5 Reasons to watch Stitchers
You know what I hate about ABC Family’s new procedural drama Stitchers? Nothing! Although the uncertainty of whether or not the show will be given a full season is currently driving me insane. The show follows Kirsten Clarke, a PhD student who is recruited by the Stitchers programme, a secret division of the NSA that hacks into dead people’s memories in order to solve their murder.
1. It’s smart
Although none of the ingredients of the show’s premise or characterisation are unprecedented -the plot resembles that of the CW’s Zomcom iZombie*, whose protagonist absorbs memories and character traits from the deceased whose brain she eats and applies this knowledge to help solve their murder- it’s hard to deny the allure of procedural dramas, let alone one about a secret government agency experimenting with cutting-edge science and technology to solve crimes. What I found most captivating is that the concept of the programme is explained in such detail that the writing has me convinced that something like the Stitchers programme is actually possible? Get on that science!
While the programme in itself is compelling, more so are the brilliant minds that run it: Cameron, a young, likeable, and incredibly fit (see next argument) neuroscientist tasked with mapping memories and helping Kirsten navigate through them during a stitch; Linus, a cheeky bio-electrical engineer of South-East Asian heritage who likes to dance; Camille, Kirsten’s feisty roommate (she will taser a bouncer if she sees fit) and herself a promising PhD student in the field of data retrieval who becomes involved with the programme in her own way; and last but not least, Kirsten, an emotionally detached superbrain with the body of a supermodel (Emma Ishta, the actress who plays Kirsten, actually is a model) and no filter whatsoever.
What makes Kirsten stand out, of course, is her rare and completely made up medical condition called temporal dysplasia: Kirsten has no perception of time. The absence of emotion she so frequently displays is a symptom of this condition, the writers assert us, because everything feels like déjà vu to her. For instance, the moment she sees her adoptive father’s corpse on a table at the morgue, the knowledge of him being dead is instantly familiar to her, precluding any grief or shock. As such, Kirsten is something of a modern day female Meursault (the protagonist of Albert Camus’ classic novel L’Etranger).
Her condition makes her the perfect candidate for the Stitchers programme: it is her conciousness that is inserted into the memories of the dead since she can handle the emotionally charged images better than others. On the other hand, the residual emotion (like I said, iZombie) she experiences makes her understand emotions better. In that, the show sets Kirsten up for an interesting character development.
2. It’s sexy
Everyone on this show is hot and has amazing chemistry. First and foremost that goes for Cameron and Kirsten a.k.a your instant otp. I mean, the very first episode sees Kirsten walk up and kiss Cameron after an intimate stitch leaves her affected, then collapse in his arms and wake up in his bed the next morning. Not only does the sexual tension between them manifests in stolen glances and flaring tempers whenever they challenge and tease each other, there are also genuine feelings of concern and trust in progress building.
And then there’s Camille and Linus. These two just go for it right off the bat, unafraid of possible consequences and complications. Moreover, their banter is quality.
3. It’s funny
Speaking of banter, the writing for Stitchers is really funny. From Kirsten’s shockingly sober approach to cases - “dead is dead, no matter what happened” - to her impatience with her superiors and colleagues, which usually ends in her starting an unauthorised independent investigation, she is a delight to watch. Every conversation she has with Cameron, Camille, Fisher or Maggie is a blunt exchange of blows that takes you by surprise and leaves you wanting more.
In addition, Cameron not only acts as the master of stitches, but also of snark. His quick wit and eloquence makes me want to listen to his instructions and observations on repeat.
4. The characters
I guess what this show offers more than any other shows I watch is a character constellation that is replete with mutual respect for the others’ skills which makes the somewhat antagonistic relationship between Kirsten and Camille in particular very interesting and enjoyable to watch. At the same time, the subtle bromance between Cameron and Linus has me intrigued and salivating for a guys night in, drinking beer, playing video games and sharing in their frustration over the women in their lives. Whereas Kirsten and Camille are more likely to end up hand-cuffed together in a jail cell - which I would watch with equal excitement!
5. The cinematography
The stitches are beautifully shot and excel at translating the neuro-processes that affected the deceased at the time of experience visually: Kirsten reliving a victim’s drug haze, a bomb explosion, and scattered and blurred images due to the victim’s death by blunt-force trauma to the head.
For fans of: Numb3rs, House, Sherlock, Bones, iZombie, beautiful people, strong female characters, complex neurological processes, hot nerds, compelling characters, instant otps, banter, emotionally vacant characters.