ABCs The Whispers is a show that, over the course of its first four episodes, has consistently intrigued me yet never fully captured my imagination. After a decent start, the series has meandered through its central storyline, delaying the promise of what I liked about the pilot. It’s biggest success has been, in my opinion, the evocation of what amounts to “kids are scary.”
Not just scary, but sort of invincible in their ability to (thanks to the assistance of the as of yet unseen entity “Drill”) completely fool every adult that stands in their way of winning his mysterious game. The latest outing has reinforced one of the central themes of the series: that adults really know very little about the world around them. And The Whispers goes a long way toward reinforced that idea almost weekly.
Thus far, “Drill” has managed to con multiple children into stealing blueprints of an important nuclear power plant, create diversions exactly when needed, and put themselves into great danger all for his master plan. What is that plan? We aren’t exactly sure yet. The latest episode features a certain meltdown of the nuclear plant that effectively vaporizes into a puff of smoke with no adverse side effects. I suspect, by the end of the first season (or series, as of this writing the jury was still out on Season Two) “Drill” will actually prove to be something of a beneficial force, willing to expend resources (children and their parents) for some greater unseen good. This is, after all, still a Spielberg production. Time will tell…
The MVP of The Whispers remains Lily Rabe as the series plunges her into one dramatic situation after another. It’s embarrassing for the other actors, really, because they seem to only exist to revolve around her. To create foils and assistance for her character. Little else. Still, Rabe is more than capable of shouldering the weight of the show and has been a joy to watch. More annoying is the presence of Milo Ventimiglia as her estranged husband who has lost his memory but plays a part in “Drill’s” plans still. He does very little other than looking lost, looking menacing, and dropping to the ground in a seizure of some sort every now and again. He’s clearly a pawn, and Ventimiglia does little with the performance to convince otherwise.
So, if you’re not already invested in The Whispers (and many of you are judging from the live and DVR ratings – high for a summer show), then I’m not sure I would jump in and catch up. It’s a decent series, but it’s takes too long to reach obvious conclusions. It’s toys with our attention span and expectations in mostly negative ways.
Plus, if supernatural thrills is what you’re after, then you really should be watching FOX’s Wayward Pines. That’s where the real action is.