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Arts and Entertainment

Reunion

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The concept for Reunion is refreshing, but not as ground-breaking as the show's website suggests. It chronicles the lives of six friends over the course of 20 years. Each 60-minute episode encapsulates one year (think 24, but with more of a tesseract). The big twist? One of the friends will be murdered. So, the series is a 20-part whodunit. Each episode will, presumably, lead to a generous payoff next spring.

After a brief opening scene at a funeral, we flashback to the year 1986. It's graduation day at Bedford High School in New York. Over the next several minutes, we meet six stereotypical, polarized, small-town characters: Will (the jock), Aaron (the nice guy), Craig (the rich kid), Samantha (the popular girl), Jenna (the slut) and Carla (the quirky, geeky, one-day-you'll-see type). In an overused plot twist, Craig's girlfriend (Samantha) has been sleeping with Craig's best friend (Will), and is secretly pregnant with Will's child. Meanwhile, Aaron is head-over-heels for Jenna (who is surely going to break his fragile heart). All the while, Samantha painfully watches in the sidelines. As much as we loved the brat pack movies of the 80s, all these themes have been carried out before.

Thankfully, one or two plot twists surface half-way through the episode. A guilt-ridden Will takes the fall for Craig's DUI and lands in prison. Samantha decides to keep Will's child, without telling Craig or Will. Even with these developments, the dialogue was unconvincing, and the characters were one-dimensional.

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Matthew St. Patrick (of Six Feet Under fame) plays Det. Majorino. Despite St. Patrick's acting chops, the interrogation scenes were yawn-inducing. Perhaps things will improve in the coming weeks as others are put under the detective's microscope. Time will tell.

Much like our sister site, LAist is a junkie for procedurals and mysteries. Thus, we were excited about the show's potential. However, the show fell short of our expectations. The bad clothing, WHAM! references and nostalgia factor helped a bit. But, ultimately, the pilot leaves much to be desired. For a mystery, the show was far from riveting. We saw just about every twist and turn ahead of time. The characters were likable, but did not fully engage us. There was no sense of immediacy, and the pacing was slow. Finally, as evidenced by the ill-fated WB show, Jack & Bobby, weekly flashbacks make for a confusing plot device. Knowing that someone will die in 20 years is not enough to hold viewer interest (or at least it wasn't for the well-written Jack & Bobby).

LAist's take:
One reunion is more than enough. There are too many other promising shows in the fall TV landscape. Even LA-native (and American Dreams star) Will Estes was unable enough to hold our interest.

Reunion airs Thursdays at 9/8c on FOX.

Stay tuned as we continue to sample the best and worst pilots of the season.