Among the biggest selling points of the “Believe” series premiere is that the episode was directed by Alfonso Cuaron, who just won an Oscar for “Gravity” and has also helmed “Children of Men,” “Y Tu Mama Tambien” and arguably the best of the Harry Potter movies, “Prisoner of Azkaban.”
And, indeed, the “Believe” pilot is beautifully directed. The tense opening sequence showcases masterful camera work, and there are several other visually arresting moments throughout the first hour, along with a pace that propels you past some of the shakier elements of the show.
Therein lies the problem with “Believe”: There are pieces of the show that are underdeveloped or just plain don’t work very well in the pilot (which Cuaron also co-wrote), which to some extent Cuaron’s gifts as a director help cover. But though he’ll probably retain some level of involvement with the show, he won’t be directing any other episodes.
What we’re left with, then, is the story of a young girl with special abilities (Johnny Sequoyah, who’s quite good) and the wrongly imprisoned convict (Jake McLaughlin) freed by the Shadowy Forces of Good to protect her from the Shadowy Forces of Evil — and who, by the way, is also her dad. (Hands up, everyone who saw that coming. Most of you? Yep.)
We don’t know yet why the Shadowy Forces of Evil are so invested in this one girl, or anything beyond the vaguest sense of what their plans are should they get their hands on her. We also don’t really know why Delroy Lindo and the Shadowy Forces of Good are so invested in her, beyond the vaguest sense of things.
Presumably those things will be explored in future episodes, but the pilot, for all its visual delights, didn’t give a whole lot of reasons to want to see what they are.
What did you think of the “Believe” premiere? Will you follow it to Sunday nights when it takes up its regular spot on March 16? Vote in the poll below and share your thoughts in the comments.