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This new 'detective with a photographic memory' series is nothing new, but if you're a sucker for TV crime dramas, if you start this box set, you'll finish it....
Paramount / 930 Minutes / 2012-2013 / Unrated / Street Date: July 9, 2013
Carrie Wells (Poppy Montgomery) isn’t your typical NYPD detective. Yeah, she’s easy on the eyes and has some serious issues – what TV mystery solver doesn’t? – but in Unforgettable: The First Season, she lives up to her show’s nomenclature: Carrie remembers everything. Whether you call it a photographic memory or hyperthymesia (as it’s described early on here), this is a woman who can tap into her brain and recall anything her job needs her to.
But Carrie showcases a reluctance to just jump into a case and connect the dots. When an old flame of hers from within the department asks her to help out with a case, she balks, but the baggage this beyond-smart detective lugs along with her eventually gets the best of her. The one major question she wants answered in her life involves getting information about the murder of her sister, and she decides that embarking down a case-solving path will open things up in that regard, and maybe (just maybe) allow her to sleep at night.
As a crime series, Unforgettable is just fine. It plays out as a less-ambitious sort of Hannibal from a less serial-killer-oriented perspective in the way it ‘reconstructs’ crimes via Carrie’s encyclopedic memories, but as fans of the TV genre know, detective shows don’t need to be narratively fresh in order to be entertaining. Unforgettable: The First Season covers pretty darned familiar ground – as a fan of this type of programming, I must admit to not being completely sucked in by the show’s overall narrative arch – but seeing as we still have a month or so before new network programming kicks in, a TV-on-DVD box set like this one isn’t without its values.