“Ten Days in the Valley” tries to juggle a lot of different ideas, but very few aspects of this overwrought show work. The harder it tries to come off as serious and deep, the more this derivative drama is infused with an air of faintly ridiculous overreach. It’s a mess.
In “Ten Days,” Kyra Sedgwick plays Jane Sadler, an overworked television showrunner whose daughter goes missing. Not only is the police investigation entirely predictable, the show’s scattershot commentaries on Hollywood, storytelling and modern parenting are incoherent at best. None of the characters are nuanced or original, and Jane’s tendency to get caught up in inconsequential personal concerns — especially when her child is MIA — adds to the laundry list of irritating elements. She can’t put aside her petty arguments with her bitter ex-husband Pete (Kick Gurry), and neither one bothers to tell the truth to the police about their activities on that fateful night.
The existence of flawed characters on broadcast network dramas should be something to celebrate, but when they’re crammed into a show that can’t decide if it’s a pulpy soap opera, an urban thriller or a cynical behind-the-scenes tell-all, the attempts at complexity fall flat. “Ten Days” veers from flashbacks of Jane’s past to modern-day police corruption storylines to on-set disputes at a TV show, and then back to the plodding investigation of the disappearance, without much purposeful direction. Each installment of the show depicts another day of the investigation, but it’s hard to see many viewers sticking around for one week of this mishmash.
Origination: Drama; 10 episodes (2 reviewed); ABC, Sun., Oct. 1, 10 p.m. 60 min.
Executive producers: Tassie Cameron, Kyra Sedgwick, Jill Littman, Sherry White, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Marcy Ross.
Cast: Kyra Sedgwick, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kick Gurry, Erika Christensen, Felix Solis, Josh Randall, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Abigail Pniowsky, Francois Battiste.