Today Detective Brett Hopper will be accused of shooting state attorney Alberto Garza. He will offer his rock solid alibi. He will realize he's been framed. And he will run. Then he will wake up and start the day over again.
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Brett Hopper is a police detective. One day when the day begins, he notices a few unusual things, and when he goes home, he is arrested. He is told that he's the suspect in the murder of a D.A. whom he says that he doesn't know. While in his holding cell, he is taken out and brought somewhere, where a man whom he doesn't know tells him something. That's when the sun goes down. He then wakes up and discovers he is reliving the day again. And armed with what little info he learned from the day before, he tries to find out why he is being framed. But comes up short but when the day ends he relives it again and again. Written by
I thought ABC's programming strategy with Lost this year was brilliant: bunch up the first-run episodes into two batches and commission a one-shot limited series to fill in the gap. Just something that you could enjoy while Lost was on hiatus, a pleasing diversion that had a definite end. Apparently Day Break just couldn't pull the numbers ABC was looking for, though, and not all of the series aired. Fortunately, the network posted the rest of the episodes online.
It's a shame more people won't get to see this; it was good. Not by any means "the best show on television" but well worth watching. Diggs is appealing as Hopper, and the supporting actors, particularly Bloodgood and Baldwin, are solid too. The plot has enough twists and turns to keep even the most careful watcher guessing. Some of it doesn't actually make much sense -- in some episodes, Hopper is off doing things that won't actually stop some of the other bad things in his day from happening, but they somehow don't happen. (Creative license.) Still, unlike Lost, it all actually concludes neatly and satisfyingly.
This kind of show is actually the kind of thing that British television does well. Hardly any British dramas have more than 13 episodes a season, and many come to a definite end after only a season or two. (Example: The second season of Life On Mars is the last.) I think the smaller number of episodes allows for better writing -- Ron Moore of Battlestar Galactica has expressed similar concerns. (Which is probably why Season 4 of Galactica was originally slated to be 13 episodes. Sci-Fi apparently dangled enough of a carrot to get him to agree to 22, though.)
The Brits do it largely because they don't have the budget the American networks do. But I'd completely support any American network that wanted to schedule two 13-episode shows in place of a single 22-episode show. It divides neatly into the calendar year (you get to run each series twice in its entirety, so viewers can catch shows they missed the first time) and gives the viewer a new series to look forward to on a regular basis. At the same time, the network's financial commitment for each individual show is lower, so they're not betting the farm on 22 episodes of one show.
Of course, if they're not willing to do that, ABC's approach is a good compromise. I hope ABC does not let their disappointment with Day Break's ratings scare them away from repeating this scheduling gambit next year with a different show.
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