offers up pseudo-religious hokum
TV networks have always had a weakness for
mysticism, from “The Twilight Zone” to “The
X-Files” to “Lost.” The trick is to keep the
audience from laughing at you — a trick that
the new “Touch” (Thursday, 8 p.m., Fox) hasn’t
quite mastered. Oh, I admit that the story of
a mute boy (David Mazouz) with special powers
is watchable, thanks to Kiefer Sutherland’s
intense performance as his beleaguered dad.
But “Touch” takes its own mumbo-jumbo so seriously
that it’s hard to get through an hour without
a few giggles.
The boy is a mathematical genius, and somehow
that gives him a supernatural insight into human
destiny. He predicts the future and brings together
far-flung individuals who “need” to be brought
together. Sutherland is as confused as the viewing
audience, so Danny Glover shows up to explain
it all. Meanwhile, the filmmakers throw in 9/11,
Islamic terrorists, a dead child and any other
cheap elements they can think of to raise the
“Patterns, mathematical in design, are hanging
in plain sight,” the boy says in voiceover.
“Only a few of us can see the connections.”
The only pattern I perceive is one of TV networks
periodically throwing this kind of pseudo-religious
hokum against the wall to see if it sticks.
Sunday, 8 p.m. (AMC)
I smell liquor, cigarettes and hairspray —
it must be the long-awaited return of “Mad Men”
after an 18-month hiatus. Season four ended
with ad executive Don Draper (Jon Hamm) proposing
marriage to his young secretary (Jessica Paré)
while 1960s Madison Avenue — with its sexism,
infidelity and alcoholism — found itself on
the cusp of monumental change.
I’m pretty worked up about the season five premiere,
but a couple of martinis and a smoke ought to
calm me down. CV