Second Chance (2016) - Fox's Contemporary Frankenstein Entertains

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Second Chance

The new pilot season always arrives with a sense of intrigue and pull. I seem powerless under the sway of new stories to be discovered. The past winter pilot season– which is a “midseason” premiere, was no different. Fox’s modern spin on Frankenstein was something of a curiosity for a few reasons. The greatest of which involved seeing a favorite actor in another starring role.

Many years ago, Ray Pritchard was respected with a family who loved him, and he held a title – that of Sheriff, he was honored by. Now, as an elderly man, the cloud of disgrace still haunts him. His resignation came under the pressure of scandal inspiring discord between he and his son, Duval (Tim DeKay). When Ray discovers men breaking into his son’s home, the result is death only his killers stage his death to look like suicide.  

Otto Goodwin (Adhir Kalyan) is not normal. He has a brilliant mind and a tech company he built all on his own to prove that, but socially he doesn’t live a full life. This is why the cancer diagnosis of his sister, Mary (Dilshad Vadsaria) is a crucial blow to Otto. He’s since become obsessed with finding her a cure, a cure that might involve specific donor gene sequencing. Otto finds this in Ray Pritchard, and without his sister’s permission, he begins the process of bringing Ray back. Once his sequencing is complete, Ray (Robert Kazinsky) returns… only he’s nothing like the man he once was.  

In my continued interest of full disclosure, I know nothing about the classic story on which this was inspired, however I do know interesting TV (or what I coin as such) and Second Chance is exactly that. Stepping away from the story, there is a lot going on that makes this so. Perhaps part of the appeal can be discovered inside the out layers of the story which bleeds into a kind of crime drama whereas the overreaching part of the narrative is one of compassion and contemplating human nature.  
Though there is a placement of mystery in the story, I do like the quieter urgency placed on human nature and what it might mean for someone to be gifted a second chance. It’s true this is more of a supernatural notion even still the script raised some interesting questions and queries. The theories it starts to tease are intriguing also which means for now, this is a series I can easily see myself becoming addicted to.  
Second Chance
Subtle though it is, there’s a nice sense of humor and the potential complexities of Ray and Mary’s relationship sparks interest right away, as does the function of DeKay’s character. Much as I like him, he didn’t feel a “primary” necessary to the script or perhaps his character simply isn’t well introduced yet and will benefit from better fleshed out characterization as the show furthers. What we do learn about his past has potential for an emotional subplot, so here’s hoping. If you are a fan of any of the cast or mystery dramas with a lighter bent on the crime drama genre, Second Chance like its name, it’s worth a second look.  

Content: Ray is a womanizer who has a prostitute leaving his place [as an elderly man] when his son visits; later, as his younger self, he again meets up with the same woman. We see her drop a towel, inviting Ray into her room. There is a party scene and social drinking. Some minor commonplace profanity is present. The show is rated TV14.
Second Chance Review


  1. Your review is on point, as usual! I also didn't know anything about the original story, but I was intrigued by the previews and I quickly got attached to the characters and story. Plus, Tim DeKay is amazing!!

    1. Tim DeKay is always amazing! I love that he plays the same (yet different) character in this as he did in White Collar. :) It's a shame this didn't do better because as it furthered it really grew in strength - especially for the characters.

  2. I watched an episode of this randomly, and was intrigued! I don't even think I knew the name of the show, but the concept was a cool one. I always love how they bring the old ideas back with new spins. :) Wonderful review Rissi!

    1. As do I, Rachel. It's rare I don't like contemporary spins on classics unless it's more gimmick than original/genuine storytelling. That said, this one is a cool concept and it's sad it didn't do better with the ratings. Thanks so much for reading, Rachel. :)


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