The Pretender: The Complete First Season

DVD Reviews | Apr 27th, 2005

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Starring Michael T. Weiss, Andrea Parker, Patrick Bauchau, Jon Gries
Written By:
Directed By: Steven Long Mitchell , Craig W. Van Sickle
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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Jarod is a genius. He’s beyond a genius. From when he was five years old until he escaped thirty years later, he lived at a facility in Delaware aptly called The Centre. His superior intelligence allows Jarod to place himself literally in the shoes of others. His whole life was spent on projects in which he was used to problem-solve (i.e.: what pilots where feeling as their plane was going down; what Lee Harvey Oswald was thinking over looking the motorcade; how many fingers I’m holding up right now).

Half out of desire to learn of his past (he doesn’t even know what happened to his parents) and half b/c he figured out the less-than-altruistic aspects of his surroundings, Jarod escaped from the Centre with only his mind, and video footage of his sessions with Sydney, the closest thing to a parent he has ever known. Now he travels around the country using his abilities to help those who have been wronged (i.e.: a firefighter who perished in the line of duty, the mysterious death of a skydiver/ survivalist, protecting a witness who’s supposed to testify against a drug cartel). All the while he is being pursued by people from the Centre, including Sydney, and a Ms. Parker who’s past is clouded in almost as much mystery as Jarod’s. As the series goes on, we, like Jarod, learn more and more about his past, his present, himself, and why he can’t truly let go of the Centre.

One of the aspects of the show that I found appealing is that Jarod spent thirty years of his life away from reality. He never went outside, he never had a Christmas present… Everything he finds, from human relations to Silly Putty are new and exciting to him. Each episode gives Jarod something new about the little things that everyone takes for granted. As he is fond of saying, he will never give up searching for his past, and he will constantly be learning who he really is.

Overall, the show had an “X-Files” quality to it. What I mean is, there are those episodes that are all plot, and those that seem to be mere filler, and yet even in those episodes there are little hints as to where the show is going. I wasn’t too thrilled to be reviewing this one at first, but as I continued to watch the show, I was drawn in, and I am waiting for Season 2 to come in so I can watch that one as well.

Audio commentary on selected episodes
“Making-of” featurettes and TV spots

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Surround
SPANISH: Dolby Digital Surround
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Surround

Standard 1.33:1 Color

English, Spanish

Favorite Scenes: Keys, Baby Love, Dragon House, Under the Reds, Not Even a Mouse
Rating: NR
Running Time: 1100 minutes
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating: