×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TV Review: ‘Beyond’ on Freeform

With:

Burkely Duffield, Romy Rosemont, Michael McGrady, Jonathan Whitesell, Dilan Gwyn, Jeff Pierre

In a nod to the way its target audience consumes TV these days, all 10 episodes of Freeform’s sci-fi-flavored drama “Beyond” will be available on the Disney cabler’s app and on Hulu on the day of the show’s premiere. If only the show itself were a binge-worthy addiction. As it is, “Beyond’s” characters are so bland and their dilemmas so unremarkable that it may be difficult to make it through the show’s two-hour pilot.

In “Beyond,” Burkely Duffield plays Holden, a young man who wakes up from a coma with unusual abilities. Despite multiple demonstrations of those powers, it takes Holden a long time to acknowledge their existence and their destructive tendencies. That might be acceptable if Holden — or any members of his family — had any memorable qualities, but they are unremarkable in every way.

Most aspects of “Beyond” — from a slo-mo showdown in the rain to an all-American family struggling with an unusual burden — carry echoes of more well-known movies and TV shows, from “The X-Files” to “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” to “Kyle XY,” a show that debuted on this network a decade ago, back when it was called ABC Family. But as “Stranger Things” demonstrated, being derivative isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as long as there is a good deal of substance backing up a show’s homages.

Unlike that Netflix hit, “Beyond” fails to create the kind of suspenseful atmosphere or complex relationships that would cause a viewer to be patient with its lesser qualities, and “Beyond” is weighed down by dull dialogue and a pace that leaves much to be desired. The exploration of the family’s reaction to Holden’s return or the “man out of time” element of his life could have been examined with poignance or humor, but neither aspect of the show is fleshed out with flair or memorable detail. 

Most tedious of all is the unspooling of some kind of vague conspiracy arrayed against Holden, who regularly sees visions and flashes of a past life. That element of the show is frustrating in the extreme, given that a juicy set of villains could have given the story a needed boost of energy. As it is, those out to get him aren’t given any more depth or urgency than any other element of the drama, and ultimately, it’s hard to care about Holden or the people who are after him.

TV Review: 'Beyond' on Freeform

Drama: 10 episodes (2 reviewed); Freeform; Mon., Jan. 2, 9 p.m. 60 mins.

Crew:

Executive producers, Adam Nussdorf, Tim Kring, David Eick, Steven Adelson, Zak Kadison, Justin Levy, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones

Cast:

Burkely Duffield, Romy Rosemont, Michael McGrady, Jonathan Whitesell, Dilan Gwyn, Jeff Pierre

More TV

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Showrunners, Screenwriters Back WGA in Agency Battle, Sides to Meet Again Tuesday

    More than 750 showrunners and screenwriters have backed the WGA’s battle against talent agencies taking packaging fees and other changes to the rules governing the business relationship between agents and writers. The letter of support issued Saturday is significant because of the immense clout showrunners and prominent screenwriters possess in Hollywood. Several showrunners had recently [...]

  • Series Mania: De Mensen, Reel One

    Series Mania: First Details on Co-Pro Pitching Project 'Capturing Big Mouth' (EXCLUSIVE)

    LILLE, France — Belgian production company De Mensen, which has just been acquired by France’s Newen, has teamed with Reel One Entertainment on a new cross-continental thriller series, “Capturing Big Mouth. The series will be pitched Monday at this year’s Series Mania Forum Co-pro Pitching section. It chronicles the unlikely rise and eventual fall of [...]

  • Daily Show Viacom

    Viacom, DirecTV Make Progress in Contract Talks, No Blackout After Deadline Passes

    UPDATED: Viacom and DirecTV executives went down to the wire Friday on a combative contract renewal negotiation with high stakes for both sides. The companies stayed in talks past the midnight Eastern contract expiration and the channels stayed up on AT&T’s platforms. Sources indicated early Saturday that the threat of a blackout had been averted. [...]

  • ABBY'S -- "Pilot" Episode 101 --

    TV Review: 'Abby's' Starring Natalie Morales

    “Abby’s,” NBC’s new comedy about a cranky bartender (Natalie Morales) and her inner circle of regulars, is aware of the inevitable “Cheers” comparisons. Created by “New Girl” writer Josh Malmuth and executive produced by uber-producer (and unabashed “Cheers” superfan) Mike Schur, “Abby’s” therefore makes a few key choices in order to differentiate itself as its [...]

  • Ryan Murphy Walk of Fame

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Sets Premiere Date for Ryan Murphy's 'The Politician'

    In today’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for Ryan Murphy’s “The Politician” series, and Kristin Cavallari will host “Paradise Hotel” on Fox.  DATES Reality star Kristin Cavallari will host Fox’s reboot of “Paradise Hotel,” an unscripted dating show in which a group of singles will check into a tropical resort and compete to check [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content