All News & Blogs
TNT's new "Perception" has Eric McCormack, but playing a character not so easy to accept
Visit the Photo Place
By Rob Hedelt
IF ANY ACTOR can pull off TNT's new "Perception," it's Eric McCormack.
Yet after watching a handful of episodes of the new crime-solving show, the best I can say is that he's not there yet.
It's not because the former half of "Will & Grace" doesn't put his heart and soul into this new character, a neuroscience professor who consults with the FBI to solve complex cases. The problem is that Dr. Daniel Pierce is so troubled it's tough to warm up to the show.
The brilliant academic suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.
He's so affected that one minute he's teaching a class or working out details
Does that make for some unique dramatic moments? Sure, and that's where McCormack's talents come into play. He has to take his character out on that ledge, into a state where he's panicked and scared.
Even in those moments, he has to maintain the level of authority and brilliance that makes his character one the FBI comes to for help.
The toughest part of the show is buying the way Pierce's delusions and hallucinations often help him solve a case.
They help him make connections--often through people we see but who actually aren't there--that his conscious mind struggles to piece together.
Just when you're starting to think these hallucinations are always a blessing, a godsend for a part-time sleuth, they can turn nasty and dangerous.
Those looking for a procedural detective show where things move along on a smooth and sure path won't find it here.
This show follows a trend of imperfect but brilliant main characters who often have quirky or even troublesome traits. Think Dr. Gregory House. Deputy Chief Brenda Lee Johnson. Marshal Mary Shannon. And many more. They're the new sort of hero.
On "Perception," McCormack's Pierce takes it to a new level. He's losing his grip, with only music or a crossword puzzle pulling him back from the brink.
What: "Perception" When: Mondays at 10 Where: TNT