Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Day Break: Robbed!

Like most folks, when I first heard about the mid-season "gap filler" Day Break, I thought - they made an action/mystery show out of Groundhog Day? I hope Bill Murray gets a cut.

I stuck it on the DVR list mainly because I like Taye Diggs and thought the concept was interesting, but honestly didn't hold high hopes. Since it was an afterthought, and there were so many other shows we were trying madly to squeeze in, the episodes started piling up, and neither Amy nor I were all that rushed to watch them. Lots of other more important or interesting things to fit in our limited free-time.

So eventually, a few weeks ago we got around to watching the pilot ep. I think I queued it up mainly because it was a 2-hour premiere and I wanted to get it off there to clear up some space. And what did we find? It's a good show - no, it's a great show. We got quickly hooked in, and burned through the rest of the saved eps in no time. I knew the premise sounded really interesting, but this was VERY well executed. They got a lot of the obvious stuff out of the way early: he CAN be hurt and have it carry-over from day-to-day... therefore, he CAN die. He CAN change the day, resolving a major issue which somehow influences other folks, his day restarts at 6:17am no matter what's going on or where he is -- and rather than hanging the show on the gimmick of the repeating day, it's just a part of what played out to be a great mystery show, with a pace infinitely faster than The Nine, a good deal faster than LOST, and even moving things faster than Heroes. The best comparison of pacing is probably 24. It's a GREAT show. MUCH better than LOST has been so far this season, IMO.

So... after watching last week's episode, including a really intriguing twist at the end... imagine our frustration to find it not on the DVR queue to record this week - replaced with something else. A quick trip around the Intarwubs and I find that it's gotten the big yank.

Why did the show fail? It's (IMO) easier to follow than LOST, 24, or Heroes - with the now commonplace recap-intro at the beginning of each episode - so I can't imagine that's why people didn't watch.

The thing is - every time I mentioned it to someone they had the same response I did - "Isn't that the Groundhog Day TV show?" Unfortunately, I think the "gimmick" being a familiar one is what doomed it. People just weren't interested. Combine that with expecting it to keep LOST's audience when they really aren't similar shows, and I believe most people didn't give it a chance out of the gate. Which is a serious bummer, because I think the show could've caught on. And the best part? According to the FAQ at ABC's site they ARE planning on having him solve the mystery and make it to the next day this season. Solving the mystery during the season? *gasp* I know - UNHEARD of. Sure, I don't know what they would've done to eek out another season, but still... all for naught, the show was stillborn. If it had been on it's own to start the fall season it might've had a chance, but as a midseason filler, not so much.

So it's gone, and the 2nd season question won't be an issue. But this season IS all in the can. So -- the saving grace -- ABC IS planning on showing the remaining episodes on their web site (see "Watch Day Break Online Now" on the left-side of the page). Not only that, but all the episodes they've already aired are there as well. So go watch, give it a chance - I really think you'll dig it. It's NOT just Groundhog Day with guns.

Watch my show before they shut the lid!

UPDATE 12/29: Well, it looks like they've given DayBreak the total hucklebuck now - it appears to have completely vanished from the ABC site. Despite initial reports that it would be running online for the rest of it's season, that's a no-go. A few different pages seemed to indicate this was due to "music license issues", whatever the crap that means. I guess now we hope for a DVD release to find out how Hopper's day is resolved... bastiches.