Tag Archives: Brothers & Sisters

New day dawns for ‘Tomorrow People’

'The Tomorrow People' on The CW

Robbie Amell, Aaron Woo, Luke Mitchell and
Peyton List (from left) in ‘The Tomorrow People.’

Technically, The Tomorrow People, which premieres tonight on The CW Network, is based on a British children’s TV show that premiered back in the ‘70s. In a larger sense, however, its focus on a group of extraordinary young people whose “other-ness” makes them misfits to the wider society is very much in the same creative vein as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Vampire Diaries, Teen Wolf and the X-Men movies, among many others.
The main character is teenager Stephen Jameson (Robbie Amell), who led a fairly normal life with his mother (Sarah Clarke, 24) and kid brother until about a year ago, when suddenly Stephen began hearing voices in his head. Far more troubling, he began teleporting in his sleep, so although he went to bed in his own home, he never knew where he might wake up (such as in bed with a neighbor couple, which is starting to wear thin with them).
Trembling on the brink of what he thinks is a nervous breakdown, Stephen finally decides to listen to one of the “imaginary voices,” which leads him to John and Cara (Luke Mitchell, Peyton List), the de facto leaders of a group known as the Tomorrow People. John and Cara, along with Russell (Aaron Yoo), the group’s trainer, explain to Stephen that they are a genetically advanced race of beings with the ability to teleport, communicate telepathically and move objects via telekinesis – and Stephen’s father, long missing and presumed dead, was once a member of their group.
The Tomorrow People – you’d think this group would have a catchier handle for themselves by now – are being stalked, rounded up and “neutralized” by Ultra, a shadowy paramilitary group of scientists led by Dr. Jedekiah Price (the always exceptional Mark Pellegrino, who played Lucifer on Supernatural). To reveal more about tonight’s pilot would spoil a couple of very satisfying twists that come toward the end of the first episode.
Amell — the cousin of Stephen Amell, whose Arrow series is this new show’s lead-in — is a very likable lead and Pellegrino, who excels at playing ambiguity, succeeds in keeping us guessing about Dr. Price’s motives, but it may be the charismatic Mitchell and List who connect most directly with fans, at least right off the bat.
The real superhero of The Tomorrow People, however, isn’t even on camera. That’s executive producer Greg Berlanti, whose extraordinary track record for creating genre-busting, emotionally resonant drama series includes shows as diverse as Arrow, Brothers & Sisters and Everwood. I suspect he’s the reason Tomorrow People manages to hook us right from the get-go and get us invested in these unconventional characters. With him at the helm, the future for The Tomorrow People looks bright.

Lady and the ‘Camp’

camp-nbc-tv-show (1)
NBC’s Summer of Whatever – a decidedly wacky season during which programming decisions apparently are being made by Magic 8 Ball – continues tonight with the premiere of Camp, a lighter-than-air scripted series starring Rachel Griffiths of Brothers & Sisters as a recent divorcee struggling to keep her once-popular summer camp open in the face of some decidedly upscale competition.
Located in an unspecified part of the American boonies, Little Otter Family Camp, run by Mackenzie Granger (Griffiths) and her husband, Steve (Jonathan LaPaglia), once packed in a loyal summer clientele, thanks largely to Mac’s creative programming schedule that included themed activities such as Circus Day and Disco Night, geared to appeal to both young people and, in some cases, their parents.
Now, however, Steve has baled on the marriage in favor of a much younger Russian cosmetologist, and Little Otter, like the 40-something Mac, is showing signs of wear. The camp’s septic system is starting to emit some rancid odors, the raccoons have chewed through the wiring in the sound system and Ridgefield Lodge, a swanky venture located directly across the lake, has started to siphon away clients. More than anything, though, Mac frets that the divorce is taking a toll on her teenage son, Buzz (Charles Grounds), a counselor in training.
Buzz, meanwhile, is actually focused exclusively on what almost any older teenage male in a summer-camp story would obsess over: losing his virginity. That may be a challenge, since the only pretty camper who will give him the time of day – Grace (Charlotte Nicdao), a wryly funny Asian adoptee – has two gay dads who have filled her with self-esteem, so she’s not going to be a pushover.
The other counselors in training include Kip Wampler (Thom Green), a low-key guy who is keeping a personal secret and doesn’t want to be at Little Otter in the first place, until he falls for Marina Sullivan (Lily Sullivan), who is still trying to live down a high school scandal involving a provocative photo she once texted to a boyfriend.
Don’t think the kids are getting all the action, though. Although Mac may often worry that she’s past her expiration date, she spends some nights having hate-sex with frenemy Roger Shepard (Rodger Corser), the arrogant but indisputably hot owner of Ridgefield, who wants to buy Little Otter. She’s also being pursued by her devoted and much younger camp handyman, Cole (Nikolai Nikolaeff), who sees that Mac is selling herself short.
I wasn’t especially impressed with tonight’s premiere episode of Camp, which feels pretty generic, so much so that I kept having a very hard time keeping the younger characters and their relationships straight, since they seemed to kind of bleed into each other. NBC wisely sent out three episodes for review, however, and I can report that most of the principal characters take on much more definition as the series progresses.
Of course, the show’s biggest ace in the hole is Griffith, an actress so warm and persuasive that you’ll find yourself becoming invested in her character even before you realize it. That said, Camp is the kind of lightweight dramedy you find yourself forgetting even as you’re watching it – which, in a way, is one of the things that makes it kind of perfect summer entertainment.