It would be delightful if it were possible to do a one word review of Unforgettable as being “Forgettable”, but that would be both glib and unfair. Instead, it’s a perfectly proficient police procedural just like dozens of others, okay to spend an hour with if there’s nothing better on TV but not anything you’re going to get particularly attached to.
Its USP (unique selling point) is that the main character Carrie Wells (played by Without a Trace alum Poppy Montgomery) has perfect memory recall. As a basic premise that’s fine (it also provided the initial seed for the rather good legal comedy-drama Suits for example), although when they stretch this into the ability to remember anything and everything that Carrie might ever have had in her field of vision – even subliminally – the ability seems less credible than comic book superhero, and an excuse to do memory ‘walkthroughs’ akin to the now-clichéd CSI flashback sequences. Carrie also has some predictable private tragedies to contend with: her sister was murdered when they were kids; her mother is – irony of obvious ironies – suffering from Alzheimers and hardly remembers her anymore.
The series has two main problems, the first being what to do with this total recall ability once you’ve gone through the two or three obvious ‘memory’-inspired plot lines. The second is what to do with the rest of the cast while they sit around waiting for Carrie’s supermemory to kick in. This last problem is exacerbated by the fact that Carrie is also supercop – the one who knows best how to deal with the witnesses, who seizes upon the vital clue, who has the correct hunch. It leaves the rest of the team sitting around looking thoroughly superfluous, there merely to feed Carrie lines and evidence so the plot can move on. That’s a shame and waste of a potentially good line up that includes Kevin Rankin, Michael Gaston and Daya Vaidya; Dylan Walsh fares slightly better as her boss and former boyfriend, but not by much.
Ultimately there’s nothing here that fatally wounds the program, except the cases themselves – which are frankly rather dull, being of little intrinsic interest and having no great ‘twist’ to them to make them worth thinking too hard over. That means that when it comes down to it, the correct one-word glib review for Unforgettable turns out to be simply “unremarkable.”
Currently airing on Sky Living on Tuesdays at 9pm.