Reviewed by Beth Hannan Rimmels
If youíre like me, youíre out on Saturday nights, which means you havenít seen The Others (9 p.m. Saturdays on NBC). Thatís a shame if you like supernatural dramas, so dust off your VCRs and start taping.
With the success of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which deals with demons and vampires), Angel (ditto) and Charmed (witchcraft and misc. supernatural events), it was only a matter of time before someone created a series that delved into ghosts and psychic phenomenon. The Others has a different tone than the other three shows. It takes the charactersí missions a bit more seriously, but itís no less entertaining.
The title refers to seven people, six with various psychic gifts and one college professor (John Billingsley) documenting their abilities. Led by Elmer (Bill Cobbs), an 83-year-old psychic who has assisted the government at various times, they help people attain peace in this life and beyond. That doesnít sound very enticing, but the actual stories are gripping, spooky mysteries as they try to figure out the "cosmic charades" that are often used by spirits to convey messages.
Marianís inexperience gives the viewers an easy entry into the series as it allows the characters to explain things to the audience and Marian. Unfortunately, Nicholson is a bit flat as the inexperienced psychic. It's understandable that the character would be a bit unsure of herself after being thrust into this strange, new world, but she doesn't have to be dull. Fortunately, the rest of the cast more than compensates.
But The Others isnít like a soap opera in which missing an episode makes it difficult to follow, which makes jumping on with the May 13 season finale easy. In "Life Is For the Living," Elmer is recovering from a near-death experience when he senses "entrance demons" attempting to entice him to the other side. When the rest of group suddenly receives what they desire the most, Elmer fears for his friends. The episode is a cliffhanger, and the following week gives new viewers a perfect opportunity to catch up on missed episodes. So set your VCR. The Others is worth catching.