Believe Sundays, 9 p.m. (premieres March 10, 10 p.m.), NBC.
It’s a shame that Alfonso Cuarón is following up his Oscar for directing Gravity by co-creating and directing the first episode of Believe, a hokey pseudo-spiritual serialized drama executive-produced by J.J. Abrams. The episode opens with one of Cuarón’s trademark long tracking shots, but the impressive shot composition isn’t matched by the vague, clunky storytelling.
Believe focuses on a superpowered young girl (Johnny Sequoyah) who must be protected by one mysterious organization from the evil intentions of a different mysterious organization. Young Bo is annoyingly precocious and prone to cryptic pronouncements, and her love-hate dynamic with her reluctant protector (Jake McLaughlin) quickly grows tiresome.
It’s hard to invest in Believe’s big mystery, but it’s even harder to invest in the prospect that Bo will be helping emotionally damaged people each week. And since Cuarón’s involvement going forward is likely to be minimal, there won’t even be any striking visuals to compensate.