Limitless is a comedy crime drama series that made it’s debut on American television on September 22, 2015 on the CBS television network. The series is a television follow-up to the 2011 film of the same name. Both the film and series are derived from the novel The Dark Fields, by Irish author Alan Glynn.
The show stars Jake McDorman as Brian Finch, a consultant hired to work for the FBI after he developes the seemingly impossible power to use his brain at 100% of its possible capacity. Following the storyline of the preceding novel and movie, Finch is a 28 year old with no special qualities and a rather ordinary, if not boring, life. He is introduced to a mysterious miracle drug called NZT-48 which gives him the ability to fully utilize every neuron of his brain. After taking the drug, he becomes the smartest person in the world, able to recall every aspect of his life and memories with perfect recollection in addition to being able to perform astonishing feats of mental logic and reasoning. The drug does not come without its risks, having possibly deadly side effects. Senator Eddie Morra, played by Bradley Cooper, gives Finch a second drug to help combat these side effects and he goes to work trying to help the FBI, through Agent Rebecca Harris, played by Jennifer Carpenter.
The show, of course, has been received well by fans of the movie and book, but some critics have been a bit harsh, saying that the series leaves too many things unexplained and expects the viewer to just take some facts as a given without ever explaining why things are the way they are. This is probably something the majority of the viewing public is willing to overlook though. This is not a reality series, and people who would be interested in this type of story are most likely willing to use their imagination a bit to get the escape from reality that they are looking for. It’s a bit of a stretch to look at a story based on something absurd and then complain because the absurdity is not adequately or logically explained. One has to do a little bit of the work for one’s self.
As a series, Limitless is obviously still in its infancy, having aired only 13 episodes as of this writing. There is still plenty of room to develop characters and storylines, and with the series already renewed for a full 22 episode season, the production team will get the chance to do just that. One of the big advantages to a series of this type is that the creative teams have the ability to take characters and plots in completely different directions that were not possible within the scope of the original written work or the movie. A finite and complete story becomes an open-ended, living and breathing thing again, with new possibilities and new avenues of imagination to explore for both the show’s creators and its audience.
Limitless already has a good history behind it with the success of the original novel and the movie. Their core audience is almost built right in from the beginning. If the show’s producers and creative staff follow this lead well, there’s no reason the series shouldn’t be just as successful, if not even more so. With no time limit, and no pre-defined ending on a television series, the possibilities for the show truly are limitless. New stories can be explored. Characters can grow and change. And most importantly, new fans can be won over. Here’s to hoping that the mystery, action, comedy and drama of this new series are just the beginning of something that will stay with us for quite some time to come.