I feel as though TV procedurals get an unfairly bad rap from some – but I can see why. TV these days is full of them, and many of these offerings can be repetitive, formulaic and unoriginal. However, I am a big fan of many shows considered to be a ‘procedural’ and whilst there are bad examples, there are also a lot of good to be found within this particular format. With the right ingredients pulled together, a procedural can provide good TV as much as any serialized show can – something I think has been achieved by shows such as ‘The Mentalist‘ on CBS, amongst others.
So, when I heard of a new ‘procedural’ coming to cable with TNT this summer, my interest was instantly piqued. The initial premise for ‘Perception’ reads as follows:
“Dr. Daniel Pierce, a talented but eccentric neuroscientist, is enlisted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to assist in solving some of its most complex cases. Dr. Pierce works closely with Special Agent Kate Moretti, a former student who recruited him to work with the Bureau. Also on the team are Max Lewicki, Dr. Pierce’s teaching assistant and Natalie Vincent, his best friend.”
Now, it is impossible to judge any show on paper, especially a show of this nature and format as many of them do feature a similar set up or situation, giving the instant impression that it may well be a case of ‘seen it all before’. However, it’s what the writers do with these things going forward that sets apart the good from the bad. Characters and their relationships develop, over arching stories are set up and a (hopefully) strong mystery is served up each week.
The big question is – will Perception deliver on these aspects and become one of the great procedural shows?
Here’s 5 reasons why it may do just that:
1. It’s Got A Great Cast
Rachael Leigh Cook is Kate Moretti, former student of the main character and FBI Agent, whilst Arjay Smith and Kelley Rowan are Max Lewicki and Natalie Vincent respectively – his teaching assistant and best friend. This is what I’d describe as a ‘solid’ set of actors, each of them with ample experience in TV and certainly up to standard quality wise, particularly Rowan who has done a lot of great stuff in both TV and Film in a career spanning over 30 years.
The most important casting decision, as is often the case with these shows, is that of the central character – the main ‘detective’ if you like. In this case it’s Eric McCormack, a TV veteran in his own right and Emmy award winner for the relatively long-running sitcom ‘Will & Grace’. McCormack’s character is Dr. Daniel Pierce, a neuroscientist and professor assigned to help the FBI with their more complex cases. Eric is a leading man and certainly seems to have the screen presence a central character needs to carry a show. Colour me very pleased on this particular piece of casting.
This article was first posted on June 3, 2012