Christian Slater + Mindwipe Drama = Surprise Win?

Illustration for article titled Christian Slater + Mindwipe Drama = Surprise Win?

Despite having a Bionic Woman-like stench of death around it from its first previews, the retooled version of new drama My Own Worst Enemy - in which Christian Slater beats Eliza Dushku's Dollhouse to the multiple personality meme with added spyjuice - is, according to the Hollywood Reporter, "NBC's most crucial fall show"... and also a potential hit.The show stars Slater as a mild-mannered suburban dad called Henry who just so happens to share a body with Edward, a government assassin whose personality can be activated and deactivated as needs be - a plot point central to the series (which follows Henry/Edward as their personalities start switching at the wrong time), but confusing to critics who were shown a preview this summer. When the series' showrunner was replaced mid-pilot, industry watchers thought we were in for a re-run of one of last year's biggest misfires, but according to the HR's first look, that's not the case:

Unlike last year's "Bionic Woman," which seemed to catalog the show's difficult development in every episode, the production turmoil that built "My Own Worst Enemy" is not evident in the pilot. The episode is a snappily written, fast-paced thriller that shows Slater can be a — and I'm really trying to avoid using the word "surprisingly" here — likable TV star... The episode is smartly directed by David Semel (who shot the first episodes of NBC's "Heroes," "Life" and A&E's "The Cleaner"), who adds some cool moments here — Henry, shell-shocked, during his "first" gunbattle, then, later, drunkenly exploring his newly discovered alter-ego's apartment. It's also nice to see NBC breaking open the piggy bank. The production values feel like the highest since the "Heroes" pilot. You don't get the sense that everything was shot on greenscreen and backlot. The editing is terrific, taking some notes from the "Bourne" movies... I could be wrong here. This could be low expectations at work. But I think viewers are going to enjoy this pilot in general and Slater in particular.


The piece also gives an idea of how surprising even NBC's own staff find the show:

"It's good," NBC employees are saying. "No, really. I was surprised. It's really good."


The show premieres October 13th at 10pm on NBC. First Look: My Own Worst Enemy [Hollywood Reporter]

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