Pilot Perception: Game of Silence

Game of Silence

Welcome to Pilot Perception, our feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show – today, Game of Silence – in order to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.

The Show: Game of Silence, NBC in the U.S. and Global TV in Canada, Thursdays at 10/9c

The Pedigree: The show was created and the pilot written by David Hudgins (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood), who executive produces with Carol Mendelsohn (CSI), Tariq Jalil (Operation Repo), Deran Sarafian (Dominion), and Julie Weitz, as well as Timur Savci of the original Turkish series. Niels Arden Oplev (Mr. Robot) directed the episode.

The Cast & How You Know Them: Game of Silence stars David Lyons (Revolution), Michael Raymond-James (Terriers), Larenz Tate (Rescue Me), Bre Blair (Make It or Break It), Claire van der Boom (Hawaii Five-0), Deidrie Henry (Beyond the Lights), Conor O’Farrell (CSI), and Demetrius Grosse (Straight Outta Compton).

The Premise: An up-and-coming lawyer with a great fianc√©e and perfect life finds something (and some … ¬†people) from his past coming back to disrupt his plans.

A Taste:

 

What Works: I was surprised and happy that we seemed to find out the Big Dark Secret right at the beginning of the show — really examining the aftermath of a tragedy without shrouding the events in needless mystery would be an interesting tack for a show to take. But, of course, it became clear that there was another layer of secrets, so … maybe never mind.

What Doesn’t: The pacing was very weird — partially because of cutting back and forth between time periods, I guess, it felt like this episode took forever, but it also sort of felt like it started in the middle and never built momentum and just generally wasn’t structured the way we expect an episode of television to be. Which isn’t necessarily bad — try new things, shows! — but didn’t work here. The writing was pretty awful and the acting didn’t do much to elevate it. This was particularly problematic in that it failed to compellingly show the main character’s current day awesome life, so the necessary tension when his past pulls him back in just fizzled. And this is a very common problem in fiction, but characters hiding things from each other for no particular reason gets annoying very quickly.

Our Favorite Line: “The past is never the past. If it were, there would be no tragedy.”

You Might Like This if you like dramas about complicated moral decisions, I guess. Honestly, nothing here made me interested enough to watch another episode.

If You’re Interested: The pilot aired at a weird preview time, so find it on demand or on the NBC or Global TV sites. The second episode airs in the show’s normal timeslot tonight, Thursday, April 14th, at 10/9c.

(Photo courtesy of NBC.)

About Kate

Kate Linnea Welsh is a New Hampshire-based writer and taxonomist. (No, that doesn't involve dead animals.) She keeps us up to date on TV news in her weekly column "Caffeine." She writes about other TV shows, books, and more at her blog and her site Read the Screen. She'd love to talk to you on Twitter: @katelinnea