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Touch: Is the FOX Series Worth Watching?

Touch TV showTonight, 24’s Kiefer Sutherland returns to FOX in Touch, a new dramatic series from Heroes’ Tim Kring. This evening’s pilot serves as a special preview as the show won’t be a regular part of the network’s schedule until March.

Sutherland plays Martin Bohm. He was a highly successful reporter who’s been toiling in a series of smaller jobs since the death of his wife on 9/11. He’s now a baggage handler who isn’t able to connect with his seemingly-autistic son Jake (David Mazouz), who doesn’t like human contact. A stranger (Danny Glover) tells the frustrated father that there is a pattern to everything and a connection between all of us. If we can figure out the correct formulas, it may be possible to foretell the future.

Is Touch worth watching? Here’s what the critics are saying:

LA Times: “It is, without question, handsomely made, and Sutherland, who managed to keep Jack Bauer something akin to likable through eight seasons of 24, is appealing and should grow more so if the scripts let him relax a little; he is an overwound mainspring when we meet.”

NY Magazine: “Some of the regrettable subplots and incidental details don’t exactly push against typecasting. I really don’t know why Kring and company thought it was necessary to drag 9/11 into their story by making the boy’s mother a casualty of the World Trade Center attack… These, alas, are but a few of the show’s misjudgments; a far bigger problem, from an audience-interest standpoint, is the way Kring and the writing staff lard the story with way, way, way too many personal tragedies and amazing twists of fate, to the point that, to misquote Rick in Casablanca, the world’s problems are reduced to a hill of beans.”

SF Chronicle: “Yes, to a large extent Touch is pretty much like CBS’ Numb3rs with more schmaltz. But it bears a more intriguing similarity to another current CBS show, Person of Interest. That series’ gimmick is a supersecret machine that crunches data to predict when seemingly random individuals will be involved in violence, as either victims or perpetrators… It’s a little tougher when the ‘machine’ is a little kid, and it gets more challenging when we’re asked to follow links to other characters around the world like one of those serpentine dotted lines in a Family Circus panel.”

Chicago Sun Times: “Like Heroes, Touch also makes a great first impression. It can be a tad hokey at times, and the word ‘farfetched’ is bound to show up in more than one review. But overall, the first episode delivers a suspenseful ride around the world, peppered with some tear-jerking moments. The bar has been set high. Here’s hoping “Touch” continues to reach it.”

Hollywood Reporter: “Each week, Kring said, there will be a new stand-alone story involving Martin and Jake (and presumably Clea) that spirals out into the world and affects others elsewhere. And while the pilot was compelling — emotional, mature and hopeful — not every week can end with a ‘social benefit,’ Kring noted… Given that reassurance, viewers should try to connect with Touch. There’s something intriguing about it. Let’s see where in the world it ends up.”

What do you think? Will you tune in to see Touch? If you’ve already watched it, will you come back for more?


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