Preview: This Is Not My Life

When I saw the promo for this show at TVNZ’s new season launch last year I was excited.  It looked good; sharp, exciting, enigmatic.  But as we all know after our experience with The Cult, looks can be deceiving so a certain level of caution has been taken while watching the two hour pilot which debuts on TV One this Thursday at 8:30pm.

The basic premise of the show is that Alec Ross (Charles Measure) has woken up and found him in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people and yet they all know him.  He has a wife and two children but he has no memory of any of it.  We’ve joked that this may be what actually happened to Gerard from Outrageous Fortune after his demise at the end of the last season.

It reminded us a lot of a show from 1995 called Nowhere Man where a guy goes to the bathroom while at a restaurant but when he returns to his wife, no one recognises him and his life has effectively been erased.  However, it’s way more techie.

It’s set in the fictitious town of Waimoana, which is a little creepy.  Creepy like Jim Carey in The Truman Show.  There is some weird stuff going on.  Brain implants and tracking devices and electric cars that conveniently don’t appear to have enough juice to get you beyond a small radius of the town.  Their currency even appears to be some sort of carbon credit.

If you’ve ever been to Omaha north of Auckland then you’ll recognise the set location.  A sterilised version of Wisteria Lane perhaps that seems devoid of any soul.  Of course the wide shots have extra buildings and streets added on, making it similar to those Mainland cheese ads where Queenstown has highrises and a motorway – all adding to that futuristic meme.

Where The Cult fell down was in the like-ability of its characters.  Whether or not we’re going to care about these new characters is the first hurdle that creators Rachel Lang and Gavin Strawhan will have to help us over.  Thankfully they have a decent track record with Go Girls and Outrageous Fortune.

I’m left feeling intrigued.  There is an air of originality about the show but like how I assume many others will feel, I can’t shake The Cult from the back of my mind – it’s probably a very unfair comparison.  In any case, the series link has been set in my PVR as it should be in yours.

Update: International distributor Lionsgate has just picked up the show.

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About the author

Regan is one of the co-founders of Throng Media.
If they're on, I'm usually watching Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, 24, Battlestar Galactica, The X Factor, Survivor, House of Cards, Mad Men and the NRL.
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