Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)
I should probably note, I’m speaking on this series mostly out of nostalgia and while I will recognize its fault which led it to only having one season, I figured this would be better than just spamming this blog with all of season 1’s episodes. So, with that said, let’s talk about the gone too soon show called Believe.
For those who may remember Touch, which was on Fox, this show was very similar to that but had less mystery, more likable characters, especially the little girl Bo (Johnny Sequoyah) and a better parent/child connection. This is especially seen as Bo comes to trust her father Tate (Jake McLaughlin), a man she didn’t meet until around the time we met him and doesn’t know is her father for most of the show. However, perhaps one of the few stable people in her life, Winter (Delroy Lindo), still decides to have him become her guardian. For while Tate maybe an ex-con, and has been in and out of prison since he was 14, with Bo having over 20 parents who died trying to protect her from a man named Dr. Skouras (Kyle MacLachlan), and his organization, it seems Winter decided that while normalcy is nice, she needed a guardian with some bite.
Leading to, over the course of the series, us learning what Bo is capable of, why Dr. Skouras wants her so badly and watching Bo and Tate bond in ways which are not easy for either one of them. For Bo is quite the precocious child and, like Jake on Touch, often gets involved in the lives of others. Leading Tate to often chase after her but, luckily, we don’t deal with half the show being about him yelling her name. Also, a lot of the side stories, one of the first featuring Mr. Robot star Rami Malek, are quite good. Almost to the point, it is frustrating that the majority of them are open ended and the characters aren’t seen outside their one episode.
Yet, as a whole, Believe I think was what made me realize NBC is good for green-lighting shows with interesting premises, but either cancelling them before they reach their full potential or having it where the pilot is the best thing about them. As for this show, I think if this was on ABC Family, now FreeForm, when it came out in 2014, it probably still would have been cancelled or ended, but not while it was still climbing toward its peak.
- Characters who were not only likable but also had complex relationships with one another you see build as the story goes on.
- A Villain, and a villainous organization, which doesn’t appear, at least at first, to be simply evil. There are those corrupted by power, by expectation, those with good intentions who don’t fully understand their part in something wicked, and one whose background is a bit heartbreaking.
- The side stories employed often seemed like they could have been set up for potential spin-offs.
- After the cancellation became official, you got this sense they were rushing to wrap Bo’s story up and increasingly used the most convenient methods to tell her story.
- The ending is utter crap in a multitude of ways.
- Bo sometimes has selective memory on what powers she possess.
- It ignored the reality of social media and Bo’s location being learned not just by her using her powers and appearing on this device Dr. Skouras has, think Cerebro in the X-Men franchise, but her constantly being around and part of high-profile incidents in which people could live to talk about it as well as take videos and pictures and put them online.
- There are some story inconsistencies around the time Bo gets sick in episode 7 which are minor, but noticeable if you decide to every marathon the show.
On The Fence
- There isn’t a huge amount of development when it comes to those like Bo that Dr. Skouras still has within his organization. Which leads to complicated feelings. On one hand, all that time and effort put into the side stories could have been dedicated to building them up. Yet, at the same time, the side stories were part of the reason this show was so good.
Overall: Mixed (Stick Around)
I still have very fond memories of this show, years later. However, I could never watch this again. Like Touch, which this often seemed like a rip off of in its early episodes, there is no replay value here. You watch it once, fall in love with the characters, but it taints itself for once that cancellation notice arrived, it seemed more focus on ending the story than trying to fight for a reason to be continued. Granted, at the time Netflix wasn’t everyone’s last hope for their favorite show to be saved, yet this program did have potential. It’s just, this show perhaps would have been better on a more niche station like SyFy or ABC Family where it could have been given time to grow vs. network TV where ratings come first and everything else are just sprinkles.