Loosely based on the novel The Returned by Jason Mott, Resurrection tells the story of a small Midwestern town where the dead begin to return to life. While the novel showcases when the dead return all over the world, the TV show smartly limits what we see in the first season to just one small town.
The show starts when an eight-year old boy named Jacob wakes up in a small village in China. He is returned to the United States and put into the custody of a special agent named Bellamy. He sets out to return the boy to his parents only to discover the boy died 32 years before. The parents of the boy work with Bellamy and a doctor named Maggie to figure out if he is really who he claims to be.
Meanwhile, a second dead body has returned in Caleb, the father of Maggie’s best friend Elaine. While Jacob is just a normal little boy, Caleb seems much more dangerous and sets out to finish something he started before he died of a heart attack years before. Finally, the former girlfriend of the town’s minister, who committed suicide years ago, returns as well, and turns out to be carrying the same baby that she was pregnant with when she died.
The first six episodes of Resurrection deals with these three individuals and the conflict they cause within the town. That is when the show is at its best. There are some very interesting moments, such as when the members of the church begin to turn against Pastor Tom thanks to an overzealous woman who believes the dead returning are demons. This is especially troubling with young Jacob.
There are scared people in the town who want to cast the returned out and others who want to kill them outright. There are points where it seems the hysteria is a little overdone, although how anyone would react to this situation is hard to say. There are also points where characters are a little too stereotypical, such as Helen in the Church who seems to be the right wing busybody who wants to stick her nose in everyone else’s business.
However, thanks to the fantastic acting, the season is really a pleasure to watch. Omar Epps is at the top of his game and remains one of television’s better actors. Devin Kelley is great as Maggie and Mark Hildreth was perfect in an underscored role as Pastor Tom. Saying that Kurtwood Smith, Matt Craven and Frances Fisher are great in their roles really doesn’t need to be said, as they are great in just about everything they have ever done.
However, things seem to break down in the final episode. While the reason for the breakdown of one of the main heroes is told well, and foreshadowed by other characters earlier in the season, it seems to bring about the one thing that can break this show when the second season hits. Honestly, the best thing this show did was tell the story of how the living deal with the return of their loved ones. When over 100 formerly dead people return, and the military shows up and starts to round them up, it gets a little too generic for me.
I am very interested to see where they go with the story in season two, but if this turns into another people trapped in a concentration styled camp and fighting the evil government who want to hold them down, I will tune out fast. The entire first season deserves a much better follow up than something we have seen a million times before. Resurrection was a great show, with strong acting and a great story, and I just hope the ending doesn’t drag it into mediocrity.
The DVD advertises two featurettes. However, when broken down, they only consist of two three minute features. The first is Resurrection: Building A Mystery and consists of the cast talking about the mystery of why the dead have come back to life. What it comes down to is that no one knows why they came back and they don’t even know what is coming next in the script until they get the episode they are working on.
The second feature is On Location in Georgia. This features the cast and crew talking about shooting the entire show in Georgia, even though it takes place in Missouri. There are also about three minutes of bloopers and four deleted scenes. Overall, the special features are not that impressive, but the selling point on this DVD is the actual show itself.