Eli Stone (TV, 2008)
A review of season 2 of the weird, musical, law series, from Death Ray 16.
Starring: Jonny Lee Miller, Natasha Henstridge, Loretta Devine, Matt Letscher, Victor Garber
Ally McBeal for both sexes, this time, with an extra helping of God.
The lawyer whose musical visions can predict the future is back for a second season, and again with an impressive band of co-stars. Jonny Lee Miller (yet another Brit in Hollywood) has a brain aneurism that fills his head with prognostications, often delivered from the mouth of George Michael – the actual George Michael. Only at the end of season one, Eli had had his tumour removed, and was back to normal. Cue superhero-esque tale of how he regains his powers, facilitated by Sigourney Weaver, who appears as an agent of the divine who forces a hard choice upon Eli.
Eli Stone is a difficult sell, a weird mix of garish musical and Old Testament style tough love from God; the God who was all about pushing his prophets to the max to test them, and not the later cuddly version. But it kind of works, managing a fair bit of charm in between bowling googlies about faith, moral obligation, and selflessness versus selfishness. If Sunday School had been more like this, today’s churches would be fuller. It is both subtler and more fun than that makes it sound. Episode two has a lovely performance from Katie Holmes. Tom Cruise really ought to let her out more.