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Fall TV Preview: Should You Forget About Poppy Montgomery's Unforgettable?

Unforgettable Heather Wines/CBS
WWK Fall TV Preview 2011

Hooray! Poppy Montgomery (Without a Trace) is back and rocking some seriously gorgeous red hair for her new CBS series, Unforgettable.

And hey, Dylan Walsh from Nip/Tuck is in it, too!

Beyond that, though, um, should we actually drop the "un" in front of Unforgettable?

Here's our take:

Unforgettable (CBS)
Premieres Tuesday, Sept. 10 at 10 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition:
Parenthood (NBC), Body of Proof (ABC)
Cast: Poppy Montgomery, Dylan Walsh, Michael Gaston, Kevin Rankin, Daya Vaidya

Status:
We've seen the pilot episode.

Really, Montgomery and Walsh's new crime drama is a fine show. But does CBS' new addition to a schedule already padded with well-performing procedurals offer anything really new or—we have to say it—memorable?

Like The Mentalist's Patrick Jane, Montgomery's Carrie Wells is hyperobservant, and her hyperthymesia means she cannot forget anything. Also like so many other CBS law enforcers (see also: The Mentalist, Hawaii Five-0, Blue Bloods), Carrie is haunted by a loved one's murder.

Unforgettable has one thing going for it: a captivating cast. Poppy is as lovely as ever, and Nip/Tuck's Walsh is a convincing cop—Poppy's ex-partner (on the force and between the sheets). "You are going to see a lot more about these people's lives" than most procedurals, Walsh told us. We hope that includes Det. Roe Saunders, played by charismatic chameleon Kevin Rankin, whose notable guest arcs include Justified's Devil, Big Love's Verlan and Friday Night Lights' quad rugby antihero Herc.

Just when she thought she was out—nine years off the force and counting cards for cash—Det. Al Burns pulls Carrie back into policing, asking for her help in solving her neighbor's murder. The writers play fast and loose with Carrie's gift here—apparently, she subconsciously absorbs every detail of her surroundings, enabling her to reconstruct the crime scene later. So what does she do when she solves it?  Why, confront the killer (whose identity will be immediately obvious to viewers, despite the red herrings)...alone, in a dark, deserted warehouse. We don't want to spoil anything more, but her former partner may or may not save her at the very last second from being killed herself.  

Along with the clichés, the pilot serves up supersize portions of irony: Although Carrie has total recall, her mother is suffering from dementia and doesn't recognize her only surviving daughter when she visits her in a nursing home. In another cruel twist of fate, her sister Rachel's murder remains unsolved to this day because Carrie cannot remember any details surrounding her death.

But now some fragments are coming back, and although Carrie hadn't officially returned to policing by the end of the first episode, her "bedpans and blackjack" lifestyle is clearly over.

Is Unforgettable the worst new show on television? Not at all. Will it succeed? Very likely, given the Eye net's proven track record with crime dramas. 

Verdict: Unless you're dying to add another solid CBS procedural, fuhgeddaboudit—for now.

WATCH: Poppy Montgomery and Dylan Walsh want you to root for their characters to get together!

Check out all our reviews for this season's new shows, and be sure to bookmark our calendar of premiere dates!

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