DAVID BIANCULLI

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BLACK BOX
April 24, 2014  | By David Bianculli

ABC, 10:00 p.m. ET

 

SERIES PREMIERE: Warning! Warning! Danger, Will Robinson! This is not a recommendation – rather, it’s my equivalent of waving my Lost in Space robot arms and trying to steer you from impending disaster. There are all sorts of reasons to expect something good from this new medical series, which stars Kelly Reilly as a neuroscientist who suffers from bipolar disorder. It co-stars Vanessa Redgrave, who’s a class act all the way, and Terry Kinney, whose impressive TV series include HBO’s Oz. It’s by Ilene Chaiken, creator of Showtime’s The L Word. And it has a strong protagonist with a challenging mental condition, just like Carrie on Homeland. But despite those ingredients, Black Box is a hot mess: bad writing, with acting and directing to match. In this premiere episode, at least, the inference is that Reilly’s Dr. Catherine Black can go off the deep end only hours after going off her meds, like a jazz-loving Jekyll and Hyde. Black Box, as boxes go, is depressingly empty.

 
 
 
 
 
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