Seasoned television veterans immediately think of the patriot character Jack Baur when the name Kiefer Sutherland tops credits. Following the demise of Fox’s fabulous but intense drama, 24, Sutherland takes a role by the same network. The premise of this series is, on the surface opposite of 24 but look deeper, and the only difference is, a much different package.
Touch, Season One (2012) Fox TV Show Review
Like so many New Yorker’s, Martin Bohm’s life is forever changed by 9/11. His wife worked in one of the towers and was one of the victim’s whose remains were never recovered. Now, some eleven years later, Martin (Sutherland) gives up his work as a journalist and shifts from job to job while attempting to raise his son, Jake (David Mazouz). Unable to keep him in a school, Martin’s problems intensify when the state becomes involved and decides it’s time to place the autistic Jake in a group home. For eleven years, Martin has been unable to communicate with his son who hasn’t spoken a word. But he soon realizes that through elaborate number patterns, Jake is finally trying to tell his father something. All events that are on the verge of changing the course of dozens of lives.
Unique is the best way to describe this series. It’s poignant but (short!) powerful first season is on DVD now, and a second is already in the works for this month. Before getting to all the good stuff, I’ll say if there is a downside, it’s that instead of the usual full season, this is a mid-season filler. Fortunately it fills up those thirteen episodes with some of the best writing on television today.
Contemplating if life is merely a series of coincidences or if we are “destined” to eventually meet certain people, touching them in ways we didn’t know was possible, is the revolving theme. That is what Touch is all about. To confess, it’s an interesting concept, and a refreshing one at that, breaking molds from the usual crime drama that takes up so much airtime.
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There’s something “real” about each of the scripts, and I particularly enjoy seeing so many of the people who Jake helps come back into the shows periodically. Given that Jake doesn’t speak, it’ also interesting to hear his voice-overs setting up the theme of each episode. Sutherland steps into this role quite well. We sympathize with his Martin for all he has been through and the struggle that is ensuing between he, the state and eventually a resentful sister-in-law. It’s in the quiet moments when he attempts to bond that most touch (no pun intended) us, and we never second guess his love for him. Similarly, the most poignant things are the rare times when Jake actually connects with his father, whether it be physical or emotionally. These are the heartwarming scenes.
Joining the already talented Sutherland – and fabulous child actor, David Mazouz is Gugu Mbatha-Raw and in a season ender two-parter, the talented Maria Bello. Each of these talents adds much to the scope of the show though Mazouz in particular is impressive; more so since he much acting with feeling rather than vocal. Shaping up the rest of the elements are various faiths that come into play, some great stories and instances of surprising forgiveness. Writers don’t hide how everything will come together but those eventual connections pack a punch.
By the time the finale runs credits, the viewer has to admire the leap that is made in the show. Season two sets up with some new people and a different location. The gamble seems worth it to me, hopefully Fox TV-goers will feel the same and reward it.
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You can find Touch, season one digitally on Amazon Video
Content: In the episode “Lost & Found,” a homosexual couple enters the story [only this once] looking to adopt. In the pilot, we meet a pair of prostitutes who pop up off and on. There is some violence and “adult” issues dealt with; a man contemplates suicide, another is found dead with talk of having been murdered. Rating is TV14.