'Save Me' review: Getting a wakeup call from God

+ -
Anne Heche as Beth in

Anne Heche as Beth in "Save Me," Pilot. Photo Credit: NBC

advertisement | advertise on newsday


WHEN|WHERE Premieres Thursday night at 8, second episode at 8:30, on NBC/4

REASON TO WATCH Could you become a better person overnight?

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Hey, it works for Anne Heche ("Men in Trees"). Or at least for her character in this plucky half-hour about "an angry, drunken -- in a good marriage gone bad." That's for the pilot's initial minute, anyway. Then, she "dies." And wakes up to the first day of the rest of her life.

She's suddenly a sweetie getting do-good messages from God (with a capital G). So she's finally paying attention to her resentful teen (Madison Davenport, "Shameless"), giving nurturing advice to her resentful friends and making nice to that pushed-away hubby (Michael Landes, "Lois & Clark's" original Jimmy Olsen).

"I'm suddenly wide-awake in my life for the first time in years," she enthuses, jumping up and down like a toddler. It seems contagious. "I forgot how weird you are," she tells her suddenly nutty hubby. "So did I," says shocked he.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

MY SAY Nobody's the bad guy in this deft portrait -- not even the easy-to-demonize mistress (Alexandra Breckinridge, "American Horror Story") -- which makes "Save Me" something of its own miracle. That genial verve takes a while to triumph, though, amid such pilot crutches as sprightly narration, "magical" music and cleverspeak dialogue.

BOTTOM LINE The "Save Me" pilot saves itself artistically. But debuting in a summertime double dose makes series salvation improbable.


Coming soon: Newsday's Entertainment newsletter, for the latest on celebs, TV, more.


Newsday.com now uses Facebook for our comment boards. Please read our guidelines and connect your Facebook account to comment.

You also may be interested in: