If You Love CBS Shows Salvation Could Fix Your Summer TV Blues

Salvation - CBS


Tonight at 9pm is the beginning of the CBS suspense thriller, Salvation. The show’s premise is that a giant asteroid is hurling towards Earth – and someone in the government is  trying to keep this a secret.  You would think that such a thing would be a difficult thing to hide, but truthfully it might not be.

Despite all our technological advances, asteroids have taken the world by surprise before.  Plus, scientists fully admit there are more large asteroids that could potentially be a problem that have yet to be identified (New York Times).  As if we didn’t have enough to worry about!  At least in reality no one is trying to cover it up.

 The official press release and trailer for Salvation.

When an MIT grad student discovers an asteroid is set to collide with earth in 186 days, he joins forces with a tech billionaire and the U.S. government to try to stop it, and together they stumble onto the greatest conspiracy never told, on the series premiere of “Salvation,” Wednesday, July 12


Things to Know Before Tuning into Salvation

Salvation is a classic broadcast-type show.  Viewers who disdain such fare should skip it.   However, if you’re a fan of CBS’s Scorpion, or NCIS LA you’re likely going to enjoy this.  It’s even got a touch of The Mentalist going on!




If you’re still reading this, I’m going to assume you like a good broadcast show.  The next question should be, “is Salvation a good broadcast show?”   After watching the pilot, my thoughts are…maybe.

The Salvation Positives

Yes, these characters are stock-in-trade, but at least they’re done well enough to be engaging.  Liam Cole (Charlie Rowe) is the standard young and cute, disorganized-but-brilliant, geek.  What the most fun about him?  After meeting and sleeping with Jillian Hayes (Jacqueline Byers) he’s convinced that he’s in love….  Let’s call it a gender-flip of a ridiculous idea to begin with.


The intense, arrogant, but ever so suave tech billionaire, Darius Tanz (Santiago Cabrera), is also a type we’ve seen before.  He’s not quite as likable as Liam, but of course, that’s by design.  (As a fun aside, you might recognize Cabrera from his role of Santos in Transformers: The Last Knight.)


Grace Barrows (Jennifer Finnigan) is the character that could make this sink or swim.  Grace has an ex-husband we’ve not met, but who sounds selfish and insensitive.  Their daughter’s name is Zoe (Rachel Drance) – she’s just graduated from high school.  Grace’s job is that of a high-level public-relations person.  She’s also in a secret relationship with her boss, Harris Edwards.


Salvation Concerns

Here’s the question that gives me pause about Grace.   As you can she from that last video clip, a love triangle between Grace, Harris, and Darius is obviously going to be happening.  Is Grace  just going to be the girlfriend/love-interest that motivates the men, or is she going to have some real agency and a role beyond hand-wringing? It’s hard to tell from the pilot.  It’s possible she could be more like Olivia Pope, the character Kerry Washington plays on ABC’s Scandal.  If Darius, Liam, and Grace come together a team where each bring distinct value this could work well

The other issue with Salvation is where the heck is this going?  If this was a limited series the premise of there being only 186 days before the end of the world would be fine.  However, Salvation is hoping for a season two (YouTube).  186 days dragged out over seasons doesn’t work well for a show.  While character development is great to watch, unless there’s one hell of a twist, Salvation could get old fast.

The Wrap Up

There are only two network shows that immediately come to mind that took a limited situation and turned it around.  ABC’s Once Upon a Time and the Fox Sci-fi gem Fringe.  If this is just the beginning of a larger and more complex idea, then Salvation could be a really great show. On the other hand,  CBS was the home of Under The Dome.  …Even if Salvation really is just about the question of earth’s annihilation, that might not be so bad for this summer.  The first season of Under the Dome was entertaining summer TV.

Are yo going to check out Salvation? Let me know in the comments!

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