PERCEPTION Debuts Tonight on TNT

TNT’s line-up of dramas increased by one as PERCEPTION makes it debut. The series stars Eric McCormack (WILL AND GRACE) as Dr. Daniel Pierce. Pierce is a brilliant and popular college professor that is more than a little odd.  But his oddness comes not just from eccentricity, he suffers from paranoid Schizophrenia. He has opted to refuse necessary meds that would lessen his symptoms as they limit his creativity and make him feel dumbed down. Because of this, he is never entirely sure who around him is real and who is not. In the series, part of his hallucinations  are related to the case (“Ghosts” talking to him and helping him think things through), these are his subconscious mind working through things.  He sees crimes as puzzles and challenges.

Agent Kate Moretti (Rachael Leigh Cook) is a character that I initially thought would be sort of a foil for Daniel and that their relationship would be not unlike that of the main two characters on THE MENTALIST, with Daniel saying and doing outrageous things and Kate attempting to clean up the mess and being frustrated with him. But Kate was a student of his and understands him. She also realizes that his unique way of looking at things, combined with his exceptional mind, makes him a tremendous asset to her. But more than that, she likes and appreciates him.

Having watched a handful of episodes, I found the series entertaining, but not totally fulfilling. The potential is there for this to be damn good, but the writing and overall flavor is a little on the lite side. McCormack is great as Daniel. He gleefully plays with the oddness of the character, but also provides heart and sadness as this intelligent man is all too aware of his limitations and how they prevent him from living up to his potential. Cook plays Kate as a very capable cop that does what she has to, but takes great care to share gentleness in regards to Daniel.

As I said, I found PERCEPTION entertaining, but want to see more from it. One needs only to watch the pilot and a heartbreaking scene at the end of the ep to see the potential of it.

PERCEPTION debuts tonight, at 8pm cst and 9pm est, on TNT.