Wednesday, December 28, 2016

TV Review: Eternal Law Episode One

Tales of fiction or parables that pit good VS evil are a dime a dozen they are some of the easiest to produce due to the moral quandary we could possibly find ourselves in on a daily basis. They tie themselves into the basic fabric of our existence as well as our faith and religious beliefs.

Which is where the modern medium of television (Which some might argue is the faith of some people) has taken the idea to new heights.

Really high heights.

Eternal Law is a new ITV television series created by Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharoah, who created the hit series Life On Mars and Ashes to Ashes. This is bit more on the lighter side of things then the world of Gene Hunt and company, but it also has it's darker moments as well.

Of course angels on Earth are not a new concept at all, from classic films such as It's a Wonderful Life to more modern American television fare such as Highway to Heaven and Touched by an Angel.  All three series have a similar idea, that an angel (Or in this case multiple angels) help humans that are in various forms of trouble.

Eternal Law differs because the angels in this case are attorneys so it might be easier and less hokey for them to find 'cases' then in the other shows, meaning you most likely have to concoct a way for the angelic helpers to bump not the next soul they are to save.

If this seems very formula driven and paint by numbers that is because it is; Eternal Law is not only a new spin on past shows of it's like but also the classic buddy formula that shows the most in police comedy and dramas, where two mismatched cops are placed together with amusing and interesting results. For this first installment it works as the new to the beat/game/Earth angel Tom Greening (Ukweli Roach) and the cynical, hardened veteran Zak Gist (Samuel West) of the angels/police force/military are at ends form the start.

Samuel West really carries the show and the formula in every scene he is in as Zak Gist. That is not to say that the rest of the cast did not do a fine job at their respective roles, but West's Gist is so good is kind of makes you forget about the weaker bits of the script. I can easily see fallen angel temptation in Zak Gist's future based on the first episode and that in itself might be enough to bring viewers back for more.

As for the storyline of the first installment it is good enough for a first go and there is a small twist at the end that I had not guessed at before reaching the final few minutes, meaning that although a first episodes main job for any new series is to introduce characters and concepts, there was enough meat to the story itself to make it worthy of more than just a passing nod.

Eternal Law does seem to have its heart in the right place as well as a formula that has worked countless times, and Matthew Graham has a good track record as a writer as does most of the cast as actors so really I can see Eternal Law being a hit or at least a show that has the chance to gain a niche following and perhaps even continue beyond it's initial run.

-Thomas Spychalski

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