When I first heard about Stitchers, a new ABC Family series that began airing June 2, I laughed it off. But stick with me a bit and I’ll explain why I got hooked from the first episode. (When I finally gave it a chance, that is.)
The basic premise of the show is this: Kirsten Clark is an emotionally challenged, but brilliant, grad student. When her surrogate father/legal guardian commits suicide, she gets pulled into the investigation, in part because she doesn’t believe it was a suicide and in part because the cops are suspicious of her apparent lack of grief.
Thing is, Kirsten’s lack of feels is caused by “temporal dysplasia*,” a condition that causes her to have no perception of time, and a lack of emotional connection with anyone or anything. This condition, as much as the police find it suspect, is of great interest to a secretive government agency, called the Stitchers Program, that investigates murders by tapping into the memories of people who’ve recently died.
*FYI: Not a real condition.
Kirsten joins up with the program to investigate her guardian’s death, but the clues she discovers quickly add up to an even bigger mystery than that of his death.
Sounds kind of silly, right? Well … it is, but it’s also so much fun. Read on for three reasons why you should join me in watching.
1. So Close Science Fiction
The Stitchers program uses advanced technology to send a living person’s consciousness into the memories of a dead person. There’s a lot of science and algorithms involved, much of which goes straight over my head—I’m no dummy, but I was also an English and journalism major, so I haven’t taken a science course in … a while. The technology isn’t real, but it feels like it could easily be. I mean, people’s brains are hopping with electrical impulses, right? Who’s to say we couldn’t eventually figure out how to read those impulses, or even connect to them?
When Kirsten “stitches in,” she experiences a person’s memories as if she’s watching them from nearby. But the memories are never clear-cut like a movie; they jump around and are colored by the person’s emotions and brain chemistry. And when she’s back in her own body, she’s slightly affected by what she experienced while connected. (Think how Liv acts when she eats someone’s brains on iZombie.) As someone who can be adversely affected by a particularly troubling dream, being affected, emotionally, by experiencing someone else’s emotions from within is totally believable.
2. More Than Meets The Eye
At first glance, Stitchers is a pretty typical crime procedural. Each week, Kirsten and her team investigate a different crime/murder. Now, I generally dig this kind of show, but what makes Stitchers stand out among the crowd is the mystery that runs underneath. In the first episode, Kirsten learns that her birth father had connections to the Stitchers program, and with each consecutive episode, she discovers more unexpected connections while investigating seemingly unconnected crimes.
There’s also an underlying “what are they not telling us” about the true nature of the program, but that’s pretty much par for the course with secretive government agencies, amirite?
3. Hot Nerds
In addition to Kirsten, the rest of the Stitchers main cast includes Cameron, a super sweet and utterly brilliant neuroscientist; Ritesh, a talented biochemical engineer and communications expert; and Camille, an up-and-coming computer scientist. They’re all young, and they’re all ridiculously smart. But their brains don’t mean that they’re out of touch with reality, or, happily, nerdy pop culture. I’ve noted references to Star Wars and Doctor Who, and Cameron often quotes lines from other science fiction movies and TV shows when Kirsten “stitches in.”
Oh, and none of them are hard on the ol’ peepers.
Bonus: Shirtless News
Full disclosure: This has only happened once so far, but it was a very good once.
Stitchers might not be the best show ever, but it’s a good bit of fun to watch during the somewhat quiet summer season. Plus, it’s already been renewed for a second season, so you have to assume that they’re doing something right.
Have you checked out Stitchers yet? If so, lets chat in the comments! If not, I’ll be here to chat when you’re caught up.