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Tru Calling Review

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by AVForums Jun 1, 2005

    As the box proclaims, what if you had the power to change the future by reliving the past? Tru Davies (Dushku) is a medical student, whose internship at medical school falls through, but is given the suggestion that she could work in the city morgue, during the graveyard shift. She soon finds out that she's not entirely “normal”, in fact in the opening episode she has a dead woman whisper to her “Help me” and with that, she is whisked back to the start of the day, armed with the knowledge that someone is going to die - can she avert it? Soon it unravels that she has inherited this gift “The Calling” from her deceased mother as well as coming to terms with the idea that she is supposed to save these people, because it's not their time.

    TV Shows that get cancelled before their time. Never a good thing really, when you think that this gets cancelled after six episodes of season two and Baywatch just goes on and on and on. To be fair, there are a couple of issues with this show, but let's get on with the positive first. It's never going to be easy on a new show for two reasons, one, it has to find its legs and two, it will be judged by the quality before it. Keeping in mind that the titular character is played by Eliza “Faith from Buffy” Dushku, you can already see the first automatic comparison. Remember however, Buffy was originally cancelled after season one; however this got cancelled after being initially re-newed which makes it a bit of a shame. Talent wise, we have a very strong cast, from Dushku, who plays the part very well, Davis (Galifianakis), her boss at the morgue and her troubled brother Harrison (Reaves) and sister Lindsay (Cook), the former a gambler, the later a drug user. The biggest singular problem, to me, is that it's not until over half way through the season that we are introduced to a nemesis. Up until that point, the stories are very much a case of dead-body-on-slab, oh-they-need-help, oh-all-sorted-now. We feel the hunger for the chase of saving the person, but realistically there isn't anything there to remotely thwart our heroine. Until Jack (Priestley) arrives, in a very unusual bit of casting, which actually works well, but it is for that reason I feel that audiences didn't tune in or warm to this, because when you have about 8 episodes left of the season and you've only just introduced the proverbial “Big Bad”, its very hum-drum run of the mill. But it's still enjoyable run-of-the-mill, because it isn't a “monster of the week” fest, nor does it really require you to tune in every week ala 24 or Alias. That would be the second negative for the show, as it doesn't have the hook of say, the two aforementioned shows. OK, they don't always end on a proper cliff-hanger (harking back to the days of the serials like Flash Gordon), but they do have elements that leave you “up in the air”, wondering what is going to happen next. Not here, I'm afraid (until the nemesis appears), which is again why it may have failed - nothing to excite you about to tune into next weeks episode. The third and final reason it didn't succeed, is simply the TV Network in the states. Fox almost cancelled it at the end of season 1, but because the ratings improved in the middle of the first season, not to mention that its competition “Friends” was coming to the end of its run, they renewed it. They originally scheduled it for 13 episodes, but in typical fashion, during the filming of the sixth episode, they rolled it down from 13 episodes to six - then on the last day of shooting, they cancelled the show. When it screened in the US, they didn't even show the final episode, which gives you an idea to how committed they were to the show. No surprise really that no-one watched it, as knowing Fox, they probably moved it all over the schedule (they've certainly done it before). Even now, the US box set is only season one, which is where we score one over the region one version, as we have all 6 episodes of season two, which is definitely the best reason to get hold of this box set.

    As stated in my negatives, it is easy to see why this series was short lived, but if it had been a different story (nemesis primarily) this could have gone on for quite some time. But alas, it was not meant to be, but it's still worth picking up as if you bear with it a little, it's actually a really good, fun show.