Day Break: And you thought *you* were having a bad day

"Something's happening today. Something big. And I'm at the center of it."

Day Break is a thirteen-hour miniseries running in the Lost timeslot during its mid-season hiatus. Yes, it's Groundhog Day, but with its own unique flavor. It's not a zen-like romantic comedy; it's dead serious. Emphasis on the "dead."

Taye Diggs plays Brett Hopper, a police detective who wakes up at 6:18 one morning, and proceeds to experience the worst day of his life. He is framed for murdering the assistant district attorney. The woman he loves is killed. Someone is behind it all, for reasons Hopper cannot begin to fathom. Especially when he wakes up the next morning and it all starts happening again.

So this is a mystery with a big, honking gimmick. But what got me interested isn't just the Groundhog Day repeat, but that the repeat of each day includes consequences from the previous day. There is no re-set button for Brett. He cuts himself shaving the first time through, and the cut is still on his face the next day. Unlike Bill Murray, Brett can't jump off a building, step in front of a bus, or crash himself and the groundhog into a rock quarry. Brett absolutely must figure out what is going on, and he is in danger every moment while he is doing it. The broken hourglass that is sent to Brett implies that this isn't just a fantasy; there's a reason for what is happening.

The two-hour premiere kept me engaged, and just never stopped moving. The next episode was also good. The basic plotlines are exceptionally complex, with layers of mystery and multiple directions in which Brett can turn in an attempt to make things right. Like, why is internal affairs investigating Brett's partner, Andrea? Who betrayed his gang leader informant? How does girlfriend Rita's ever-present ex-husband fit into the picture? Why is Brett's sister in danger, too?

I particularly liked that they added two familiar sci-fi faces to the cast: Mitch Pileggi from The X-Files as the villainous Spivak, and Adam Baldwin from Firefly as Rita's ex-husband. I also like Brett's partner, Andrea Battle (Victoria Pratt), who appears to be a very complicated woman. Frankly, I think Brett has more chemistry with Andrea than with his girlfriend, Rita (Moon Bloodgold).

Taye Diggs is always appealing, the supporting cast works, and I'm pretty much hooked already. Looks like ABC had a good idea for a change.
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Billie Doux loves good television, especially science fiction, and spends way too much time writing about it.

3 comments:

Meredith said...

We're watching this, too, Billie and I think we like it. I wish you would do a regular review along the lines of "Lost" for it. And tell me this, why did Rita allow her creepy ex to "sleep on the couch"?

Sisa said...

Hi Billie, since I always read your Lost reviews, I just hoped to find something about Day Break on your website. Thank you. Here in Germany it is not so easy to get it via internet, so far I saw the first 5 episodes. I think they rock! Ok, nothing compared to LOST, but it's a good substitute. I haven't found any good forums yet. Why is that? Is the series not succesful? I hope I'll get to see all 13 episodes and a forum to talk to others.

Sisa

Gompie said...

The show's been cancelled. You can only see it on abc.com now, so impossible outside the US. Pity.