar premises and titles.
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Mar 07, 2014
You are 100% correct. There is an English version of Les Revenants being developed by Paul Abbot of Shameless fame.
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Mar 07, 2014
We'll my prediction is the time slot will cause this show to fail most die hard zombie fans will be watching the walking dead that is on at the same time.
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Mar 07, 2014
Resurrection is on at 10 pm eastern time. The Walking Dead is on 9 pm eastern time. Believe is going up against TWD. But i'll be watching Believe and Resurrection ON-DEMAND on Mondays. My Sunday viewing is full.
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Mar 07, 2014
Resurrection is on at 9pm eastern time also.
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Mar 07, 2014
You're right. I just looked up the listings. TV.com has them listed at 10pm, but Revenge is on then. Damn, so Believe and Resurrection, are going up against The Walking Dead, and in April Game of Thrones? Resurrection is also premiering against Cosmos. Good luck getting renewed. I just hope that if they are good, they take into account On-Demand and DVR numbers.
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Mar 07, 2014
This comment has been removed.
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Mar 07, 2014
&Choked; on a Skittle? Yep.

If this isn't in-article product placement, it needs to be. Every TV.com writer is always mentioning Skittles. :-)

And having watched revolution, the mystery is already clear to me: nanites.

And are all these coming-back-to-life shows a sign that maybe it's time to revive Pushing Daisies (instead of its contemporary Heroes)?
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Mar 07, 2014
Revive Heroes AND Pushing Daisies! My favorite show and my second favorite fantasy show both definitely deserve to be resurrected.
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Mar 07, 2014
Heroes is coming back in 2015. A limited series (13 episodes) called Heroes Reborn.
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Mar 07, 2014
I don't feel the need to watch something 1/1000th as good as Les Revenants.
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