In ABC’s new dead-child time-travel mystery, “Somewhere Between,” the coincidences are somewhere between far-fetched and lunatic.
In the first episode, a private investigator on a case goes to the wrong apartment — and it’s the apartment of the district attorney who put the investigator’s brother on death row. Later, the district attorney’s wife has a flat tire — outside a store owned by the mother of the investigator’s murdered fiancée. At this point the characters realize something’s up. “Nothing is coincidence,” the bereaved mother cries. Oh! O.K.
The extravagant melodrama of “Somewhere Between” can be traced to its source: “God’s Gift: 14 Days,” a 2014 South Korean series that has an abundance of the hair-raising plot twists that characterize that country’s internationally popular TV dramas.
The first two episodes of “Somewhere,” shown Monday and Tuesday, stayed fairly close to the complicated framework of the Korean show. Laura (Paula Patton), the district attorney’s wife, is a producer of an investigative TV news show that’s probing a series of child murders. When her own daughter is kidnapped and killed, she tries to drown herself, only to wake up back on dry land a week before her daughter’s murder. Working with the investigator — everything is connected! — she tries to change the course of events, but they don’t change easily.
The do-over mystery — seen this past season in CW’s “Frequency” — puts an emphasis on remorse, and “Somewhere,” featuring a mother who blames herself for her child’s death, is about the greatest guilt of all. The corollary is that Laura, given her groundhog week, will go to any extreme to keep her daughter safe. This theme was even more bald in the Korean original, which opens with an animated parable about a mother gouging out her own eyes.
Set in San Francisco and filmed in Vancouver, “Somewhere Between” looks good. And as summer escapism goes, it has a little more texture, though a little less urgency, than competitors like CBS’s “Zoo” and “The Mist” on Spike. No performances stand out, but Ms. Patton and Devon Sawa are fine as the odd-couple investigators.
Of course, if you want to see how the story might turn out, there’s a quicker way than waiting for the 10 episodes of “Somewhere Between” to unspool. The 17 episodes of “God’s Gift” (in which the mother is given two weeks, rather than one, to fix things) can be binged at Dramafever.com.
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