ORBzine - Second Chance TV Review

Second Chance

Season 1

Second Chance Second Chance [Season 1, Episode 1] Suitable Donor
Shown 13 Jan 16

A man with a lifetime of experience dies before his time. He is brought back to life in a science experiment, decades younger with enhanced senses and superhuman strength. Yes, this show has already been made over a decade ago, as Now and Again starring Eric Close and Doc Theo. Admittedly, that was just an updated version of 1970s cyborg spy show The Six Million Dollar man .

This time the science experiment is not done by a Government department. Instead it is a private enterprise by the Wonder Twins, a pair of South Asian geniuses (including David Spade's sitcom sidekick). The man revived from the dead is a disgraced former tin-badge sheriff. Naturally, his tendency to abuse his powers as a law enforcer will not be diminished by his newfound strength and attributes.

The sheriff's first self-selected mission is to solve his own murder. He caught some men interfering with the case files of his son, the FBI Agent from White Collar. The Feds were investigating a series of bank robberies. This is quite low-end stuff, more suitable for the 1970s than for a modern show. After all, in the age of the credit card very few banks hold large sums of cash, and if a gang were to attack a target with enough cash then they could retire from the proceeds rather than continually risk exposure by committing yet more robberies.

Second Chance Second Chance [Season 1, Episode 2] One More Notch
Shown 20 Jan 16

A couple of dangerous felons are on the run from prison. This would normally be a case for the US Federal Marshals, but the FBI have been roped in to take the case instead. This gives Pritchard's son an excuse to be involved in the plotline.

Pritchard gets himself involved because the breakout was indirectly his fault. The convicts took advantage of the power cut that happened when he was revived from the dead. It means the twins should have done it during a thunderstorm, rather than rely on the national electricity grid.

The felons are a caucasian pair. This might be a case of whitewashing, because this work would normally be given to African-American actors. The characters are presented as jailhouse converts to religion, although in the US prison system Nazi gangs are driven underground and pass themselves off as religious groups instead. This is never specifically referred to in the story, although the religion these felons practice does not seem to be a mainstream Xian one. However, one cannot judge a man too harshly for wanting to liberate his child from the clutches of a crack-ho baby-mama, even if she is now somehow living in a huge house in suburbia.

Pritchard takes his son for some investigating. They do it the old-fashioned way, by hanging out with a contact in Chinatown. Meanwhile, the twins have automatic access to every computer system the cops use. They even have remote access to the tazers that the cops carry on their belts, and can alter digital footage from the cops' body-cameras.

Second Chance Second Chance [Season 1, Episode 3] From Darkness, the Sun
Shown 29 Jan 16

Pritchard has gotten the twins' AI to search for all criminal cases that meet certain criteria. Specifically, anything that his son is investigating. The newest case is a multiple homicide, on the premises of an old enemy of Pritchard. The female twin agrees to help with the investigation, under the guise of attempting to make a business deal with the suspect.

Meanwhile, Pritchard's son does not bother to investigate the murders. No, instead of doing his job he decides to spy on his new benefactor. First he uses the FBI lab to test a DNA sample, without the donor's consent. Then he drops by the twins' home uninvited and interviews Timmy, who lacks the mental capacity to be interviewed without legal counsel or a responsible adult present. Yes, Pritchard Junior is basically a criminal, abusing his legal authority for his own purposes - just like his father. Yes, the apple does not fall far from the tree.

Just as Sheriff Pritchard has to deal with his son, Pritchard's enemy has a son of his own. Yes, the theme of the father-son relationship is really focused on this week.

This does not make sense. Pritchard is a redneck sheriff with no respect for the law he is supposed to uphold. The victims in the case are hippies, and the previous victim was a Trade Union organiser.

Second Chance Second Chance [Season 1, Episode 4] Admissions
Shown 05 Feb 16

Pritchard's son has an unsolved case from a few years ago. A young genius was found dead of a heroin overdose. It turns out that there has been a series of such deaths, written off as accidental overdoses. However, it turns out that many of the victims can be linked to a psychiatrist - Math Girl from Stargate Universe: Season 2 .

Timmy the Twin feels an empathy for the dead kids. His AI comes up with the statistic that 83% of people with an IQ of over 150 are on medication. This is obviously not true, as Universities and social groups like MENSA could not function if everyone who ran them was doped to the eyeballs on anti-depressants.

Second Chance Second Chance [Season 1, Episode 5] Scratch That Glitch
Shown 12 Feb 16

The Wonder Twins' company is about to launch a new product. The female twin attends a virtual boardroom meeting, but has to do her television interviews and press conferences in person. Unfortunately someone targets her for assassination. It turns out her name is on a Dead Pool. Sheriff Pritchard does not know what that means, which means he must have never heard of the Dirty Harry movie of that name.

Pritchard has personal problems. Firstly, he is no longer a sheriff so crooks do not try to avoid him. Instead they come after him for revenge. Secondly, his superhuman abilities are fading. He is now a mere mortal, so saving the day will be more difficult this week. Luckily the FBI assign his son to protect the female Twin.

The villain of the week is not involved in the dead pool. That was all a red herring, and he is just a disgruntled employee. He feels that the female Twin, his former employer, stole something from him. Is this the ranting of a cliched madman? Remember that while TV shows have to be politically correct when it comes to the mentally ill, the one exception to this rule is socially isolated and sexually frustrated white hetero men. However, this might actually be a clue to a Season Arc about how the Wonder Twins are actually sinister villains. Think about it - they stole a corpse and reanimated it for selfish reasons. On the other hand, they may have successfully cured cancer so it does not make them actual villains.

Second Chance Second Chance [Season 1, Episode 6] Palimpsest
Shown 19 Feb 16

An off-duty escort ( Taylor Cole ) is abducted by some strange-looking men. She manages to escape, and rather than leave it to the local cops the FBI take over the case. Of course, Pritchard's son is in charge so Pritchard decides to get involved too. Previously we learned that the twins' AI can hack into cops' tazers. Now we see it hack the live feeds of their body-cameras.

Pritchard plays vigilante again, even though it is none of his business. He takes the escort home with him, which makes the female Twin jealous. Of course, she has been having not-so-secret hotel sex with her boyfriend from the previous episode, so despite her bonding with Pritchard they really do not have a relationship.

As always, the villains are involved in a subculture. Specifically the killer is a surgeon who does extreme body modifications. As a mainstreamer, Pritchard loves this opportunity to harrass a minority. He beats up a bar full of body-pierced men as easily as a High School athlete could beat up some weaker kids just because they are different from him.

This episode is real American Mary stuff, although it lacks the originality of that movie. The villain is stale, male and pale - and his victimology is a heteronormative damsel-in-distress scenario. Will Pritchard save the poor woman before the villain covers her in tattoos? After all, according to this show only a truly evil or completely crazy person would ever get a few tattoos done, never mind body-piercings or worse.

Second Chance Second Chance [Season 1, Episode 7] That Time in the Car
Shown 26 Feb 16

Pritchard's daughter introduces her new boyfriend - Wally the Weasel (Breckin Meyer - ). However, Pritchard is an overprotective psycho-dad who stalks Wally. The twins' AI can hack any car's bluetooth and create a digital sound file of a conversation. Soon he has evidence of a criminal conspiracy, but since he got it from the twins AI and not the FBI it is inadmissable in court.

Most police procedurals have extremely contrived excuses for reducing the work of an entire department to a handful of cops. However, this show's vigilante theme means than Pritchard and his son are pretty much on their own. Of course, rather than follow FBI procedures he can use the SciFi super-computer mixed with old-school torture of suspects.

The victims - I mean, villains - include a rich businessman who got the maximum sentance (25 years to life) in a maximum security prison for a manslaughter DUI. Yes, he is trapped with violent criminals, including a career armed robber for a cellmate. Which one got paroled first? The gun-toting career criminal, of course! This is basically the story of Tobias Beecher in Oz, if Beecher had been diagnosed with cancer and had only eight months to live.

Second Chance Second Chance [Season 1, Episode 8] May Old Acquaintance Be Forgot
Shown 04 Mar 16

Last week, Pritchard had control issues regarding his daughter's boyfriends. Now we realise that his own choice in lovers was perhaps not the best. While working as the Sheriff he slept with an informant ( Madchen Amick ). He thought she was just a drug-dealer's moll, but it turns out that she may have been the brains of the operation.

FBI Agent Duval has a new case to solve. A violent mob of Chinese gangsters has muscled in on the local drug market, and the result was a horrific gang war. Luckily, the local wholesaler stepped in and wiped out the invaders. American drug-dealers' jobs and lives were saved, and the money will be re-invested in the community instead of being siphoned out of the economy.

Instead of being happy, Pritchard spends his time trying to entrap his former lover. Naturally this will mean another drug war, as the Chinese mob and other rivals move to fill the power vacuum.

There is a subplot involving Pritchard's grandaughter Gracie. She has a boyfriend, who looks a lot older than her. Even worse, he is a drummer in a band. Yes, making a poor choice of lovers seems to be a family trait.

Second Chance Second Chance [Season 1, Episode 9] When You Have To Go There, They Have To Take You In
Shown 11 Mar 16

Pritchard's blood has cured Mary's cancer. Unfortunately this means that he is no longer necessary for the project. The industrial esponagiers want to use Pritchard to set the twins against each other, but they do not have to do much work to make this happen. Otto has been jealous of Pritchard since the start, and Mary feels unhappy that Pritchard leaves her out of the current investigation.

Pritchard's current case, or rather his son's case that he horns in on, is of an inhuman monster that rips people limb from limb. The initial crime scene is like something out of Murders in the Rue Morgue , but this storyline is nowhere near well-written.

Everyone who knows Pritchard is surprised to find him working with Mary. This illustrates the divide between the masculine blue-collar world of yesteryear (as represented by the corrupt Sheriff's violent 1970s-style tactics) and the female-dominated white-collar world of the Twenty-First Century (i.e. Mary's modern-day scientific surveillance technologies).

The only kind of monster-making technology seen so far in this show is the same transgenic tech that raised Pritchard from the dead. Steve Bacic ( Andromeda ) and his sidekick are also hunting the monster. They carry Barrett Light 50 sniper rifles as if they are carbines, like the killing crew at the end of Robocop . Strangely they only shoot hypodermic darts, so they must just a delibarate homage.

Second Chance Second Chance [Season 1, Episode 10] Geworfenheit
Shown 18 Mar 16

It turns out that someone has done a cover-up of the multiple homicides in the previous episode. Someone hacked the FBI computers, and everyone assumes it was Otto. He has no motive, but the Pritchard family do not care about logic or good police work. Sheriff Pritchard goes after his own benefactor, and uses his old-school tactics of torture and intimidation. Mary turns a blind eye while her own brother is tortured. Naturally, Otto decides that Connor is a better friend.

Pritchard's grandaughter Gracie decides to run away from home with her boyfriend. There is really no point. After all, she is seventeen - so all she had to do is wait a year and then go to college. It turns out there are some things she did not know about her boyfriend. To start with, it turns out he is ex-military. This does not make sense when one remembers how lousy he was at shooting with the sheriff's old revolver. However, for the sake of plot convenience the shady boyfriend becomes more villainous.

Second Chance Second Chance [Season 1, Episode 11] Gelassenheit
Shown 26th March 2016 [Wednesday]

Pritchard's magic bacta tank has been smashed, so he gets slowly weaker over the next eight hours. This means that when he faces off against Connor's goon (Steve Bacic - Andromeda ) it is a fair fight.

Otto is portrayed as a villain. However, he is basically the autistic version of Timmy from Rules of Engagement. He is the smart guy who keeps the entire company running, which means his sister Mary is Russell - the David Spade character. Seriously, Timmy is sarcastic and passive-aggressive to an incredible degree compared to Otto. And yet Timmy is always a sympathetic character because of the abuse he puts up with. However, Otto is more innocent and puts up with far worse treatment.

Pritchard is a thuggish psychopath, but his son is even worse. Duval threatens to murder Otto with a shotgun, and then attempts to stick a hypodermic needle in his eye. This is not part of his duties as an FBI Agent, because like all good fictional cops he has been taken off the case. In fact he has been relieved from duty and taken into custody for a psychiatric hold. He could probably use this as the basis for a temporary insanity plea, but if there were any justice then he would never serve in law enforcement again.

The prevalence of old-school cops in television shows is quite shocking. In recent years they were epitomised by the character of Gene Hunt in Life on Mars , himself a parody of characters in 1970s TV shows like The Sweeney. Audiences were meant to feel glad that such old-fashioned (racist, sexist, homophobic) police officers were no longer around. However, the audiences seem to have embraced the violent cop approach - hence the popularity of characters like Luthor, who is a Gene Hunt character played by Afro-Carribean actor Idris Elba ( ). This is particularly shocking when one considers that policing is a major political issue. The #BlackLivesMatter movement began after accusations of police brutality went public, and yet shows like this indicate that the general public seem to approve of such brutality.





Second Chance

Second Chance Second Chance [Season 1 , Episode 1 ]
Shown th October 2016 [Wednesday]

Reviewed in our special supplement Second Chance

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