Pilot Perception: Zero Hour

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

The Show: Zero Hour, ABC in the U.S. and Global TV in Canada, Thursdays at 8/7c

The Pedigree: The show is executive produced by Paul Scheuring (Prison Break) and Zack Estrin (Prison Break, The Good Guys, The River). The pilot was written by Scheuring and directed by Pierre Morel (From Paris With Love).

The Cast & How You Know Them: Zero Hour stars Anthony Edwards (ER). The cast also includes Jacinda Barrett (Suits), Addison Timlin (Californication), Scott Michael Foster (Greek), Carmen Ejogo (Chaos), and Michael Nyqvist (the Swedish Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series).

The Premise: When Modern Skeptic magazine publisher Hank Galliston’s wife is kidnapped from her antique clock store (…just go with it), Hank finds a treasure map in one of her clocks and he and his staff are pulled into centuries-old mystery.

A Taste:

What Both Works and Doesn’t: I’m combining these sections for this one because it’s a weirdly complicated answer. I mean, let’s be clear: On one level, none of it works. This show isn’t good. But it’s bad in a way that some people (including myself) will find endlessly entertaining. It’s what my friends and I call “hilarrible” (a term coined, I believe, by author Sarah Rees Brennan): terrible in a really hilarious way. It’s completely absurd. If you only want to spend your time on good TV (which is a perfectly good choice), seriously, don’t bother. But if you like a certain type of bad TV – TV with evil Nazi babies and treasure maps inside clocks and overwrought dialogue that actually contains lines like “Everything you know is a lie” – this may be the show for you.

Our Favorite Line: “The Nazis have made a breakthrough. The prophecies are true. The end times are here.”

You Might Like This if you like unabashedly cheesy conspiracy thrillers that deal with things like secret societies, Nazi experiments, and forbidden theology. The obvious comparison here, of course, is to the book and movie The Da Vinci Code as well as novels like The Eight, The Dante Club, or The Rule of Four.

If You’re Interested: Watch the pilot online at ABC, Hulu, or Global TV. Then set your DVR for Thursday at 8/7c.

(Photo courtesy of ABC.)

One thought on “Pilot Perception: Zero Hour

  1. I think you captured this perfectly! I can’t decide if I like it or not. It’s ridiculous in so many ways, yet I feel compelled to watch the second episode. It’s kind of like the TV mini-series I loved to watch in the 80s. If this has a set end date, I think I could be on board to see it through to the end. If there are hopes of dragging this on for seasons (although I wonder if the ratings will support its longevity), I may be less inclined to watch (which is so unlike me because I am usually the first to embrace a series that goes beyond just what we see on the screen). That being said, I do love a series that has an element of mystery and has you playing out dozens of scenarios a la LOST, so if this did venture toward that territory, it could be fun!

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