Mind Games premiered on ABC last night and while the premise of the show definitely has potention, the execution was, well kind of a mind game. As someone who really enjoyed watching the show “Lie To Me”, I was excited for Mind Games to premiere as the idea of people who are changing and/or manipulating the way others think sounded wicked. Yet all this one hour proved was that this show would be cancelled just as quickly as the rest of executive producer Kyle Killen’s other projects. I mean, Halfway through the show, I felt literally exhausted. So much was being thrown at the audience, nothing made sense and it was loud. I mean, obnoxiously annoyingly loud.
Let me talk briefly about the plot of this show. The show surrounds two brothers Ross (Christian Slater) and Clark (Steve Zahn) as they try to launch a new business. A do good business for two guys that admit they’ve made a few mistakes here and there. Ross is a guy who did some time for fraud and recently got out (old habits die hard as we learn a lit. Clark was a professor but lost his job. He’s also bi-polar and refuses to take his meds, which results in pretty out of control, hard to handle behavior. Throughout the episode Ross explains that if he takes his meds, he’s pretty much zonked out. If he doesn’t, he’s kind of on a manic high, so he wants to find the in-between. It might be how Clark is being portrayed that halfway through, it is tiring watching Clark and Ross try to figure out this complicated new business. I don’t mean to sound mean, but its just a lot to handle. And it doesn’t make for good television. Clark does have some good moments; he’s a fricking genius. That’s really the only reason this business functions. Ross knows it and in a way is using his brother, which also makes him unlikable.
But Clark has also brought Ross’s ex-wife on board, as he explains she keeps him calm. She obviously has the opposite affect on her ex-husband since she’s the reason he was in prison in the first place. In addition, we also have Ross’s old partner in crime Latrell, Miles, one of Clark’s ex grad students, and Megan, an actress that makes the situations more realistic for the business. Right off the bat, there isn’t a strong presence within the cast that I can see myself really liking. We also learn that Clark is in love with a 23-year-old student named Beth, who he’s pretty much obsessing over. She’s not picking up his calls, she’s not answering the door. We later find out she’s moved out and that info drives Clark nuts and he ends up in jail. Little does he know, his brother has actually paid Beth off to stay away from Clark, but she’s unable to because she really “loves” him and she makes her stay permanenet at the end of the episode. It’s one of the first times that Clark seems to be completely content.
The gang would only be able to get this business of the ground if they could prove that they could do what they said they could do. Something that’s never been done before. They were altering fate in a way. A concept that would have intrigued anyone, if it weren’t for Clark scaring people off. I’m referring to the shoe incident in the beginning, which made the last possible investor say no. They were approached with a possible client. A young boy who constantly needed to have surgeries and heart transplants and he needed a procedure paid for. If they could make the guy from the health insurance say yes to covering all of his expenses, they would have a success story backing their business. A couple of bum fights and a number exchange later, they succeeded, only to fail when it got to the board. That’s when Clark had a mental breakdown and “left” the company and Ross devised his own plan, one that paid homage to his fraudulent and lying ways. In the end, Clark was able to convince the board to cover the costs of the procedure by more “mind control.”
As I said earlier, the concept of the show has potential. I just don’t think the show will succeeded, especially when there are so many other good shows on. No one will be drawn into seeing these people changing and altering situations every week. It’ll get old and so will this cast. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but Mind Games is kind of a flop. Let’s hope they’ll prove me otherwise.
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