The CW is my television soulmate. Multiple nights each week, it is my home-away-from-home, and every year, I give its new pilots a chance. This year in particular, things have been going very well with Jane the Virgin, The Flash, and iZombie. But sadly, I’m afraid I cannot include The Messengers in that group.
When I first saw the trailer for The Messengers almost a year ago, I was highly intrigued. I didn’t know much about the show, but it seemed to have a few of the key CW ingredients: drama, supernatural abilities, and at least one very attractive naked man. But where the pilot fell flat was its twists—taking the drama just a step too far—and unfortunately, being a bit predictable.
At the beginning of the hour, we meet five individuals—a scientist, an agent, a single mom, a preacher, and a high schooler—who are all affected by some sort of meteor falling out of the sky. Long story short: A very large, very hot man crash-landed on earth, and now, these five people have been turned into angels. Suddenly, they can read minds, beat up bullies with their superhuman strength, and even heal life-threatening injuries with their tears. Cool, right?
But with five different perspectives on this journey, the pilot feels a bit disjointed at times. The good news is that, by the end of the hour, the show is very obviously working to bring everyone to Houston, which should help the show moving forward. The bad news is that the melodrama is sure to follow.
In the first hour alone, we find out that the preacher’s pregnant wife might be pregnant with his brother instead of his son, and in the most predictable twist of the hour, the man who crash-landed on earth is not God. Instead, he is Lucifer. Will that twist make for a more interesting show? Yes. But did we see it a mile away? Yes.
All of this is not to say that this show is a total lost cause. It has some interesting characters and the drama is all but built-in… but being on The CW, it also has things working against it. For example, The CW’s current longest running show, Supernatural, has already covered this storytelling territory—with angels and Lucifer and whatnot—and it covered it well. (Not to mention that Supernatural‘s angel wings don’t look half as cheesy as these.) With that in mind, Supernatural‘s existence could cause a number of potential fans to turn away.
But perhaps the show’s biggest struggle—or point of intrigue, depending on how you look at it—is that, from the pilot, I can’t really tell you what the season is going to be about, other than the fact that Lucifer is in town and he’s either got a team of new angels to help him or fight him.
Will Michael show up? Will this end up being about the apocalypse? I’m not sure, but I’m also not sure I’ll be around to find out.
Messengers airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.