Spin-off television shows are probably one of the worst ideas ever. It’s hard to think of more than a few that are ever able to honour the source material, let alone make for a good hour of television in its own right. So far, Limitless, to my surprise, seems to be a well crafted adaptation of the film, Limitless.
Limitless was a movie that came out in 2011, starring Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro. The movie followed the life of Cooper’s character, Eddie Morra: a washed up, self-proclaimed writer who couldn’t finish a book to save his life. Eddie eventually gets a hold of a clear pill called “NZT” which exponentially expands his mental capacity, memory, and mental abilities. These abilities allow him to not only finish writing a book, but to excel in nearly any task given to him at near prodigious levels.
The new TV show is a follow up of this plot that follows Brian Finch (played by Jake McDorman) who, like Morra from the movie, changes his life with a single dose of NZT. This catches the notice of the FBI who are well aware of the existence of the drug, including its deadly side effects. This is also noticed by Senator Eddie Morra (still played by Bradley Cooper), who gives Brian the injection that cures the side effects in exchange for his services. The show takes an interesting direction which essentially merges a thriller and a crime drama.
While only four episodes have aired so far, the show maintains elements of Sherlock and Elementary, where the comedy comes from one person being smarter than everyone else, leading to a form of comedic condescension.
So far, Limitless’ biggest strength is its tempo: it manages to be interesting, but not so fast that it rushes through character development and sophisticated scenes.
It’s difficult these days to find a movie based on a book that adds something new to the franchise, but Limitless is shaping up to be a show that might be worth its prime-time slot on the air. While it may reek of a one-season show that quickly fades away into obscurity, here’s to hoping that it’ll attract a big enough fan base to guarantee a second season.
- Andrew Von Lukawiecki