Fourth-episode verdict: Save Me (NBC)

The BarrometerA Barrometer rating of 5

In the US: Thursdays, 8/7c, NBC

Some things are beyond saving. Ordinarily, I’d have given up on Save Me somewhere after or even during its first episode. But Alex Breckenridge is in it, I like Alex Breckenridge, so I thought I’d give it a little longer.

Oops. That was a mistake.

If you consider Christian Rock – Rock n Roll with all the good things taken out and replaced with cringeworthy, God-praising lyrics – then what we have in Save Me is Christian Comedy. In it, Anne Heche pretends to be a former sinning party girl/mother, although her ‘sins’ are really only the kind of things that Ned Flanders would blush at (oh no! She smoked pot!), who mysteriously becomes a prophet of God after choking to death on a sandwich. She throws her sinning ways away, mysteriously acquiring a miraculous self-awareness that would have come in handier before, and then proceeds to go around fixing both her life and the lives of her friends, family and neighbours with the occasional bit of cryptic advice from God in her head or through children’s versions of the Bible.

And it’s unbearable. It thinks it’s funny, it thinks it’s righteous, and it’s neither. It’s the equivalent of a pastor who likes a tipple or two cracking jokes in a sermon he’s found on the Internet. Its ‘revelations’ are less insightful than those you’d find in a fortune cookie, with such stunning profundity as “inviting your former friends round to dinner might make them friendlier”.

What’s worse is that Breckenridge, who’s credited as a co-star and is possibly the only member of the cast with comic talent (except maybe Michael Landes, although he’s not been well served by the scripts), has been in a coma for three episodes. Presumably the idea of Landes’ character having a mistress was just a little too edgy and interesting for the show.

Don’t mistake the mistake I made. Don’t watch it.

Barrometer rating: 5
Rob’s prediction: Wouldn’t have been cancelled by now if it weren’t the summer. Definitely no second season

Author

  • 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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