‘Resurrection’ brings ABC’s ratings to life, captivates fans

BY MELISSA DELLACATO
Editor in Chief

We are taken through a field in rural China and discover a young boy in a red shirt lying in the wet grass. He wakes up startled, unaware of his surroundings, in the middle of nowhere. Alone. He slowly gets up and walks along a path, lost and confused. Where did he come from? How did he get there? 

“Is she dead?” 

These are the first words the boy utters before he faints and falls to the ground.

Did I mention this boy died 32 years before the show takes place? 

This is the first scene of the pilot episode of ABC’s new drama “Resurrection.” It premiered March 9 to 13.3 million viewers, according to TV Guide. 

The show’s premise is based on the book “The Returned” by Jason Mott. It follows a talented and relatable cast, including Omar Epps, known for his role on “House M.D.,” and Kurtwood Smith, known for playing Red on “That 70’s Show.”

Landon Gimenez, a 10-year-old boy from Missouri, makes his television debut starring in “Resurrection” as Jacob Langston, the 8-year-old boy who is resurrected after being presumed dead 32 years prior. For such a young acting debut, Gimenez does a great job replicating the confusion and loneliness that this character would be feeling in real life.

Omar Epps stars as Agent J. Martin Bellamy, an agent for the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He takes Jacob to his parents in Arcadia, Missouri who, up until this point, thought their son was dead. Yet, when Jacob sees his father, who is now 32 years older, it is as if he never skipped a beat. He runs up to him like any other child would after a long day at school, leaving both parents in awe. 

“Resurrection” is guaranteed to leave you wondering. 

What could be causing these people to come back to life in this small Missouri town? It’s suspenseful and brings up many universal questions about life and death. While it’s frustrating that there really are no leads as to how this is happening, I respect the creator’s decision not to reveal it and to leave it to the viewers’ imagination, at least for now. 

“You don’t have to be a religious person to wonder where you came from and why you’re on this planet and what the meaning of it all is,” said Aaron Zelman, creator of “Resurrection,” in the “Resurrection Revealed” podcast March 7. “Those are universal questions.”

What I mostly love about “Resurrection” is the sense of hope it provides. Even though it can seem like a depressing topic, the show ultimately gives positive vibes. Imagine being able to reunite with lost relatives or friends as they were before they passed away? It’s truly an amazing thought. The show can be described as the opposite of AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” On “The Walking Dead,” people come back as emotionless, brainless zombies, while on “Resurrection,” they come back as themselves.

It is also worth noting that “Resurrection” premiered in the same time slot as “The Walking Dead.” I find this a bit strange, as “Resurrection” and “The Walking Dead” both probably attract similar audiences. “Resurrection” may have had more viewers in a different time slot. Regardless, “The Walking Dead” finale aired March 30, negating any scheduling conflicts presented by the two shows for viewers.

The only criticism I have for “Resurrection” is that it seems as though there are too many backstories and they continue creating more. There’s so many characters involved and new resurrected characters are added in almost every episode, so it can be difficult to follow. It might have been more effective if the focus was only on Jacob, at least for the first few episodes. 

Overall the series is going in an interesting direction. Even in so few episodes, they have already built intriguing plots and twists in the story lines. I am excited to see how the writers carry out this series. So far, the ratings have been decent, so it shouldn’t go the way of Zero Hour, the ABC drama that aired in 2013 and was canceled after just three episodes due to poor ratings. 

Anyone interested in science fiction will enjoy this show, but that’s not to say that only those interested in science fiction will enjoy it. The show reaches a much broader audience than that by exploring the basic, universal human emotions and experiences of loss, curiosity, frustration, doubt and faith. 

“You don’t have to have lost someone; you don’t have to have had someone close to you die to understand these things,” Zelman said in the podcast. “There’s lots of different forms that loss takes and every one of us is touched by it in some way.”

“Resurrection” airs on ABC Sundays at 9 p.m. So far, four episodes have aired. Episodes are available for viewing on abc.go.com or on the WATCH ABC app

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