Will You Return For More Resurrection?

Resurrection Series PremiereWhen a young Missouri native named Jacob Langston (played by Landon Gimenez) suddenly wakes up in rural China in tonight’s Resurrection premiere (9/8c, ABC), no one has a clue how he got there — or how he’s even alive, considering he died 32 years ago.

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And no one is more surprised to see Jacob alive and well-ish than his parents, Henry (That ’70s Show‘s Kurtwood Smith) and Lucille (Touch‘s Frances Fisher). The process of the now-elderly couple coming to terms with Jacob’s return — he drowned, along with his aunt, more than three decades earlier — is actually a high point of the premiere, as both actors bring a believable mix of doubt and emotion to their performances.

The rest of the hour is mostly a parade of “How is this possible”s and “I don’t believe it”s, courtesy of the Langstons’ friends and extended family members, who struggle to accept Jacob’s return on both a medical and spiritual level. Jacob’s childhood friend Tom (Mark Hildreth), now an adult pastor, has a particularly difficult time understanding how it’s all possible.

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That’s when viewers are treated to a surprising reveal: When Jacob and his aunt died 32 years ago, there was a third man with them at the river — and Jacob’s aunt had been sleeping with him! Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing whether this man has any connection to Jacob’s resurrection.

That relative ambiguity is actually a common issue running throughout the episode. While Resurrection‘s premiere does a solid job of establishing the who, what and where of it all, viewers will likely be frustrated by its complete lack of how and why. (My biggest question: How did this kid, who’s been M.I.A. for 32 years, know how to use a smartphone?)

If the series hopes to keep viewers interested, it needs to start rolling out some answers — and fast. The small-town family drama simply isn’t gripping enough on its own.

Grade Resurrection‘s first episode via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your selection.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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167 Comments
  1. tardisrepairman says:

    The reviewer has missed the point. This is not a show about how and why these things are happening– this is a show about how people deal with what is happening.

    • Marie says:

      I can understand why he would expect that though, as that is normally what is done with Hollywood-type shows and so that is what American audiences expect – questions and answers (the sooner the better). It is important for people to know that, as in the book, how and why isn’t ever answered specifically – the whole purpose is more “if this did happen, how would your family, your community, the world react”? It’s a pretty wonderful, yet frightening thought. I swear to God, though, if the writers turn this into a bunch of episodes where “nutjobs with guns show up on the show to harass, torment and try to kill the returnees”, I’ll barf (though I suppose on some level that probably would happen). I really enjoyed Le Revenants. The fact that its writers gave you an overall creepy, ominous feeling right from the start without violence, weapons, or any supernatural connotations other than the dead returning, was excellently done. It strictly the writing and the acting that carried the feeling of dread throughout the series. That was superbly done. This series has already strayed from that with the government agency involved. But I’ll continue watching. See where it goes. I’d highly recommend the original if it’s still on Netflix.

  2. DJ says:

    I’ve been watching The Returned via Netflix streaming. If you don’t mind subtitles, it’s really a great series….very creepy.

  3. I read the book (would advise everyone watching to do so as well) and they never resolve the “how and the “why”. It’s more about – what would you do if you were granted more time with someone you thought you had lost forever – and how everyone around that family acts/responds. I’ll be interested to see how the TV show handles it. TV audiences don’t like loose ends.

    • Erin says:

      Yeah, i think people who didn’t read the book are going to be disappointed based on these comments. Unless the writers take it in a different direction.

  4. Cecilia Riegel says:

    I am hooked 100%..I”m not a TV person at all. I will definitely keep watching.

  5. jakesmom says:

    Meh. Didn’t hook me, but I’ll give it two more episodes to see where it goes

    • CouchPotatoCritic says:

      I feel the same way. I kind of screened the episode to later inform my wife if this would be a show we could watch together, but unfortunately she didn’t get good news. Perhaps the second episode will hook me. I usually give a series 2 to 3 shots at grabbing my attention before I pull the plug. We shall see.

    • grey says:

      I think I’m with you “Jakesmom.” And now that I read here that there really won’t be any answers to how this happening I’ve really lost interest. I’m sorry but for me the best part of a mystery is getting the answer at the end of the journey – whether that’s at the end of a book or at the end of a TV series!

  6. CouchPotatoCritic says:

    Wow! I guess it’s all a matter of opinion and how we see things; subjectivity at its best. As I saw it, Resurrection didn’t push the emotional buttons that shows like Highway to Heaven and even the Ghost Whisperer pushed. I honestly found the acting somewhat bland and not engaging. I just couldn’t connect. The writing was also somewhat disappointing, so bottom line, I came away from the first episode completely disappointed. I guess I had high expectations.

    I also believe ABC needs to rethink where to slot this show if they decide to keep it. First, you can’t go up against the Walking Dead AND the Good Wife. I would watch Resurrection ‘On Demand’ if it goes on there, but will not watch it at its regular time slot. Assuming that Resurrection dramatically improves, it makes for a good filler during the Spring and Summer. It will not survive in a Fall lineup going up against the entrenched series. Then again, the Following and the Blacklist are somehow making it, so I guess anything is possible although I do think both the Blacklist and the Following have a couple of actors that are the glue that keeps things together. I don’t see that with Resurrection.

  7. Marie says:

    It was interesting to see the differences between this show and Le Revenants. Among them:

    1. No government agency involvement in Le Revenants. No Omar Epps character.
    2. The deceased all returned to the area of their small town, not in foreign countries.
    3. This boy seems more like a sweet kid in a scarey situation while the boy in Le Revenants was creepy right from the start and there was an ominous feeling whenever he was around.
    4. The minister was involved in a support group for the parents of a busload of children
    which died in an accident on a mountain.
    5. No potential murder with the aunt in Le Revenants (at least not in season one).

    Interesting show. I”ll watch it again for sure. It’s definitely more “Hollywood-ized” than the French version (which I feel is much more intriguing at this point), but for all the slick differences I’ll continue watching. The French version I found to be a quite unpredictable story.

  8. grey says:

    “now-elderly couple ” ??

    Ouch! I would categorize them as more “late middle age” seeing as they look to be in their late 50s to maybe mid-60s. Elderly is more like 75+ dude. Wow.

  9. grey says:

    “If the series hopes to keep viewers interested, it needs to start rolling out some answers — and fast. The small-town family drama simply isn’t gripping enough on its own.”

    Amen to that. I for one will be going back to “The Good Wife” next week. :D

  10. Debbie Krus says:

    I loved the premier and will definitely watch next week! I don’t want all the answers the first week, keeps the anticipation way up . This is the first network premiere I have watched and I am very glad I did. The tree and smart phone details didn’t bother me.

  11. Jane says:

    Am I seriously the only one that was bugged by the fact that they never changed his shirt? I mean he dies in it, woke up in China in it, flew back from China in it, had a seizure in it, was in the hospital in it, ran around the woods in it and then was taken to church in it. Must have been one stinky kid. If he is still in it next week and they don’t say something about at least this then it is a pretty good sign that we will never get answers to anything.

  12. Pat says:

    Just finished watching this, on my DVR. I will DVR it next week, because I am intrigued with finding out as to what is going on. I am also wondering why the boy was not changed into new clothes. That was weird. Waiting to see if next week the other dead characters that are showing up, will they also be in the same clothes throughout the duration of their time on this show? That will be freaky!

  13. heather says:

    Very similar to lost. I have a feeling it’s going to leave me with too many unanswered questions and things not making sense. I will hold out for a few more to see where they’re taking it though.

  14. Christine says:

    I was a little disappointed it went so far away from the book.

  15. Really? Srsly? says:

    ” (My biggest question: How did this kid, who’s been M.I.A. for 32 years, know how to use a smartphone?)”
    A: hand ayour smart phone to a 4 yr old. Watch. If he doesn’t get it, hand it the 6 yr old. Watch him finesse it. Even going from Donkey Kong to exploring apps and writing “Arcadia” once he sees it can write.

  16. Ron Trout says:

    Why was Jacob wearing the same clothes, for the whole show? Would he not let his mom change him what’s up and why?

  17. Carlee says:

    I found it intriguing. I’m not a big fan of sci-fi but the human/relationship side of things is what drew me to the pilot. When Jacob had a seizure, I was a little worried that he was going to die (again) – how cruel would that have been?

    At one point in the show (towards the end), I started wondering if it would have been better if Jacob hadn’t come back. Uncle Fred wouldn’t have found out that his wife had been cheating on him, that the reason why his wife died wasn’t because she was trying to rescue Jacob. I also thought maybe Fred knew about everything but covered it up to protect his daughter…

    I guess I’m okay with not knowing “why” these people are coming back – it’s kind of like watching Siberia on NBC. We never really found out what was happening and why they were happening.

  18. Linda says:

    Did not care about the tree or phone. Did notice about 10 grilled cheese sandwiches worth of crusts in the trash can. Plot point with the red shirt or not, it annoyed me he was admitted to the hospital and did not get a gown. That being said I will be tuning in again.

  19. Trixie1223 says:

    I am feeling good about the show..Very emotional to think your loved ones would come back..but then I start with my conspiracy theories.. is Jacob the 2nd coming? The show takes place in Arcadia….Zeus brought his child to life in Arcadia….is it going on this direction? Is it going to be a murder mystery?

  20. Pamela says:

    Didn’t it appear that Jacob initially had NO heartbeat when Maggie listened to his heart with the stethoscope?

  21. Tom says:

    They lost me at 54 minutes. When they said the dead woman was sleeping with someone. Does anyone remember Peyton Place?

  22. john says:

    Dr. Foreman and Red Forman in the same show, how could you go wrong!

  23. Ray says:

    It seemed to me to be an hour of commercials with occasional interruptions of the
    TV program…. Like how the television stations are turning hour and a half movies into
    three hour movies. I got the same feeling with this first episode of Resurrection. – Ray

  24. Nette says:

    I enjoyed the show. I am cautious though that this is not a “warm and fuzzy” show that some people may be thinking. I already picked up on some things as you already mentioned: 1. the lack of heartbeat, 2. Why was the Father that “returned” at the end walking by the house whistling before Jacob took off running to the tree?-Very creepy. 3. Clip from future episodes the father said that more are coming. I have not read the books referenced above so I can not compare this show to them. Will keep watching, on DVR next time of course, way too many commercials! Enjoy everyone.

  25. last scene kinda lost me, who was the man who came out of the barn? another dead guy?

    • Nette says:

      Yes, he’s the father of the woman with the short blonde hair and her brother that had the gun an dog before the man walked out of the barn. The daughter said he died when she was 19, and I think she maybe in her 30s. In the beginning of the episode he hitch hiked a ride back to the town. He was also creeping around Jacob’s house, I think there is more to that!

  26. Sean says:

    I really don’t understand all the praise and wondrous reviews… I was EXTREMELY interested and pulled in by the teasers that i could barely wait for the pilot. However, the acting was poor, the writing was horrendous and painful at times, and the characters rarely reacted/did as people IRL do. Being an atheist didn’t help my opinion of the show either. The explanation of what ‘faith’ was was hard to swallow. You don’t have to know everything, but you DO have to question everything. I will continue to watch in hopes the writing/etc. improves because I REALLY want this show to work. A lot of memorable shows have week pilots so I’ll give the show a few more chances.

  27. Randyman says:

    Kind of reminds me of a cross between Under The Dome, Hickory Hollow, and Lost.

  28. Jck says:

    the only thing that i have to question is his change of clothes. When he drowned he was wearing a hoodie and white undershirt but when he awoke in china he had a baseball shirt on. And also, it is extremely easy for kids to learn games and the layout of a phone. Ive given my phone to toddlers to play and they learn how to call people on it in seconds.

  29. Rick Buble says:

    I started watching this premier and ultimately realized that watching this waste of film was akin to watching paint dry. Boring!!!!!

  30. Tepi says:

    I had high hopes for the show, but some of the writing let me down. How can you leave a small boy in the same clothes he has had on since he awoke in a rice paddy, then the plane trip to the states, a hospital stay and finally to church? Wouldn’t someone think to get the boy some clean clothes. The boy also said there was a man in a picture on the piano that was at the river with him and his aunt. No body questions him about this detail. Very poor writing.

  31. JamesKrug says:

    In the second episode they seemed “resurrect” a different church?

  32. Judy says:

    look forward to more shows!!

  33. Jade says:

    Intriguing and shows promise. Waiting for next season. Jacob (Landon Gimenez) plays the part very well for a child his age. Great cast.

  34. Jack says:

    This looks like total crap- more low-quality, unimaginative and uninspiring drivel from the latest (Jackass) Generation! It was probably a toss between this and zombies, that’s all their lame little brains can come up with.

  35. Sandy says:

    Love the show, but TOO MANY commercials. It is ruining the storyline and may cause me not to continue watching.