BY CHUCKS ENEIP
ABC premiered its new show Zero Hour two weeks ago, and if you have not seen the first two episodes yet, I suggest you do. Tonight the third episode of season one will air. Immediately the metaphysical, church-conspiracy, Nazi-clock drama, starring former ER actor and Tony Kornheiser doppelgänger Anthony Edwards, was met with serious skepticism. A review written by one of Rambo Nomolos’ only trusted critics, Alan Sepinwall said “As a result, I don’t know that I can even recommend Zero Hour under the So Bad It’s Good theory. At times, its badness is intoxicating — and those are the times I’ll remember fondly long after this show is gone.”
I anticipated a pilot episode that would leave me infuriated at writers again taking a great concept and turning it into absolute bullshit. I believe what we actually received was a show some would dismiss before trying, and those that took the time to take it all in would be rewarded with total brilliance. Reviews of television shows are chock-full of spoilers and inaccurate descriptions of events that only lend to the theory that the show is of the aforementioned bullshit variety, so I hope to give you a plot-line only, relatively spoiler-free glimpse into what you are all missing.
The year is 1939 and the Nazis are gaining control, however a brave secret clock-making order of the church guards a secret that could save all of mankind. This order, named Rosicrucions, must keep hold of this secret and not allow it to fall in the hands of the Nazi Party. The Nazis have begun radical new scientific experiments to determine the origins of life and have already found a new way “to make God irrelevant.” In order to guard this secret, the church appoints 12 new apostles across the globe that can only be located by deciphering clues hidden inside of specific clocks given to each apostle.
Fast-forward to present time. One of these clocks surfaces at a flea market and is purchased by a rather unfortunate clock repairer, who clearly is unaware that a global most-wanted terrorist is hunting it down. This woman is the wife of Hank Gallistone (Anthony Edwards), who is the editor of a magazine that cracks conspiracy-theories and folklore. After his wife is taken by the terrorist, Hank puts his conspiracy theorist mind, along with the minds of two of his colleagues, a FBI agent, and the family priest to good use. They set out to stay one step ahead of this terrorist bastard to save his wife, find revenge, and ultimately save the planet from an impending apocalypse. The show has taken us to both the Arctic Circle and India in the first two episodes and I for one, cannot wait to see where it ends up next.
Although there are some absurdities in Zero Hour, like how unlucky one terrorist can get to be on an apocalyptic Nation Treasure-esque hunt for clocks, only to run into conspiracy theory nuts who befriend an ancient order priest scholar and a pissed off FBI agent, overall it is an intense and intellectual show that allows one to think outside of the box for an hour a week. I disagree with Sepinwall’s review that the show’s only glimmers of hope are the portions so piss-poor that they are enjoyable; there is some good writing. There are some great camera angles and there is a plot that goes against what all the other primetime spots are putting out. When watching television of this nature, you must allow yourself to sit back and enjoy the badassness of writers and producers that say no more cop and doctor shows, we are making a time-warping, conspiracy, Nazi-clock drama and you are gonna like it…and so far, I do.