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Unforgettable: A Hot Redhead Stares Off Into Space

CBS did a pretty good job this year of not diluting its fall schedule with new versions of its bread-and-butter: the cookie-cutter crime procedural. But, sure as Gibbs gets his man at the end of NCIS, we all knew one would sneak through. The show in question is Unforgettable (though I would prefer The Rememberist), starring Poppy Montgomery as a hot woman named Carrie Wells who runs around solving crimes. The "catch" is that Carrie is a former detective with a rare condition called hyperthymesia, which allows her to remember everything. Thankfully I don't have the same "gift," and one of these days I will forget this show ever existed. Hey-yo! Thanks, I'll be here all week.

Here's the setup: Carrie used to work for the NYPD, but now spends a lot of time volunteering in an old folks' home, impressing the patrons with her ability to remember the exact day Viagra hit the market (seriously, she did that). In the premiere, Carrie arrived first on the scene of a murder (as a bystander—the victim was found outside her apartment building—and was later called in as a witness by, conveniently, her ex-boyfriend and current detective Al (Dylan Walsh). He asked her to help with the case, and she used her ability to eke out a few details that detectives of normal memory would never discover. And because the show needs a series-long arc, Carrie's big goal is to figure out who murdered her sister decades earlier.

In addition to the typical looking-in-trash-cans police work you'd expect from a cop show, Unforgettable offers moments when Carrie uses her ability to find clues. But even that description makes the concept sound more exciting than it actually is, because when you boil it down, you're watching a woman remember things. For example, there was a bit in the premiere (video below) where Carrie was rememberizing the crime scene she just so happened to stumble upon, and if this is how the show is going to make its bacon with a new "twist" on the crime procedural, we may as well start digging its grave right now (Dead Pool candidate!). The scene involves Poppy Montgomery staring off into space A LOT, like when that guy from Seinfeld heard "Desperado," as she rememberizes herself in the actual scene. It's two Poppys on-screen, which is great for fans obsessed with redheads but doesn't do much for thickening the drama. The funny thing is, while she's in recall mode, she always sees something she didn't notice before. Don't you have to see something the first time in order to remember it later? I guess rememberizing is hard, you guys. I wouldn't know, I have the memory of a reggae musician.

Shows like The Mentalist and Psych use a similar gimmick, but when Patrick Jane and Shawn do their extreme-attention-to-detail thing, we feel as though we're solving the case along with them. When Carrie does her thing, we're simply waiting for her to remember something. And waiting. And waiting. It's the most passive talent a procedural protagonist has ever had, and arouses the same kind of excitement you feel when a friend is trying to recall the name of a restaurant he wants to recommend. Rememberizing just does not translate to television.

Plus, as easy as the fetching Poppy Montgomery is on the eyes, she's not much fun to listen to. The Australian-born actress produces one of the worst Americanized accents ever to hit our shores as she struggles to yank a Syracuse accent from her larynx. Combine that with questionable acting skills (witness her sheepishly say, "Go to Hell!" and gently slap her hands on a counter in frustration) and you've got a main character who's the equivalent of that book you read to put yourself to sleep. Carrie Wells may be hot, but she is not an interesting character. The rest of the cast is okay, but I feel especially bad for Kevin Rankin (Friday Night Lights' Herc, Justified) in the role of one of the many detectives who stand in the background in trench coats. He deserves better than this.

The super-memory device doesn't help Unforgettable rise above the rest of CBS' established procedurals. If anything, it hurts the show simply because its execution is so... boring. I wouldn't call Unforgettable bad, per se, but it definitely it isn't good. It's really just bland, the stale Saltine cracker of the TV world: You could eat it in a pinch, but you wouldn't want to make a meal out of it. Don't get attached; the show likely won't be around too long.

And now I'd like to point out that I didn't say "Unforgettable is forgettable" once! Yay me!


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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I tried watching once I found Carrie arrogant and rude to her team. I agree with the article too it didn't feel like i was working the case with the show like most other solving shows do which is big part of the appeal. I rather watch the socially awkward Tempe Brennan who at least at her core is a nice girl even though she sometimes has trouble expressing it, then someone who belittles her team cause she thinks she's better than everyone like Carrie.
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I still can't believe they brought back Body of Proof. This is going to be one of TV's worst seasons ever. When you kill stuff (Murder) like Human Target and Chaos, you deserve what you get.
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First time I read a review on this site that I COMPLETELY felt the other way about . I thought it was honestly a good premiere! I mean it had me interested till the end of the episode and i'm definitely gonna keep watching. THE SOPRANOS didn't even do that for me...(though I know I need to quit b*llsh*ting and watch it haha)



Seeing Dylan Walsh on the screen again will always make me happy even if he plays a mute with no eyes or ears. Thought the show was MUCH better then other premieres i've seen and i'll continue to watch.
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"we feel as though we're solving the case along with them", this has to be the most important aspect to a crime procedural and as you've pointed out (and I suspected), that's not the case with this show.



I actually voted for this in Dead Pool 2011, but I screwed up and said "this show will live up to it's name", obviously I missed out the all important negative... NOT, "this show will NOT live up to it's name". Oh well, I'm sure they knew what I meant?!?!
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I like some procedural, but Unforgettable isn't going to be one of them. And I kind of hoped this show would turn out pretty good, but nah.
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I actually enjoyed the premiere. Also, I think she does a fine American accent. Nothing against Tim, but we all knew this isn't his kind of show. So, why didn't this website let a blogger who actually like's these kinds of shows review it? It's just getting annoying now.
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Unforgettable isn't. I found myself falling asleep during it. I normally like mystery shows and procedurals, but this one bites. Maybe if the lead role were played by a better actress, but with Montgomery -- Dead Pool for sure.
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I think the color looks good on her. Everyone can't pull that color off and she has done a great job at doing it. I also like her in "Missing". Great job Poppy Montgomery!
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Pretty formulaic to me. But it's probably catty, but I have to say Poppy Montgomery's red die job is horrific. It makes her skin look sallow. My sister and I spent the show debating what color red would look best one her.
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I liked it for what it was... but I must admit, I'm Australian and I also noticed the Aussie accent slipping in at around the hand slapping on the counter moment.
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I stopped watching after twenty minutes. will try to watch the rest later. I found it to be very dull.
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While for me personally, all procedurals are bland, this particular show looks mind-numbingly dull. Seriously, do we need another show where a cop/detective with a 'catch' apprehends criminals? Only thing I watch that comes even remotely close to this premise is Psych and that's because it is hilariously funny. Funny article btw.....memory of reggae musician...lmao.
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and also the "catch" in this show seems to be stolen from Psych (yet again)
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I only watched the first 5 minutes to see the intro and might I add that has got to be the shortest prime time television intro I've ever seen, what only 3 seconds of the title.



Mr.Surette I always enjoy laughing at your jokes on shows. "Hey-yo! Thanks, I'll be here all week". lol
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It's one if those shows you want to see if you get the time, because it's great. But it is not so great that you can't do without it, but i hope it stick around.
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Staff
YOU ARE SUCH A LIAR!
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Why, oh why do they let Tim review these types of shows? They obviously aren't his cup of tea and he never misses a chance to slander or belittle them. I liked the pilot. It wasn't "OMG Best show ever!" but it certainly was better than what Mr. Surette is indicating. Pilots always have the worst "feel" because they must "set-up" the show for you. I hold judgement on any new shows till the third or fourth episodes. -- As for this one? I did like it and I will continue to watch it.
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Staff
We're trying to cover the premieres of all the new shows, so this one fell in my lap. I'll admit I'm not a fan of these types of shows, but I come into these reviews objectively. And comparing this to other procedurals, I thought it wasn't up to par. Just my thought!
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Premise: A woman who can't forget things has forgotten something... everything about it was just too damn formulaic, right down to who the killer was.
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LOL. I agree with your review. I fell asleep near the end, and really don't care how it ended, just glad it did. Kevin Rankin and Dylan Walsh definitely deserve better. I won't be back.
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Yeah, not that great for sure. I totally spotted that ridiculous moment she slaps the counter. As far as the accent is concern, she sounds weird for me but as a non native english speaker I could not be as precise as you Tim. The first scene was really bad !

I will watch few more eps though (even though I think Poppy should drop the red and go back to the blond hair).
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eke not eek
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Staff
You are correct. Fixin'!
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I was really disappointed cause i like Poppy Montgomery but the pilot couldn't hold my attention i might give it another try but i doubt I'll make it through the whole season. It seemed like it would be a really good show
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and btw when I try to search the show by the right up search bar, the link from the title "the unforgettable" and "unforgettable " are both wrong, when you click them, they do not go to the show's site but some other stuff, it would be great if someone corrected it..
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Staff
We are working on it, we've been doing good things with the search function and that's messing everything up. I let the right people know this morning! Thanks for the heads up though!
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@SokkaAppa are you serious?



haven't seen a decent review in ages from him.
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Staff
Did you not see my Two and a Half Men video review? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKsGwnP9EHo
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I was disappointed. Period.

They spent so little time on actually trying to solve the crime. OK, so maybe the fact that it was the pilot, had something to do with it. They had to introduce the characters and reveal a little bit of their back stories which took time. But the even bigger problem was how much time they spent on Carrie remembering things. Why do all the remembering scenes have to be dream like states taking forever? And the CGI effect in which Carrie watches herself do things like an out-of-body experience might look cool. But it got boring after the first time. It should be done like in Psych in which Shawn notices details which just dump out from the surroundings. Or like Jane does in The Mentalist, he just notices stuff, that simple.



The problem with Unforgettable is also that Carrie's ability is a medical condition. She remembers stuff whether she wants to or not. She didn't choose it or gain it after practice. So she is practically like a super computer on two feet. Does she ever make mistakes? Leaving room for mistakes is very important, that makes characters more human. Now she just swoops onto the scene and saves the day. In The Mentalist Jane has gained his abilities by practising, but he is still not perfect. Many times he just tries out things and is mistaken, which is funny. But so far Carrie seems perfect. Where's the fun in that? I really had high hopes for the show, since it has Poppy Montgomery in it. But as it is, it's just really plain.
More+
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I like Poppy Montgomery, I like police procedurals (the worst one I followed was Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, yet I managed to like even that thorugh the end:D), as a non native English speaker, her accent does not bother me at all, so I will follow it, until it falls down:)
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Will probably get shot here...but I actually enjoyed it. I didn't really put it in the same league as The Mentalist and Psych, but it was a nice way to pass the time. Since I'm not American, the accent didn't really bother me/didn't notice anything very wrong with it. I'm going to give it a chance. I think there's opportunity for the series to improve - hopefully they don't waste it. Side note: It seems like she volunteers at the old age home because her mother is a patient.
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Tim. Hands down the best writer!
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I'm not a big fan of these types o shows... But I did enjoy the pilot. I Will give It another chance
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