July 17, 2012

THE SKED’S PILOT + 1 REVIEW: “Perception”



A lot can happen between the creation of a TV pilot in the spring and the production of episodes for the regular season: a writing/producing team is hired, audience focus groups weigh in, networks and studios (which may have had their own turnover) give plenty of notes, helpful and otherwise, and critics begin to rear their ugly heads. The results can include changes to tone, pace, casting, and even story. Here at THE SKED, we’re going to look past the pilots and present reviews of the first regular season episodes as well.’

Previously… on PERCEPTION:  Daniel Pierce (Eric McCormack) is both a brilliant professor in the field of neuroscience and a schizophrenic.  Since he doesn’t usually doesn’t take his meds, he sees and has conversations with hallucinations that he believes are real. Often they help him with his avocation, which is helping former graduate student and now FBI agent Kate Moretti (Rachael Leigh Cook) solve crimes with psychiatric angles.

Episode 2:  Nothing improved in the 2d episode of Perception, written by series creators Kenneth Biller and Mike Sussman and directed by Greg Beeman.  The case at hand was both odd and predictable:  once you knew that the main figure in the crime was a man who suffered from a disorder that kept him from recognizing faces, it was obvious that another character would have been pretending to be someone she wasn’t, knowing he couldn’t identify her because of his condition.  Then it was just waiting out the plodding hour while the cops chased false leads and Daniel tried to figure out what his imaginary FBI agent friend for the week was trying to tell him.  On the larger story arc side, the show introduced Jamie Bamber as another professor whose work Daniel despises, and who of course became an immediate romantic interest for Kate.

Perception was largely dismissed by viewers last week, and there’s no reason for that to change.  It’s a routine, uninspiring procedural that’s already repetitive just 2 hours in, and while McCormack and Cook remain appealing, there’s little here in the material to make them worth watching.  Aside from the gimmick of Daniel’s hallucinated advisors, Perception indistinguishable from any other mediocre crime show.  Even on summer Monday nights, with almost nothing scripted on the air, there’s probably something better to do than watch this one.

ORIGINAL JUDGMENT:  Change the Channel

EPISODE 2:  Maybe It’s Better If You’re On Meds


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."