Review: Six Degrees

Six Degrees

In the US: Thursdays, 10/9c, ABC

In the UK: ITV1 from early in 2007, with repeats on ITV2.

You all watch Lost, right? So what do you love about it? The mystery? The weirdness? The romance?

Oh. You love the flashbacks, where it turns out that everyone really knew everyone else before they got on the island? And you’d really love a show that’s exactly like Lost‘s flashbacks?

Well, here you go. Have Six Degrees. And guess what: it’s by the creator of Lost, JJ Abrams.

Plot (nicked from a press release to save me time)

They say that anyone on the planet can be connected to any other person through a chain of six people, which means that no one is a stranger… for long. In this hour-long drama from the producers of “Lost” and “Alias,” six very different New Yorkers go about their lives without realizing the impact they’re having on one another – yet. A mysterious web of coincidences will gradually draw these strangers closer, changing the course of their lives forever. Is it happenstance? Fate? Is there a greater force at work in our world, guiding us along and connecting our lives?

Es bueno?

As mentioned way back when I previewed The Nine, networks often like to copy their successes by making similar shows. Short of moving New York to the South Pacific, there’s little that ABC could have done to make Six Degrees even more identical to Lost – except maybe adding in an invisible monster. Six strangers, all with secrets, all with their own agendas, suddenly find their lives intertwined, all while a string orchestra plays subtle background music. It’s Lost.

The question is: do you want to be sucked into yet another drama in which very small amounts of information are leaked out very slowly?

It’s actually all right. The first half drags a little, but as the coincidences start to mount up, the show becomes more engrossing. There are no real surprises yet, although as characters suddenly realise the freaky sh*t that’s happening around them, that might change. But none of the stories are desperately interesting yet: the artist who’s lost his muse; the guy trying to find a girl; the woman who’s lost her husband and is trying to get back on her feet; the woman who’s worried her boyfriend might be cheating on her; the honest black guy trying to avoid being dragged into crime; and the girl on the run from her dangerous past. We’ve seen them all before. It’s only because they’re all wound up in each other that makes this at all interesting. In fact, we’ve seen something similar this year already: Windfall, which thankfully got cancelled at the end of its first season.

The cast is reasonable, the dialogue’s fine and the direction is perfectly acceptable. But it’s the central twist that doesn’t quite draw you in yet, except to see if there is a central twist. If it turns out there’s more to all this than coincidence, it might become more interesting, although there are no real hints yet in the show, only in the press release. My only fear is that I might get sucked in if I keep watching until the third episode. I’ll let you know if anything happens though.

Here’s the trailer.


Jay Hernandez (Carlos Greene)

Hope Davis (Laura)

Campbell Scott (Steven Casemen)

Bridget Moynahan (Whitney)

Erika Christensen (Mae Anderson)

Dorian Missick (Damian)

JJ Abrams (Creator/Exec Producer)


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.

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