Limitless: one and done
April 3, 2017
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Limitless was not the typical FBI detective show; it featured a main character, Brian Finch, who took pills that unlocked the full potential of his brain, which allowed him to solve complex problems and analyze and learn quickly. The show was also more light hearted and quirky as opposed to other shows of the same nature. That’s not to say the show couldn’t be incredibly serious when necessary; throughout the first season the series maintained a balance of friendly humor, fortified character development and dramatic suspense, while also developing the mystery of NZT, the “smart pill” that Brian Finch consumes.
The show is based off the 2011 movie of the same name and it kept many of the film’s stylistic traits, like the main character’s internal text graphics and monologue, and the cool vs. warm color schemes for when Finch isn’t feeling the effects of NZT opposed to when he is.
The show’s main character Brian Finch, played by Jake McDorman, was the make-or-break element of the show, and according to fan and critic reviews, he did a spot-on job. Finch was a charismatic and humorous character that seemed to have chemistry with just basically every other character on screen, including his partner FBI Agent Rebecca Harris, played by Jennifer Carpenter. These two laid the emotional groundwork for the story and played incredibly well off each other as their respective personal plot developments intertwined. The writers kept the two main characters at a platonic friendship, which is a rarity in this type of show.
Unfortunately after one incredible season, Limitless was canceled. It was the most successful movie-to-show adaptation in 2015, and arguably the best one as well. The show did incredibly well in DVR recordings and pretty solid on live ratings. However the show aired on CBS, the nation’s number one network channel, and home to some of the most successful television shows including NCIS, CSI, Criminal Minds, and the Big Bang Theory. The show did well, but not good enough to lock in a spot on the best network in the nation. Many loyal fans have petitioned to get the show another chance on CBS or to have another company pick up the show’s rights, such as Netflix or another network. No matter what happens with the future of the show, Limitless taught us that there is a possibility for more unique crime based shows in the entertainment industry.