"The Dead Zone" and Nicole deBoer

Okay, I'll confess. I decided to rent the Dead Zone DVDs because of Nicole deBoer. She is one of my favorite television actresses, and she's darned cute besides. I was rather impressed with her in Deep Space Nine and in Cube, and so I just had to see her in this particular show. I knew very little about the series, apart from bits and pieces that I had read on the 'net.


Boy!  Talk about a pleasant surprise.  I only rented the first DVD initially, and I half-expected to gloss through the show.  Instead, I discovered a rich and surprisingly well-crafted premise, excellent acting and some top-quality writing.  Yow!  I was hooked. 

In this series, Nicole plays the female lead, Sarah Bannerman.  The lead character is one Johnny Smith, played surprisingly well by Anthony Michael Hall.  You may remember him from various poorly rated B-movies, as well as an unspectacular run on Saturday Night Live.  His performance in The Dead Zone is consistently gripping though, and he's positively captivating.  Despite Nicole deBoer's talent (and physical charms), he is undeniably the focus of the story

Anthony Michael Hall's character, Johnny, awakened from a six-year coma to find that his fiancee (deBoer's character, Sarah) had moved on and married the local sheriff, Walter Bannerman. Johnny had also fathered a son through her, whom she named "Johnny" as well. Needless to say, things get complicated.

But that's not all. Johnny had also been imbued with psychic powers—the ability to see visions of the past and future. The time he spent in a coma had awakened a "dead zone" in his brain, which apparently accounts for his newfound abilities. This seems like a hokey premise, but the writers pulled it off amazingly well. Instead of focusing on his powers, the entire story focuses on the human drama that unfolds as he uses his abilities, and the insights that it gives into people's characters and struggles.


Excellent writing, and a novel premise. Well worth watching.

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