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La Brea - Episode 1.01 - Pilot - Advance Preview

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La Brea has been my most anticipated show ever since it was first announced and the pilot episode has not disappointed. Strap in for a spoiler-free teaser of what to expect from the first episode of NBC's new show. 

The basic premise of the show is that a sinkhole suddenly opens up at the La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles, swallowing up a whole chunk of the city and quite a lot of people including mother and son, Claire and Josh Harris, leaving father and daughter, Gavin and Izzy, behind in the city to pick up the pieces and try to save their family. 

The Harris family are ostensibly the heart of the show as they try to reunite but they are surrounded by a host of supporting characters both in and out of the sinkhole who all promise to have their own backstories and mysteries to unravel. For me, an instant standout was Chik√© Okonkwo's Ty Coleman who is definitely the most interesting character so far and the one to watch. The show boasts a pretty awesome ensemble as well from Natalie Zea who took an understated turn on Justified to Jon Seda who was criminally underused on Chicago PD. Hopefully, this show gives him the storylines and character development he deserves. His character is off to a promising start so I hope that continues and doesn't get lost in the storylines of the rest of the pretty sizeable ensemble. 

The storyline is split pretty evenly between the people surviving in the sinkhole and the characters in the city. So far, the sinkhole arc is packing itself full of mysteries concerning both the survivors and the world they've found themselves in, with the leaders of the group already beginning to emerge and the seeds for some potential conflict in the group already being planted. 

The city arc is kept chugging along at a nice pace by Eoin Macken's character. When I say there are a lot of questions surrounding Gavin's connection to the sinkhole, I mean a lot of questions. There's also an interesting exchange between two characters that I won't spoil here but it certainly promises to make the lore of the show a lot bigger and more complex. The way the two worlds tie together will be what makes or breaks the show and the pilot episode provides quite a few threads for the audience and the characters to puzzle over. 

One of the main questions is obviously why the sinkhole has appeared and how it exists. There's a pretty interesting reveal at the end of the episode - two actually - and if you're perceptive, you might figure it out beforehand. Me? Not so perceptive it turns out but I am super excited to see where the lore takes us. I'm also interested in whether setting the show at the La Brea tar pits is significant or just a random location picked out of a hat. Maybe it's time to do some research on the history of the area.

La Brea wears its influences shamelessly on its sleeve, even throwing in a Lost mention halfway through the episode. It's definitely aiming to be original and add something new to the genre and given a chance, I think it could end up being one of the greats, especially if they keep the Harris family dynamics as the heart of the show. Grounding the high-concept sci-fi with a personal and family-oriented story will really help with the intimacy between the audience and the characters and catapult this show to greater heights.

Tune into the premiere on the 28th September on NBC and keep an eye out for another review for after the show has aired. I'm excited to hear your thoughts!

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