Stitchers: Season 1
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Stitchers: Season 1

Streaming video services began appearing I didn’t see them making a significant impact in the way that I collect movies and television shows. After all I had a huge amount of DVDs of a growing number of Blu-rays and thanks to my upgrade to high-definition cable I was able to retire my VCR players and record current shows on the new DVR. Then, an increasing number of TV shows appeared on streaming services such as Amazon Prime and Netflix as original content. I began receiving season passes from the networks to review the new showers. In a very short time, I found myself following more television series that I could record. During the path defined by most new technology something that began as a convenience has become required. This new outlet for providing new material to the public has become a testing ground for many networks, including the rapid rise of the streaming services. A substantial number of these shows are doomed never reieving a released on DVD, so the only way to add them to your collection is their own them on the streaming services. One series that managed to capture my imagination was a science fiction series, ‘Stitchers,' originally produced by the ABC Family network later rebranded to Freeform. The basis of the premise concerns a secret government organization has developed the technology to connect the mind of an operator with that of the recently dead person. The process is called Stitching is governed by some severe limitations such as time passed since death and the degree of cerebral damage. The concept of inserting yourself into the mind of another has been a staple science fiction for many years. Usually, thse circmstances are manifested by the ability to enter someone’s dream or, as in the enigmatic sci-fi classic, ‘Fringe,' technology that allows the living to peer into the mind of the recently deceased. So far the series has not been included in any DVD release schedule Amazon Prime or Vudu remain the best sources.

Kirsten Clark (Emma Ishta) is a student at Caltech University. Kirsten seems to have everything going for her; she’s a brilliant student, beautiful with the innate ability for problem-solving. There is no doubt that Kirsten is one genetic lottery there is one line ointment of perfection. Kirsten has a neurological disorder, temporal dysplasia, t causes the person affected not to feel the passage of time, and only recognize how much time has passed in a day through mathematics and meticulous observation. It also prevents the person from appealing to or understanding human emotions. Kirsten is living off campus with a roommate; Camille Engelson (Allison Scagliotti), a gifted computer science program in the same academic track is Kirsten. During the first portion of season one Kirsten and Camille constantly at odds as it becomes evident that Camille is working against the best interest of Kirsten. She arranges for circumstances that place Kirsten’s career in jeopardy culminating in an academic suspension. This animosity between roommates turns out to have been a ruse, perpetrated to steer Kirsten on a course not for own choosing.

Camille was in the employ of the top-secret government research area headed by former CIA field operative, Maggie Baptiste (Salli Richardson-Whitfield), who assigned Camille to infiltrate her way into Kirsten’s life and sabotage her academic standing. The reason for this was to recruit Kirsten into their research project, The Stitches Program. Their goal was to be able to establish a link between the designated operators in the mind of a recently dead subject. Because of the unique demands and stresses on the operator’s mind, Kirsten’s rare psychological and emotional condition makes a uniquely qualified to participate. Because of the rarity of her condition was decided that it not be left to say whether or not she would accept their offer to join the team. By destroying the academic hopes, it left Kirsten with no other opportunities.

Kirsten has little choice but to join the team and is introduced to the senior staff. Dr. Cameron Goodkin (Kyle Harris) is the head of the technical staff and primary coordinator for the stitch. It is understandably attracted to Kirsten since she has a severely underdeveloped emotional affect there is no hope of reciprocating any of his feelings. They do however become friends. Linus Ahluwalia (Ritesh Rajan) is a viable electrical engineer was indispensable to the program because it is an exceptionally broad range of interest and expertise. He is indispensable to the program generally in charge of maintaining the connections during the stitch and guiding the operator through the labyrinth of the victim’s memories. Initially, has a crush on Camille which during the first season is to being friends with bedefits and later an actual relationship. He is socially awkward, juxtaposed nicely with Camille’s extroverted personality. Quincy Fisher (Damon Dayoub) is the detective for the Los Angeles police department’s robbery homicide division. Since most of the subjects using the stitches program have met untimely, all mysterious demises were only natural that you should cross paths with the stitches team. As the only non-team member whose array of the project, Maggie is forced to take him into their confidence. What are the main reasons the inclusions of this type of character is to provide elements of a familiar genre for the television audience, the police procedural?

The main difficulties with the said conditions as established by the plot are that most of the action takes place in a virtual reality created by the stitch. From the perspective of the audience, Kirsten is shown moving about within the memories of the subject, directed to the main memories by Linus. There is a concession made to the apparent primary demographic, mainly males past the age of puberty. During the stitching procedure, Kirsten dressesin a skintight cat suit immersed in a tank of water is just a hands and face above the surface. There is a keypad on the one hand that allows her to enter the code that will ‘bounce’ out of the stitch. It is usually considered dangerous to maintain the stitch up to as the victim’s memory of the moment of their death. From a narrative perspective, the greatest potential for the series to careen off track is to become a routine ‘victim week’ dependent storyline. There is only a short interval of time tp perform the procedure establishing a contextual rule that precludes extending a particular case through multiple episodes. The writers have come up with an alternative to provide a plot line of substantially longer duration. Also plaguing Kirsten is a mystery concerning Ed Clark (Hugo Armstong), the man she believed to be her father. As she can delve deeper into the circumstances surrounding her early life, she discovers that Clark was the best friend of the biological father and together they were responsible for the Stitcher technology. Considering the series is hosted by a basic cable offshoot of a major broadcast network to handle the details of this mystery exceptionally well. Its resolution unfolds at a pace that is neither painfully slow nor annoyingly rushed. Right is to create a balance between these long-term serialized aspects of the story and the episodic crimes that are solved each week. Kirsten, realizing that she is invaluable to the viability of the project, can make some demands of Maggie. She wants to continue to use stitching as a means to solve otherwise unsolvable murders. She also wants to be able to pursue clues obtained in the stitches outside of the laboratory. Doing these joints into the real world, Kirsten is usually accompanied by Cameron.

I understand that many fans of the genre to see the potential of the series. I have read some comments that state an opinion that science fiction shows should be presented on the SyFy Channel, but this is an exceptionally myopic view of the current television landscape. While it’s true that SyFy has been branching out to more mature themes many of us began our involvement with the genre family-friendly stories such as those written by iconic authors such as Ray Bradbury. For me ‘Stitches’, reminiscent of those stories, with the series able to tell a compelling tale in a fashion that is devoid of salacious content. One of the most incredible things about science fiction is that it is a genre that is one of the most eclectic possible. The shawl has already completed season to, but I have seen news items stating that season three has been approved although I’ve not seen any actual announcement of a start date. The show demonstrates that streaming video and video-on-demand is here to stay and is taken an increasingly important role in our entertainment landscape.

Posted 02/26/2017

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