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MCN REVIEW: Stitchers

ABC Family tries its hand at procedural drama with this new original series, Stitchers.

Actually, Stitchers is more science fiction than crime drama. It stars Emma Ishta as Kirsten Clark, a young woman suffering from a disease that renders her emotionless and without any concept of time passing. Given her condition, it’s not surprising that Kirsten has relationship issues, and often butts heads with her roommate Camille Engelson (Allison Scagliotti) — so much so that Camille is ready to throw Kirsten out of their shared apartment. Camille relents after Kirsten is notified that the person who served as her father figure growing up was found dead from an apparent suicide.

Unsatisfied with the police’s preliminary report, Kirsten hacks into the police mainframe for additional clues. Her plan gets thwarted by a shadow government agency that instead recruits Kirsten for a secret job that entails “stitching” Kirsten’s consciousness into the minds of dead bodies and using their memories to help solve major crimes.

The scientists within the secret program, run by Maggie (Salli Richardson-Whitfield) and overseen by geeky neuroscientist Cameron (Kyle Harris), believe Kirsten’s unique skills are ideal for the as-yet-perfected project. But both Kirsten and the agency have to quickly weigh the potential short- and long-term risks “stitching” will have on Kirsten’s health — with the immediacy of stopping a major crime from taking place.

Stitchers is a departure from ABC Family’s typical family-and-friends, relationship-based dramas, although the pilot episode does allude to a potential romance between Cameron and Kirsten. It also has comedic elements, including the often rigid Kirsten poking fun at the Catwoman-esque bodysuit she has to adorn to be stitched, as well as the humorous banter between Kirsten and the various young, geeky scientists at the agency.

Overall, Stitchers has enough action, reasonably decent special effects and youthful appeal to keep its millennial target audience interested and tuning in on a weekly basis.

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.