Monday, December 11, 2006

The Lost Room

Tonight's two-hour intro sets up our premise. There are mysterious Objects spread throughout the world. Singly, they have magical powers. Some of these powers are cool, some deadly, others lame. There's a pencil that makes pennies, a nail file that puts people to sleep, a TV that makes you three inches taller if you tune to the right station, a pen that microwaves people, a watch that hard-boils eggs. And there's a secret cabal called the Legion gathering all the Objects to destroy them. Apparently there's also another secret cabal trying to collect them because supposedly if you have all of them you can see the mind of God.

The Object in play in the main plot is a motel room key that can open any door. When you use it, you end up in a particular hotel room, where supposedly some Very Bad Things happened. Upon leaving the room, you can apparently go wherever you want to go just by thinking about it. Our hero, Detective Joe Miller, comes into possession of this key. Unfortunately, in a run-in with the Bad Guys, who want the key, his daughter Anna disappears into the Very Bad Hotel Room. When the door is shut, the room resets itself, and things that are put into it disappear, including Anna. As if that alone wasn't dramatic enough, she disappears on the eve of a custody hearing with Miller's ex-wife.

Miller's quest of course becomes to regain his daughter. He encounters members of a sort of underground, all of whom have experienced the powers of the Objects. They suggest several plans for getting Anna back, all involving collecting certain Objects, including a Prime Object, a clock, that controls all the other objects. (One clock to rule them all?)

While I was intrigued enough by the premise to tune in, I found tonight's installment to be rather slow, and it didn't really hold my attention. Although things picked up a bit at the end, at this point I'm wondering how they're going to stretch this out for six hours. Peter Krause's forays into badassitude were unconvincing, and at times the seemingly promising premise became laughable. It's the kind of setup that could work really well in the hands of a Neil Gaiman or a Clive Barker, but this presentation is just missing that certain something that makes the viewer willing to suspend disbelief and go along for the ride.

And this really bugged me--Miller has a tiny little closet, and the door opens inwards. Why in the world would you have a door that opens inwards into a coat closet? That's just bad architecture.