Stitchers: Did You Connect With ABC Family's Mind-Bending Procedural?

Stitchers Premiere Recap

ABC Family got into the murder-solving business on Tuesday night with the premiere of Stitchers, a slightly fantastical new drama about hacking into dead people’s memories. But will you return for the next case of “stitching”?

Before you chime in with your thoughts, here’s a brief summary of the episode: Cal Tech student Kirsten Clark (played by newcomer Emma Ishta) is — how do I say this nicely? — not the warm-and-fuzzy type. Her relationship with her roommate/classmate Camille (Warehouse 13‘s Allison Scagliotti) is frosty at best, especially after Camille accuses Kirsten of sabotaging her project and gets her suspended from school.

But there’s a reason for Kirsten’s cold ways: She suffers from temporal dysplasia, which means she has no perception of time. “I use memory, logic and math to approximate a time difference, but I don’t know what time feels like,” she explains. As a result, she doesn’t experience events the way the rest of us do, leading her to come off as emotionless. For example, when she saw the body of her deceased “adoptive” father Ed, ” she felt nothing because “the knowledge of him being dead was instantly familiar.”

While this is a hindrance when it comes to interpersonal skills, it makes her a prime candidate for a top secret subsect of the NSA that hacks into the brains of dead people to access their memories and decipher crimes/mysteries. (Yes, the show’s science requires a healthy suspension of disbelief.) During the “stitching” process, Kirsten’s consciousness is inserted into the deceased’s mind with the help of fast-talking geek neuroscientist Cameron (The Carrie Diaries‘ Kyle Harris) — insert flirty love/hate sexual tension here — and his team. Kirsten then pieces together the clues to stop a bombing — and catches a case of feelings for the first time, thanks to the emotions she experiences from the memories.

There’s also a bigger conspiracy story: Kirsten’s new boss Maggie (Being Mary Jane‘s Salli Richardson-Whitfield) reveals that Ed and her real father were the pioneers of the stitching technology, and Ed’s death was not a suicide.

How you feel about the series will likely depend on whether or not you enjoy procedurals and if you can connect to Kirsten. Personally, I liked how Ishta leaned into the coldness of her character. The interplay between Kirsten and Cameron is fun, even though he feels like he was transported in from another show. And yeah yeah, it’s kind of similar to iZombie (but not really) and Tru Calling. But what did you think? Grade the premiere via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your pick!

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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  1. Mike says:

    I miightcontinue to wach

    • Belle says:

      Ugh, I didn’t even make it through the first episode…don’t get hooked cuz there is no way this show is going to be renewed, let alone make it through the whole 1st season!!!

  2. DavidSask says:

    This show was awful and deserves quick cancellation!

  3. Maryann says:

    Same basic premise as iZombie, but with a different execution. Both use the memories of dead people to solve crimes, but iZombie has more humor and warmth and heart. Nonetheless, I am intrigued, and will continue watching for now.

  4. George says:

    One & done for me.

  5. I liked it.. and with summer season and no shows to watch

  6. Grethe Naude says:

    I found it to be quite entertaining. I know it’s being compared to iZombie, etc., but I like to judge a show on its own merits and not compare it to others.

  7. ndixit says:

    Good summer fun! Fast paced and science fictiony.

  8. Bobz says:

    iZombie is leagues better than this but like people said that may be an unfair comparison. The pilot I don’t think lived up to the hype of what I expected from the concept and the way they were advertising it but I will give it a few more episodes to see what happens…

  9. Fido says:

    I’ll give it a few eps, but hope they fix her catsuit. That plunging neckline felt inappropriate / juvenile. Surely the Boss-Lady woulda seen it before and given it a swift no.

  10. KCC says:

    I think I must suffer from a mild form of temporal dysplasia. Watching this show I lost my perception of time. It seemed to go on for hour after hour but when I checked my clock, only an hour passed. Doesn’t everyone “use memory, logic and math to approximate a time difference” and what does time feels like anyway? When I’m bored time seems to goes very slowly and when I’m mentally engaged it seems to go very quickly. Maybe on my deathbed I’ll have this show in a continual loop so at least perceptually, I’ll feel like I’m living forever.

  11. anonymous says:

    This show is incredibly amazing and very entertaining!! I loved it and can’t wait to watch more!! 😃 I liked the interaction between Kirsten and Cameron it was flirty and witty but had a nice zing to it. The actress playing Kirsten definitely hit all the right notes and really brought the character to life. ABC Family definitely has a summer hit on their hands! And also everyone is comparing it to IZombie but what they don’t realize is that one is on a BROADCAST NETWORK and one is on a CABLE NETWORK so they have two totally different budgets to work with. I bet if ABC Family had the same budget as one of the broadcast networks the shows would be the same in quality but they don’t so I think ABC Family did a fantastic job with the show anyway. It gives you a different and more intriguing spin on the subject :)

  12. Sheila says:

    Every character felt like someone we’ve seen before. There wasn’t anything new or different at all.

  13. Olfam Buis says:

    The Stitcher agency is apparently so secret that it uses the NSA as a cover yet the people wander all over the place talking about the Stitcher agency. They ignore their own procedures and protocols during the stitch. Typical sexual tension subplot. Typical ability to easily break into secure computer systems and alter data to help the plot along. Typical non-humorous attempt at humor. Nothing new or innovative about the show.

  14. Remy says:

    I liked it. Kinda reminded me of Scorpion.

    • Nan says:

      I was expecting a Scorpion clone [love Scorpion], but I was pleasantly surprised by the differences. Kirsten was condescending in the best possible way, rather than being a pill like Temperance Brennan on Bones. Cameron was engaging and very likable. I wasn’t wild about Maggie the iron-pants unit leader but I’m assuming she needed to be a tight-ass to establish authority. I’m in.

  15. dman6015 says:

    I think I’ll stick with iZombie’s take on memory retrieval from the dead.

  16. The Watcher says:

    As pilots go, it wasn’t terrible but hopefully it will improve.

    Other than Allison Scagliotti & Salli Richardson, I don’t know any of the cast from previous work, but I like both of them, so I hope they’re involved more going forward.

    Not sure this would be appointment TV (ever) but it’s definitely something to kill time and not have to think too hard.

  17. Jenna says:

    I liked it. Good summer fun!

  18. Abbey Kaul says:

    Nope. One was enough for me. I couldn’t watch the whole episode. Bad acting, same old boring stories stolen from other shows. My friends and I tried but we all hated it.

  19. spdavid says:

    Not a huge fan of rapid fire dialog too fast to understand or too edgy and clever to be real…says “written for television” a bit too much.

    Overall premise good enough to fill an hour with,might improve as it matures.

    • bj says:

      I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who hated the rapid fire dialogue. I was wishing I had a reverse FF button to slow it down so it was comprehensible. Maybe they thought if they spoke really really fast no one would try to make sense of the science. As is, it just made it annoying and made the actors look less competent.

      • piecatlady says:

        Yeah, I was watching On Demand. Had to back it up frequently to catch what I missed on the first go-round. Alas, they don’t let ya FF the commercials.

  20. Belle says:

    So ABC Family cancels The Lying Game, and then Twisted to get this show on the air? BIG mistake…sorry to those who like this show, but it has no staying power so I suggest you don’t get too invested in it.

  21. John NYC says:

    Big fan of Salli Richardson-Whitfield in Eureka (and NCIS btw) and the show’s fun so I’ll keep going.

  22. chuckiechk says:

    it may have been me, but I was confused lol

  23. Diz says:

    I didn’t understand any of it. It seemed to just jump right in from the start without much explanation of what was going on. I fell asleep at about the 20 min. mark. I don’t know if I’ll try to rewatch it or not.

    • John NYC says:

      I thought it did okay, set up that she’s a grad student and has a grad student roommate, then the man her dad left her with when she was little was found dead of an apparent suicide (which she didn’t believe), she get’s recruited by an “NSA-ish” agency due to her condition (and perhaps as we later learn because the man who had taken her in and her dad had laid the groundwork for the stitcher technique.

      The stitcher technique leaves a bit of a neurological imprint so she’s going to change as she participates (about the only thing I see as a slight echoed of Dollhouse).

      Typical packed pilot for the most part: it’s the visual sales pitch for the show after all …

  24. Tahoe Mike says:

    I finally watched it online this morning. I like it so far. I’ll give it a chance to find its footing. For now it is something I’ll probably dvr/stream rather than watch live.

    I have never watched any of the other shows the author references, so all the actors are new to me and have clean slates.

    Emma Ishta is hot, and I found her to be very watchable. I think she may have a career playing all the parts that might have gone to Katherine Heigl, if anyone wanted to work with her. Eventually someone will have to cast them as sisters. J.J. Abrams might want to cast her as Eight of Nine one day, because she kind of has a Seven of Nine vibe.

    I like sci-fi, fantasy, and fiction in general. I have no more problem accepting the premise of memory stitching than I do accepting that there are dragons and white walkers in Westeros, that starships have transporters and warp drive, and that Jedi use lightsabers.

    I biggest problem I see for this show is that it is on an ABC network, and they canceled Forever and every other cool concept show they have ever come in contact with.

  25. Chris Papio says:

    I loved it. Thought it was fun and exciting and Emma did awesome in it.

  26. Sheldon W. says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed it. Weird thing Kirk Harris look lot like Vincent Ventrusca on he old Invisible Man series.

    Ishta was superb as Kirsten and Scagliotti was fun as Camille (who gets a BIG reveal next week).

    I give Stitchers a B+.

  27. Lola says:

    I wanted to like this, I really did. About 5 minutes in I thought “This is Alias all over again.” Young college student, recruited by secret spy agency…. Only Alias was WAY better (Jen Gardner, RED wig, cute outfits….)! I’ll TiVo this, but it won’t be at the top of my watch list….. Grade: C.

  28. The dialogue was outstanding. Smart and quick interaction. Fast paced reckless tempo. Sci Fi geekness and spy genre themes. Strong smart women that are physical and competent may scare off the traditional (old fashioned,sexist) tv viewers.

  29. sarahliz says:

    I couldn’t even make it through the first ten minutes. The lead actress is awful! Her accent is bad enough, but the robotic nature, whether it is intentional because of the character or whether it’s just her, I have better things to do with my time. F!