The Pretender

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NBC (ended 2000)

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walrus_8463

User Score: 212

SUBMIT REVIEW

The Pretender Fan Reviews (66)

8.7
out of 10
Average
1,808 votes
  • Jarrod, Ethan, Miss Parker finally get to realise they are family from being imprisoned in The Centre when they were young. Jarrod escapes to lead a continues journey of dodging The Centres sweep teams trying to find who his family are. Fantastic series.

    10
    They have to bring this series back it was and still is one of the best series for TV. Their are so many twists and turns and lies through out the Parker Family. The Centre has many secrets and they keep on finding more. Between Angelo an empath Jarrod and Miss Parker Sydney and good ole Broots their are many secrets and truths they unravel through their journey to find the ultimate truth. As children they were brought up in the centre and exposed to tests to produce the ultimate Pretender which becomes Jarrod. This series has to be watched to be believed as the lies and twists are just amazing. Miss Parker becomes the hunter as Jarrod becomes the hunted draw your own conclusion but you need to see this series. Why have they ended it on the fourth series without the whole truth still not known and left as a cliff hanger. Are they ever going to finish this series? I have just finished watching this series and some of it has you in tears and some so angry at what these people do to others its beyond belief and makes you wonder if something like this goes on in the real world. God forbid if it does. I have heard a rumour they may be bringing this series back but I wonder.....Please as I need to know the final truth.
  • They need to bring it back. I need to know how it ends!!!!

    10
    I first saw this show at my firends house and was instantly hooked. It is pure brilliance!!!! Though it may be hard to follow if you start in the middle you may catch on quickly to the plot line. The cliffhangers at the end of the movies make me thirst for more. It may sound weird but this show is that good! I want to know what the scrolls said and I definitley need to know if Jarod gets back together with his family! Does Miss Parker ever get away from The Centre? I need closure!!!! I recommend this show to anyone.
  • I need to know how this show ends! What happened?

    9.0
    What is interesting about The Pretender is its concept - a genius with the ability to seamlessly fit into any line of work or circumstance he encounters, a pretender. Sounds pretty simple, right? More specifically, when a young boy named Jarod is kidnapped and intellectually oppressed by the mysterious institution known as The Center, he flees his captors and begins an exhaustive quest to locate his unknown parents. As he matures into a man, still searching, Jarod (Michael Weiss) uses his special intellectual gift for the good of humanity, helping the unfortunate victims he reads about on a daily basis.
  • A boy genius, who can assume any type of job without anyone suspecting, in search of his past, helps others along the way.

    9.0
    The basic premise is that "The Center" has been training geniuses over the years to do "simulations" of military and other situations to find optimal solutions. Only a small number of children have survived the training, Jarod (Michael T. Weiss) and a couple of others. Jarod escapes in order to find his family, causing much mayhem in "The Center" where a team of experts (Miss Parker, Sydney and Broots) is setup to try and catch him, narrowly missing at every corner.

    It sounds fairly formulaic, but the episodes are varied enough to keep things going, and unlike the X-Files the "searching for the family history" thread does not spin too wildly out of control. The acting is perhaps not the best (has Patrick Bauchau ever taken an acting class???), but its good enough, and there is a selection of weird characters to keep things moving where needed (Angelo the remote viewer, Mr Raines - head of The Center, Mr Lyle etc.)

    Although it ran 4 seasons, a 5th season would have been nice with the way the family thread was developing in the final few episodes.
  • The Pretender is a great show! It has it all, suspence, action, drama and a little sci-fi/fantasy. I love series with dark organizations and the Centre definately is. A shame that 3rd movie never has been made. What's Michael T Weiss doing these days?

    10
    The show should been running 10 seasons! Great story, mysterious characters, a dark organization. When I first saw the Pretender, more than a decade ago, I was amazed, I could not get enough of it and was very sad when it got canceled. Thankfully I has been released on DVD and can I watch it as often as I please. Shame though the third movie never got made so we never know how the story ends.

    I always liked the Jarods centered episodes but I must say when the Centre was involved, those episodes were the icing on the cake. All those secrets from the past, all those lies, mr Parker who was unfit to be miss Parker´s father or so it seemed. It´s truly a shame The Pretender has not been appreciated more.
  • This show was completely ahead of its time with its storylines and ideas.

    10
    I first got hooked on the show through re-runs of shows but, when I bought the DVD, OMG, I fell in love with the storylines and plot twists. This show would be a smash hit if it would have come out now because people are more open to the conspiracy theory concepts now more than ever. I hope the 2 movies following season 4 will be on DVD soon because the cliffhanger in season 4 has me salivating for more Jarod and Miss Parker...not to mention I want to know what Catherine Parker\'s plan was.
  • One of the only original concepts developed into an irreverent and suspenseful TV show.

    9.0
    "The Pretender" was one of the most underappreciated TV shows ever to grace our screens for four years. It had an utterly original concept. A young, isolated genius escapes from an evil corporation (The Centre) and uses his gift to help people whilst attempting to find his family that he was kidnapped from. To the delight of the audience, we watch as Jarod discovers new foods and love whilst uncovering the secrets that The Centre would kill to keep quiet. He is chased by a group of three Centre operatives. Miss Parker, his childhood sweetheart. A hardened woman who was lied to about everything in her life including but not limited to her mother's "suicide", her father's identity and the existence of a evil twin brother. His teacher and mentor Sydney Green, Jarod's father figure who is racked with guilt about his part in Jarod's kidnapping and imprisonment. And finally, computer genius and overall weasal Broots.

    I would recommend to everyone to take the time to watch this engaging show which was cancelled just as it began to really came into it's element. It's a disgrace that TNT won't allow the producers to create the movie that would finally answer all the big questions we fans have been asking for eight years.
  • This is the best show that I ever have seen. The story lines from episode to episode work on each other to reveal mystery after mystery about Jarod, his family, and "the Centre". The writing in this series is supurb and I would recommend this show to an

    10
    This is the best show that I ever have seen. Even though it only lasted 4 seasons, plus 2 T.V. movies, it was worth every episode. The story lines from episode to episode work on each other to reveal mystery after mystery about Jarod, his family, and "the Centre". The writing in this series is supurb and I would recommend this show to anyone. The show has done of actions and remains exciting at all times.

    The best part of the show is how intelligent the writing is. It really makes you think about all of the characters and everything that is happening.

    I didn't watch this show until it was on re-runs on TNT, but the show will convince you to watch within minutes. It is really the best show especially for a gifted mind.

    By far, the best show ever created. Michael T. Weiss, Andrea Parker, Jon Gries, Jamie Denton, and all the other actors (especially the actors that play Sydney, Mr. Parker, and Mr. Raines) are excellent in these roles.

    The only down side of watching is that you will be hooked and have to see every episode before and after the one that you saw, plus the 2 movies, to truly figure everything out.
  • Long Live The Pretender!

    10
    I absolutely love this show. The fans still need closure and answers. I am one of many who is participating in campaigns to get a third movie. To join us, please come to the myspace, add Pretender Fans Unite as a friend and participate in writing letters, campaigns, petitions, etc. http://www.myspace.com/pretenderfansunite
  • The Pretender can be called Many things, but the nist important is that it was utter Brilliance!

    10
    I never thought I would find a show that no matter how many times I saw it I would love it. But I have found it. The Pretender has mystery, action, drama and ohh so much more. The characters are so complex and the storylines are full of intrigue and mystery. Andrea Parker is one of the most under-rated actresses around today. She brings life into the character of Miss Parker like no one else ever could. She is menacing, nasty, and cruel as well as being curious, compassionate, and undoughtedly loyal. I have never seen a character like her on television. I don't think that I ever will.
  • Bring it back!

    10
    I love this show. I was homeschooled and when it was on at 7 in the morning I\'d get up early to sit and watch it before I started school. I loved how Jarod always got away and made the centre look like the bunch of idiots they were. It was so much fun to sit and watch this. I was so sad when they stopped playing it. My mom and I would watch it and talk about all the stuff going on together. Good times. Good times indeed. They should totally bring the show back on some channel. It was a really awesome show.
  • This show is the greatest ever! It's about this guy Jarod who was stolen from his family. He's a real genious and because of how smart he was, The Centre abused his power. Well anyhow he ran away and all he wants to know is who the hell he is.

    10
    The Pretender is heart warming and I am so glad that I started watching this show. I didn't know that it was going to be so good, but hey it's my favorite show now. I have so many questions and everything that need to be answered. I wish that I was actually there and that this show went on for like 10 seasons. The pretender rocks my world. I only wish that it could have lasted longer than four seasons and the movies. That wasn't enough. Too much being denied of the truth. They monsters at NBC stopped a great show. When will they learn to make a new Pretender movie on the big screen or something.
  • Great 90s show that may have done better after the year 2000.

    9.3
    There has been many shows over the years featuring a nomadic character who helps people as he goes about his journey, but The Pretender is probably one greats of all. Where in other shows the character was always the same, this series added a twist: he was a genius with the ability to assume any profession he chose, from park ranger to FBI special agent. Michael T. Weiss was great as the title character, Jarod, who helps right wrongs as he attempts to find the parents he was taken from as a child and continually eludes those chasing him from the mysterious organization from where he's escaped. Because of his ability, each episode was like an individual little movie, because he was someone different each week. One of the things that was different was the way he would get his revenge. Rather than just go for the person, he would slowly toy with them, taking his plan one step at a time and get to the mentally. Jarod was like a little child but also had a dark past.
    This show had an interesting seed of history fact. First, Jarod was loosely based on a real criminal pretender. Second, the Center was loosely based on a real government experamental test on child geneiuses called Genesis.
  • If you've watched the show, you'll know what a gem this show was!

    9.1
    We all know how it goes, Jarod is a genius, a pretender who can become anyone he wants to be. He helps those in need while searching for his past. Searching for his family. Taken from his family at a young age, Jarod grew up in a place called The Centre. And then one day, Jarod runs away.... and The Centre are after him, always one step behind, right where they belong.

    This show was definitely brilliant! There are plenty of mysteries to keep you guessing... and lots of (still) unanswered questions! And if that wasn't enough, there are lots of twists and shocks along the way to always keep you entertained! Jarod's past is as much a mystery to us as it is to him. And so is Miss Parker and her past! Does anyone really know very much about her past? Will we ever get answers for this great show? Will the answers be solved in possibly a third movie? Or is that asking to much? Whatever the case, I say bring back The Pretender! Bring back Jarod!!
  • An excellent show of a genius who could be anyone he wanted.

    8.0
    I watched this show when I was young and was enthralled with someone who could be whatever he wanted with just a little bit of research put into play. Every episode that passed I wished more and more that I would find out the secret to Jared's family and learn to who he really was it was quite frustrating but forced me to come back for more. Each show has him pretending to be another person with another profession and solving whomever he comes into contact with problem. It is a show of little violence and I didn't mind this at all.
  • The best show EVER. The questions need to be answered, and the mysteries solved. There HAS to be a third and final movie!!

    10
    Great show!! This show has everything: drama, action, humour.

    Micheal T Weiss did an amazing job playing this complex character, not to even mentioning how Andrea Parker was able to become Miss Parker. Even though Andrea plays both Miss Parker and her mother, her way of portraying these two very different characters is so well done that you as the watcher sometimes forget that they are played by the same actress.
    The story is one of the best ever told, there was not a single episode where you didn't learn something new about one of the characters.
    The creators of this FAB show shocked the audience again and again and again. They left the fans devastated at the end of the 4th season. Then in 2001 the fist movie was released and again they left the fans hanging at the end. In 2002 the second movie ("Island of the Haunted") was released and fans could breath again, but only until 2 minutes into the movie because - they did it AGAIN, questions were left unanswered and mysteries unsolved.

    The fans of this amazing show have been fighting for 4 years and they, along with everyone else who has been lucky enough to have seen this show, deserve closure in the form of a third and final movie.

    So: BRING IT BACK!!
  • The Pretender is a wonderful adventure on the life of Jarod. In each episode, Jarod learns something about his past. Jarod is a genius whose whole life was stolen. Now he is on the search for the truth. Each discovery is worthwhile.

    10
    I fell in love with this show the first time that I saw it. It started of with a young boy who wanted to know who he was. The first episode said it all about what Jarod truly wanted. The Pretender came out when I was 6 years old. It did not interest until 11 years later when I saw it online. I was hoping to watch supernatural but the divx 6 video of some episode wasn't working, so I tried something new. I'm glad that I chose the Pretender. I've been glued since. I want to know everything. I have so many questions about this whole show. I want to know everything about the Centre. The Pretender is a show for anyone who enjoys the excitement of a great show.
  • One of the smartest, most well-written programs I have seen on TV to date, great storylines and cast. Bring it back! Doing so will bring back a lot of viewers who appreciate a smart well-written show.

    10
    It was one of those programs that was hard to turn away from and you absolutely hate to miss an episode. The storylines were not sexualized (as are so many today) nor were they filled with gratuitous violence. Pick a time slot and date then stick with it, then give the audience time to find it and begin to enjoy it again. The only program that I have seen that even comes close to The Pretender is Alias. The network that carried that program knew they had a great program; they were patient with the viewing audience,big pay-off.
  • I feel sorry for the ones that cancelled the show.

    10
    This is (was) the greatest show that I have ever seen. It has inspired me to in so many ways. I have taped every single episode including the the following movies and I am only sad that WB didn't continue with it throughout the entire contract.

    I think that many of us recognized them selfs in Jarod and what he had expirienced in his free life.

    Simply perfect in every aspect.
  • There are Pretenders among us... Geniuses with the ability to become anyone they want to be... In 1963 a corporation known as the Centre isolated a young Pretender named Jarod and exploited him for their research... Then, one day, their Pretender ran away

    10
    Why did it have to go! There were so many questions left unanswered! It is one of the best shows out there! If you haven't seen it, I would highly reccomend picking it up on DVD. If you have Netflix, or something like that, rent it! There are so many twists and turns, and the writing is excellent. The superb acting of Michael T. Weiss, Andrea Parker, Patrick Bauchau, and Jon Gries, as well as the other actors, make the show addictive, and makes me sad when I think that it never got to run it's course... It is one of the best shows of all time, and it is something that everyone should have the pleasure of watching.
  • BRING IT BACK!!! I I really love Jarod & Miss Parker!

    10
    Miss Parker was the ultimate 'Bitch'. That coupled up with Jarod it was the perfect team...They need to get the issues resolved!To many open ended storie lines.It was very exciting to see some of the other cast stars making there 'cameo' apperances..I eapecially like the fact that the writers used the (higher-tech clothing.(Black leather coats. Short skirts,etc.)
  • So many unresolved issues remain, but it was incredibly brilliant and especially heartfelt during its time.

    10
    While I watched this show when it first aired on NBC, I completely forgot about it after a while, even missing the last one or two seasons. That was, until TNT started picking it up, and even made two made-for-TV movies for the fans.

    In case you are new to the show, The Pretender is a drama with a man named Jarod at its core. Jarod is a genius "who can be anyone he wants to be," who became a pet project for organization called The Centre that stole him as a child. He was taught to do simulations by a man called Sydney, a genuine person at heart, the results of which were sold to the highest bidder, no matter what his intentions were. When Jarod learned that many of these simulations, which he was told were to benefit mankind, were really hurting people, he ran away. And that is where the show begins. He runs, and The Centre chases. But really, that's only what it is about on the surface. Along the way, he helps people who are just as helpless and lost as he once was. And through it all, he's looking for his family, and helping one of The Centre's employees chasing him, Miss Parker, discover the truth about hers.

    After four full seasons and two made-for-TV movies, the show ends abruptly. As I said before, I was a fan of the show at the beginning, but it got lost in the mess of my teenage life and didn't resurface until I caught Island of the Haunted on the very last night it aired (before it was added to syndication as well). And, yes, I got hooked...again. I started watching from the start and grew to care more and more about the characters. Then...it just ended. What happened after they got off the island Carthis? We'll never know because no one is giving it a chance to finish! How did Jarod and Miss Parker's mothers know each other? Is Mr. Raines really Miss Parker's father? And will Jarod and Miss Parker ever kiss as adults? (I was so peeved that the darn blind lady Ocee barged in on them in Island of the Haunted, breaking up what would have been a most joyful moment in Pretender history.) While these questions are sure to remain unanswered except by speculation, I still continue to enjoy watching the regular series episodes, as each has so much depth that I am continually recognizing new things. Also, the emotional depth of Miss Parker is something worth seeing, as she can be cold and malicious one moment, and then heartbroken and endearing the next. Her friendship, so to speak, with Jarod, existing over telephone lines and during desperate situations, always kept me tuning in, and I hope that, had the show continued, they would have ended up in a wonderfully romantic relationship.
  • This has to be one of the best shows ever! I watched it when it first came on and am watching the DVD's now. Wish it were back on!

    9.7
    Fantastic show, a must see! The casting is perfect and alhtough I have seen it before, I still wait for Dr. Raines to get his...I missed some espisodes when first aired and I am thrilled I can now fill in some of the blanks. Be sure to watch this series, keep a keen eye out for shady characters, you never know who may be lurking in the halls of the CENTRE! Great combination of intrigue, morality and down right let's hear it for the good guys.
    Wish you were back on, miss you all-well maybe just a bit Dr. Raines)
  • Jarod escapes a prison like company and goes around the world pretending to be other people while helping others. All the while he is tryng to find his family.

    9.7
    This was a really good show in that Jarod was always helping people. He had a good heart, but was abused and held back in the world. The storyline was great. Each week was entertaining in that you didn't know who he was going to be next and what he would do to the people from the center. I also liked Miss Parker. She and Jarod are what made the series great. I was really disappointed with the way the series ended. I think they were thinking there would be a fifth season but it stopped at season four and kind of left it on a cliffhanger.
  • Intelligent viewing

    9.5
    The Pretender was one of the smartest and best-written shows I've ever seen. The plot was very involving and was continuous so those who didn't watch from the beginning might have felt it was too difficult to get into. That wasn't the case. I didn't start watching until season 2 and though it took a few episodes to get what was happening, I did and am so glad I started watching. Michael T. Weiss was great as the title character, but the character I really related to was Miss Parker, played by the fantastic Andrea Parker. She was cold as ice on the outside, but you knew somewhere in there was a decent person with a heart and that occasionally showed. After its cancellation, there were two tv movies, but still not everything was resolved. I doubt we'll ever get another movie, but it sure would be nice.
  • A complex cat and mouse game with heart.

    9.5
    It's difficult to talk about this series. The show is a complex web of puzzles that plays out over all four seasons and two made for tv movies. Without knowing the stories and truths we learn later in the series, the first episode seems quite confusing, but makes us want to learn more.

    A man and a woman are following a man who is actively helping other people. We learn that Jarod, the runaway, is fleeing a brain bin called The Centre. The Centre collects highly intelligent children and sells their useful talents to the highest bidder. Jarod's genius allows him to be a "pretender" one who doesn't act a part, but becomes the part. Because of The Centre, his gift has destroyed many innocent lives, all the while he thought he was saving them. Now he helps the innocent and the powerless while trying to stay one step ahead of The Centre's minions.

    Complex? Yes. But following Jarod's journey of redemption was worth tuning in each week. Over four seasons we see how the lies are sorted from the truth for Jarod and the people following him. While the ratings were good, the show ended so NBC could replace it with the now defunct XFL ("wrestling football" as Michael T. Weiss once called it).

    Two made for tv movies were developed with plans for a third. As of yet, there has been no word on the final movie and properly ending the series. Until then, all we can do is relive it on DVD.
  • A good show

    9.0
    In the beginning the show is a little slow, the stories are good but the show its self has problems getting going. This is because the show has a hard time getting past the main mystery of the show, because if they got past it, it would end the show.

    The main characters are well written but I wish that they could have brought the 2 groups together more when they aren't rying to get one another. The show has nice tension between Mrs. Parker and Jarod but because they are together so little nothing happens to this relationship.

    The stories do get a little repetative near the end because they are still using the same method of Jarod trying to help as many random people as possible. I do wish that they went more into the main mythology more and that we could find out more about the Center and Jarod's role with them.

    In the end it is a good felling show that rarely is depressing with a fair amount of humor to keep you entertained. It might not be a buy but it is definately a rent on dvd.
  • "Smart and Witty without leaving you feeling dumb."

    9.0
    Truly an influential show, without The Pretender I highly doubt there'd be a fan base for action/adventure show like Alias, 24 or even Prison Break. Yes they would have eventually gained fans but The Pretender opened up our mind to the subject of someone running against the law/finding themselves.

    Series arc, is something that I find many series can't do well, X-Files and Alias, both shows I will say had great ones but I felt were extended a little to long. Take X-Files, Mulder's search for his supposed abducted sister and when it came time to resolve it (Season 7) it was a complete letdown. Alias, Rambaldi device I thought was something that could destroy the world or cause something huge but instead it turned out to only be immortality for one single person, wow! The Pretender on the other hand gave answers first, to who was he? Then, who/what happened to his parents? and finally, the search for his family. Early closure on the main arc isn't always bad cause in the end you'd automatically find away to create a new and fresh one while the series is still young, but of course still in the line of the original plot.

    Characters, were greatly written. The "bad guys" in the end had a good reason for being on that side, instead of "Oh wow, the bad guys get to inflict pain. I should join." The fact that the series showed emotion in their characters (good or bad) shows that they knew the characters/plot in and out. Then just randomly coming up with it on the day of script time.

    If your into The X-Files, Alias, La Femme Nikita and or Prison Break then The Pretender is one you should check out indeed. You also get closure for the series with the two later produced movies (The Pretender 2001 and The Island of the Haunted) that greatly wrap up the series, but leaving room for a third one if one ever chooses to surface. Sure, the series may not have lasted long or high but understand when people say "I'll take quality over quantity." they mean it. Just watch this show and you'll defiantly understand that saying. You have nothing to lose but a great show to add to your favorites.

    Rating I give, 9 out of 10.
  • One of the best concepts for a tv show ever.

    10
    Sadly I did not discover this series until TNT was running reruns after the show had ended, but I was instantly hooked. The idea of a super-intelligent human being alone wouldn't make the show that interesting, but they added a mysterious and dramatic past to the star character which made you not only want to watch more, but drew you more into Jarrod's heart. It was easy to feel for the star character and share his emotions.

    With that they added great supporting characters. There was Miss Parker, whose only true annoyance was that she apparantly had no first name, which perhaps matched her up well with Jarrod who had no last name. Then there was Sydney, who sometimes made you wonder whose side he was on until you realized he was on Jarrod's side for better or worse. He simply lacked the understanding of what the Centre had done to bring the boy there. And then there was Broots, the lovable comic-relief who was always good for a chuckle.


    Then you had the villains, and what evil villains they were. There was Mr. Lyle, who seemed to have a taste for cannibalism. He was a man whom you wanted to love because of his handsome good looks but knew at his heart he was pure evil and simply no good. Then when he turned out to be Miss Parker's brother, which never seemed to be proven, it only added a new dark twis on the series.

    Dr. Raines and Mr. Parker were evil as well, though they didn't seem as bad as their evilness seemed to stem from a desire for power. They were still a dangerous threat, however.

    The show continued to grow darker as Jarrod learned more and more about his past, but it only got better as it went. And then it ended when Jarrod got so close to finally finding his mother.

    It's a shame the show ended as quickly as it did. Here's hoping they'll bring it back. Great show with an absolutely fabulous cast.
  • I want it to come back I need something to watch. NOW!!!!!!

    10
    I think that they should bring back Pretender to TNT in the mornings. Cause I need someting to watch something when I wake up in the mornings. I miss waking up to the voices of Pretender.Dang, I want them, no I need them to bring it back. Hey, I have an idea why don\'t we all e-mail the Pretender producers and complain that we want them back. It could work or they could get a restraining order against us but we must keep trying to get it back. Do what ever you can to get it back on. If you really want it back do what you can for them to poll some strings and put Pretender back on TV.

    P.S.-try your hardest

    Me
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