The fall TV season is underway and, despite the ever-lower numbers of women in the writers’ rooms, it’s being hailed as the year of the women: 17 out of the 25 new scripted shows on the Big Five networks are female-centered and many were created by women. In this series, comedian Leila Cohan-Miccio watches the new female-centered shows and evaluates how realistic their portrayals of women actually are. Up now: Unforgettable.
Unforgettable feels a lot like a Mad Libs of procedural crime shows: a detective with [SPECIAL ABILITY] solves crime while fighting attraction to [OPPOSITE SEX DETECTIVE PARTNER], but is haunted by [PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH CRIME IN THE PAST]. In the case of Unforgettable, Carrie (Poppy Montgomery) is a detective with a medical condition that means she can never forget anything. She solves crimes while fighting her attraction to fellow detective Al (Dylan Walsh), but she’s haunted by her sister’s unsolved murder.
The premise of a woman who can never forget (a real condition, one that, awesomely, Marilu Henner has) is super fun, but Unforgettable is hampered by, in order of problematic-ness, being 100% predictable (I have regularly been lead astray by plot twists in Scooby-Doo episodes and even I could see where every moment of this plot was going), leaden exposition (“The thought I could solve her murder is what kept me on the force”), and Poppy Montgomery’s constantly disappearing and reappearing Australian accent.
On the plus side for ladies, Carrie is more than competent. Her total recall makes her naturally good at crime-solving, but she’s also a hard worker and handy in a fight. I approve of Carrie as a representation of women, but I disapprove of her as a compelling character and ultimately, that’s why I suspect Unforgettable will soon be, in fact, forgotten.