CBS’s Limitless repeats a lot of its movie namesake, but can it actually expand on the mysterious story of the origin of the drug?
To be clear, Limitless the tv series is definitely set in the same universe as the movie. Produced by the original title character himself Bradley Cooper, the show takes more than just a few themes of the original film including color shifting lighting to signify if our hero is in a drugged state or not.
In the sequel, instead of Eddie Morra, we have Brian (Jake McDorman), a going nowhere musician questioning his life decisions as all of his relations move forward in their careers, families, and adulthood. While taking a dead-end temp job at a financial firm, he runs into his old band mate Eli, now a top performing fund manager. To help out his old friend, Eli introduces Brian to NZT, the same drug from the film that “unlocks” the limitless potential of the human brain. In the process, he ends up suspect for Eli’s murder, and must use his new intelligence to prove his innocence.
Unfortunately, this is basically the exact same plot as the original movie.
Execution of the series, like may CBS shows, is quite good. The pacing of the series is well done, as is the contemporarily, and calm cinematography and special “in enhanced mode” effects that CBS is so fond of. In fact, you may even confuse the show with last year’s Intelligence” or the current running Elementary*, both shows about misfit investigators with super human intelligence that just see the world a bit differently.
CBS is once again recreating the same show, but with the backing of a moderately successful movie franchise, maybe Limitless can at least move in some forward direction and keep viewers interested.
Limitless isn’t really a bad show, as are none of the CBS crime procedurals. The issue is how long can it keep up the same storyline of solving a difficult case by using a superhuman drug week in and week out. Like most crime dramas, I assume after a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to predict every single plot point of the episode in the first five minutes, without needing a dose of NZT to do so.