"Limitless" Gets Better, But Doesn’t Look Good Enough


Do you remember the 2011 movie Limitless? Probably not, but CBS execs sure haven’t. They’ve recently started airing a TV series of the same name that serves as a sequel to the movie.

I’m not going to lie to you, the pilot wasn’t very strong. I thought the story was more or less a dumbed-down version of the movie and the acting talent provided questionable performances at best. As someone who liked the movie, I was really hoping for more than the first episode provided.

However, as any fan of television will – or at least should – attest to, you can’t judge a show based only on one episode. I usually give new series half of their first season before I give up on them entirely.

Some of the best shows on television have had rocky beginnings. CW’s The Flash is an excellent example of this. I hated the pilot and thought the show was doomed, but it steadily got better and better until it became one of my favorite shows on TV.

So I sat down to watch the second episode of “Limitless” last night (I’ll be using quotations to differentiate between the movie and TV series) and was pleasantly surprised. It didn’t get a lot better, but the show’s protagonist definitely stepped up his game.

For those who maybe didn’t see the movie or forgot, the premise is based around a drug called NZT that allows users to access every little memory they’ve ever experienced. Of course, the drug also has some pretty nasty side effects, including a horrifically painful death. Brian, the TV series protagonist, is able to avoid these side effects through narrative means and begins working for the FBI in the second episode.

The main character is given much more to do and work with in this episode, allowing for some character building and a nice bit of comedic moments that offset the show’s seriousness in a much needed way. It feels like the show’s writers are trying a bit too hard to ground the series in reality, which would be fine if it didn’t center around such an outlandish premise.

While the lead actor and main character got better, the rest of the episode didn’t really address any other concerns. If this show came out a few years ago, closer to the movie’s release, I think it may have found footing even on such a rocky foundation. But as it stands, it’s a far cry from renewal and sitting at a 59% on Rotten Tomatoes.

I’d like to recommend the show, but I just can’t. Although I do intend to keep watching and will keep you apprised of its status as the show progresses.

Want a Mystery to Solve?

I already wrote at length about the pilot episode, which is why I didn’t go into it in-depth. However, you may notice that my first “Limitless” article does not appear here on DTV. I wrote it under a pen name and posted it on my personal blog. For any internet Sherlocks out there, let me know if you think you’ve found the article in the comments below and I will confirm whether or not your suspicions are correct.

Happy hunting.