People in the creative fields and management training seminars like to comfort themselves with the notion that there are no bad ideas, just flawed executions. And perhaps in a world where murders are regularly solved by former fake psychics, current fake psychics, mediums and ghost whisperers, there might just be room for a procedural in which sleuthing depends on reincarnation.
Unfortunately, Fox's “Past Life” isn't it.
For believers in reincarnation, fans of "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever" and those of us who came of age during the bestsellerdom of "Audrey Rose" ("Mommy, Daddy, hot, hot, hot"), there is something compelling about the notion that we carry within us the narrative of many past lives. That some of these lives would include the unfinished business of a murder is a decent enough hook -- hit shows have been built on less.
An agency headed by a driven but lovely young psychologist -- in this case Dr. Kate McGinn (Kelli Giddish), who no doubt has a few uneasy past lives of her own -- makes sense enough for the network that gave us "Fringe." She will need, of course a sparring, and potentially romantic, partner, preferably someone who knows a bit about actual criminal investigation. Enter Price Whately (Nicholas Bishop), the cynical former NYPD detective so crushed by the death of his beloved wife that he's willing to believe anything. Or not. Add a beloved and much missed star (Richard Schiff, has it come to this?) as Kate's tough but tender boss and the now-requisite Indian sidekick, here played by Ravi Patel, and you've got yourself a TV show. Just not a very good one.