TV Review: ‘Stitchers’

STITCHERS Season 2 renewed
Courtesy of ABC Family

About as slim as a sci-fi-inspired premise gets, “Stitchers” joins a long list of series built around wide-eyed youths with an unusual skill who are recruited to join a save-the-world-type enterprise. In this case, the protagonist is a beautiful and brilliant Caltech student with temporal dysplasia, which means she doesn’t feel the passage of time. Most viewers, however, will likely feel it acutely while wading through this tired and predictable hour, which centers on a secret program that hacks into the brains of the recently deceased to solve crimes. While its heroine might not know it, skipping “Stitchers” will save you time.

Kirsten (Emma Ishta, seen in the indie “I Smile Back” and ABC’s “Manhattan Love Story”) is an aloof tech genius who is quickly drafted into the program, which is run by Maggie (Salli Richardson-Whitfield). Kirsten’s travels within the minds of the dead require wearing a high-tech, skin-tight suit that looks like the Catwoman’s, as she observes, although one suspects that from a marketing standpoint, the design was chosen for reasons more practical than utile. (The other option, she’s told, was to be naked — but that would have to play on a different network.)

Ishta fits the ABC Family profile, and looks great even when she’s poking around inside the heads of others. But the underpinnings of the show are so arcane that suddenly CW’s “iZombie,” whose central character gains similar knowledge simply by eating the brains of the dead, seems considerably more digestible by comparison.

Yes, the obligatory crack team surrounds Kirsten, but as crafted by series creator Jeffrey Alan Schechter (Todd Holland directed the pilot), they’re a pretty nondescript bunch. Nor does a mystery about her father’s role in the research that birthed the Stitchers program provide much incentive to want to enroll.

ABC Family has enjoyed success with a certain kind of drama featuring young women, and from a distance, “Stitchers” (a title, incidentally, that sounds like a casual shoe) appears reasonably compatible with that. After the first two episodes, though, the series looks less like a part of that collection, and more like a factory-made knockoff stitched together from pieces of other shows.

TV Review: 'Stitchers'

(Series; ABC Family, Tues. June 2, 9 p.m.)


Filmed in Los Angeles by ProdCo in association with ABC Family.


Executive producers, Jeffrey Alan Schechter, Jonathan Baruch, Rob Wolken, Todd Holland; co-executive producers, Jay Firestone, Jonathan Greene; supervising producer, Will Schifrin; producer, David Roessell; director, Holland; writer, Schechter; camera, Eduardo E. Mayen; production designer, Fred M. Andrews; editor, John Wesley Whitton; music, Kurt Farquhar; casting, Michael Testa. 60 MIN.


Emma Ishta, Kyle Harris, Ritesh Rajan, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Allison Scagliotti

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  1. Michael Shober says:

    ABC Family show? Why is it that 4% of the population has to infect 100% of the TV programming with LGBT content especially on a family channel? ABC (Abhorrent Behavior Channel) is losing viewers because of trying to push this kind of BS!

  2. ilovecameron says:

    I strongly disagree with all of you I loved the stitchers series and I hope it continues.

  3. Raven says:

    I disagree with most of what has been said here. I think it has a nice ensemble chemistry, and at this point (July 28) the characters are starting to develop and become interesting. There have been several stories that proved interesting and entertaining to me…and my experience is that most series take awhile to find their footing. If you aren’t interested in this, don’t watch, and if you enjoy dissing people and new TV series, have at it. Compared to most of what is on TV, though, this isn’t half bad, from where I sit.

  4. jeskuh says:

    How did this show get the okay to air? The same thing happens every episode thats play so far. The main character has zero heart for the part she plays. Its simply boring and predictable. Who wants to watch a show where the same thing happens every episode. She stitches a dead person who either got killed or just died.

  5. NaKita says:

    True. Only really good thing I can say, is that my favorite character is Cameron (Kyle Harris), the funny, quirky, odd, but deeply caring kind of guy. Kyle Harris does a good job with this character, so far.

  6. Ray says:

    Watched ep 1 last night. I thought the premise was OK, but marred by:
    1) the (obligatory) bad secret govt agency. It supposedly wants to prevent bombings, but then is mad because they were actually prevented? So it seems to be more concerned with keeping itself secret than with saving lives. What a new plot device! Not. Getting awfully tired of shows denigrating US Govt agencies.
    2) I don’t follow at all what her special skill? talent? defect? even has to do with reliving someone’s memory. At one point she’s recalling something, and says she’s employing her temporal dysplasia. Really? Seems to me it was just ordinary memory recall.
    3) The cast- you have the standard-issue Young White Guy being the brains and potential love interest, the Young Indian Tech geek, etc. The Disturbed Young Pretty Female (lead) role reminds me an awful lot of ‘Parker’ in Leverage.

    This COULD have been a good show.

    • Bleh says:

      Nah. Parker was enjoyable. This show’s more like ‘I wish I did drugs so I wouldn’t remember ever having seen this piece of crap.’

      iZombie DOES do this A LOT better, and a lot smarter, with a lot of heart.

      This show is just plain painful, made all the more painful because I enjoy watching Allison Scagliotti (perky roommate sidekick in this show, Warehouse 13 perky sidekick in a past life) and so I forced myself to watch TWO episodes. I have regrets.

  7. Amber says:

    It looks so predictable and boring to be honest

    • Elizabeth says:

      I enjoyed it. I love Sci-fi, and while this wasn’t “rocket science”, it had a likeable cast and some fun dialogue. I hope it last long enough to flesh things out a bit. If it does, I think it will do well.

  8. ChrisV says:

    Harsh review, but fair. I will tune in, at least for the premiere… but I like the warning.

  9. Accurate Review says:

    It was knocked off from other shows………very accurate review.

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