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Stay Tuned
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Monday, October 30, 2006

"The Nine" drags on...

There’s no doubt that “The Nine” is high drama at its highest. I’m just not sure whether that’s good or bad.

I hadn’t seen an episode since the premiere, so I took the opportunity this weekend to catch up on the three episodes I’d missed. I couldn’t find one of the tapes, so I only saw the third and fourth episodes.

But fortunately for me, I didn’t miss much. And that’s the show’s biggest problem: It just moves too slow.

Wednesday will be episode five, but we know very little about what happened in the bank. We know that Felicia called 911 with help from Frannie. We know that Lucas had a chance to escape, but came back into the bank to help his brother. Nick nearly locked them out, but Malcolm distracted him before he could. And we also know that Lucas and his brother had a big fight in the bank that nearly got Lucas shot.

But that’s it. That’s all we know.

To tide us over until we know more about the hostage crisis, we follow the personal lives of those involved. But in order to keep the group in each other’s stories, the writers must force some relationships that don’t necessarily work. I understand that this horrible experience has bonded these people together. I’m just not sure I buy how much they’ve bonded.

For example, Lizzie has pretty much glued herself to Kathryn and Kathryn is more than happy to help—even at the expense of her career. We later learn that Kathryn feels a special bond with the pregnant Lizzie because she once terminated a pregnancy, but it still doesn’t work for me. Maybe it’s because Kathryn and Nick have been reduced to being the mom and dad of the group, as the others continually come to them for help. They both have their own problems as Kathryn struggles to deal with the standoff aftermath and Nick struggles with his gambling problem. Unfortunately, they’re too busy taking calls from the others for their stories to develop.

I’m not ready to give up yet though, since it looks like we may finally get some story movement as suspicion begins to fall on Eva (who was killed in the standoff). And it’s hard to turn off a show with that great of a cast. There are no weak links, although John Billingsley’s Egan Foote is starting to get a little annoying (but that’s a character problem). Kim Raver is solid (as usual) and Chi McBride has toned down his usual bravado to give a heartwarming performance as a concerned father and bank manager.

But no matter how good the cast is, the show will have to pick up the pace or risk not only losing me, but also losing its spot on the schedule.