Stay Tuned
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Friday, February 01, 2008

“Eli Stone”: Gotta Have Faith

So tell the truth. How many of you that watched “Eli Stone” last night woke up this morning with George Michael’s “Faith” in your head?

And how many of you who didn’t watch are now wondering why I would ask that question?...

If you missed it, Eli Stone (Jonny Lee Miller) is an ambitious lawyer who has it all. He’s engaged to his boss’ daughter (Natasha Henstridge) and he’s representing a major drug company in a slam dunk case.

But suddenly, Eli starts having hallucinations of George Michael singing “Faith” (And yes, the real George Michael appears.). With some help from an acupuncturist, Eli remembers that the woman who is suing the drug company and now wants Eli to represent her was his “first time,” which was accompanied by “Faith.”

Clever, huh?

Then the hallucinations start reminding Eli of how he was going to “change the world” and help people.

But then, Eli is thrown a curveball when the cause of his hallucinations is discovered to be an inoperable brain aneurysm. However, his acupuncturist believes the hallucinations—no matter what their cause—are actually signs and that Eli is a modern day prophet.

So, of course, Eli takes the case against the drug company and decides to become the decent lawyer he always aspired to be.

It would be easy to think that “Eli” is from David E. Kelley, the man behind “Ally MacBeal” and “Boston Legal” since there are so many similarities. But “Eli” actually comes from Greg Berlanti, the man behind “Brothers & Sisters” and “Dirty Sexy Money.” To say “Eli” is quirkier that those two combined is a major understatement.

I mean, George Michael performs in Eli’s living room for goodness sake!

Often times, quirky is just another way of saying something is really stupid, but that’s not the case here. “Eli” is actually quite endearing thanks to Miller’s performance. And he’s surrounded by a great supporting cast, including the always fabulous Victor Garber (I love it when he plays sleazy.).

And, “Eli” doesn’t get so caught up in all the craziness that it forgets the drama. In fact, the craziness just helps to resolve the drama.

My concern, though, is that the show will have trouble actually sustaining its premise over an entire season.

But hey, I gotta have faith…

“Eli Stone” airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on ABC…