Behold one of the many ludicrous moments from Unforgettable, the new CBS show about a detective whose superpower is perfect recall — she can remember not just facts and dates, but everything she's ever seen, with photographic clarity. Amazingly, 14 million people tuned in to watch this utter drek — although we can't help wondering how many of them will be back.
So Unforgettable is strictly speaking not supposed to be science fiction — the "total recall" thing that Carrie has is a real condition that 20 people in the world have, although I doubt it really works like that.
Anyway, in Unforgettable, Carrie's ability mostly manifests two ways:
1) A superior memory for drama. See the clip above, in which she's able to reconstruct past drama flawlessly in order to create more drama in the future, which in turn will be stored and regurgitated.
2) An ability to freeze-frame and zoom in and enhance everything she's seen in the past. Including random street scenes where she may have seen a face for a split second, or even not really seen anything at all. She can ZOOM IN on her memories. This involves her appearing in her own past, as a weird red glowy figure watching events unfold, including being able to see herself in the third person. And as you can imagine, watching someone relive their own memories in slow-motion is utterly fascinating. About 10 minutes of the 42-minute running time of the pilot consists of Carrie just replaying every detail of her memories as slowly as possible.
But neither of the above clips are the worst part of Unforgettable. The worst part is actually this moment, involving a hideously stereotypical African American nurse at the old folks' home where Carrie volunteers.
It's hard to imagine this "human computer" procedural will keep growing its viewership after people realize its premise is basically tedium, laced with incredibly bad drama. But on the other hand, you should never overestimate TV audiences.