Submitted by: Sevens (SoSF Staff Reporter)
Source: Cinema/TV Blend
Reviewed by: Logan Scherer
Random strangers can spontaneously interact in collisions that can be pretty meaningful. This may be true in the camera-captured worlds of a whole slew of successful films and if it is we get it. ABC’s “Six Degrees” follows unknowing Manhattanites, some connected and others unacquainted, who become linked through fate-influenced occurrences. The show embraces the idea of a small world, but the only world that’s small in “Six Degrees” is Hollywood: Erika Christensen of the similarly themed (but ingeniously executed) “Traffic” and Bridget Moynahan of the identically premised “Serendipity” are also in “Six Degrees.” This is no fate-based phenomenon; it is simply actresses finding work.
Carlos (Jay Hernandez), whose sweepingly banal monologue opens the show, sees unstable and free-spirited Mae as he oversees her release from jail and is instantly tantalized by her impulsive beauty. He tells a little lie to get her out of jail and watches her walk away in a trance as Whitney’s (Moynahan) purse brushes him in passing. Whitney’s new best friend Laura (Hope Davis) hires Mae, who must hide a mysterious past, as a nanny and is stalked by a photographer who Whitney tried to hire. Mae’s shady past is somehow linked to a limo driver who suffers from a gambling addiction and befriends Carlos as he tries to find Mae in a bar. (And this is not even the half of it.)
Laura, thoughtfully enlivened by Davis, is the only character worthy of the scrutiny of a television show (albeit not this one). The grieving widow, wedged in a static depression, creates the only moving scene of an otherwise uninspiring premiere. As her deceased husband’s belongings are moved out of her apartment, she sits on the building’s steps and uncontrollably weeps. Steven, a divorced photographer recently bemoaning a lack of artistic inspiration, encounters the sobbing woman and, overcome by the discovery of a muse, snaps away with his camera.
Accidental emotional connections need not occur in groups of six to have extraordinary meaning, and just because they happen in groups of six does not mean that they automatically become consequential. Actually, if they, for some wild reason, do occur in groups of six, each one should probably be extra-poignant in order for that additional level of emotionality (which “Six Degrees” believes it has achieved) to be sparked.
“Six Degrees” unsuccessfully attempts to capture that emotional grandiosity of interconnected humanity so gracefully depicted in various films (“Magnolia” and “Pulp Fiction” to name a couple) but never really adapted to television. Instead, it creates the feeling of being trapped in a restaurant where the strangers around you are all talking way too loudly. You don’t even care about their insignificant conversations. It’s all extraneous noise. You just want them to shut up.