Monday is the premiere of the A&E series “The Returned.” The new show, an adaptation of the French series “Les Revenants,” tells the story of a small town in Washington state that becomes shaken by the revelation that dead residents have come back to life with no explanation or recollection of having been deceased. The supernatural series is sure to lure fans hungry for mystery.
Here are seven things fans need to know before the premiere of “The Returned”:
The premiere synopsis is rather vague, only reiterating the series premise – a small town is rocked by the sudden, unexplained reappearance of several local dead people who seem to not have aged and have no idea they were presumed dead. However, as the episode's title, “Camille,” would indicate, the premiere will focus on Camille (India Ennenga), a teenager killed in a bus accident who mysteriously wanders into her family’s kitchen four years later and makes a sandwich – much to the shock of her mother (Tandi Wright).
“The Returned” has a large ensemble cast, including Tandi Wright (“Jack the Giant Slayer”) as Claire, India Ennenga (“Treme”) as Camille, Dylan Kingwell (“Big Eyes”) as Victor, Sophie Lowe (“Once Upon a Time in Wonderland”) as Lena, Mary Elizabeth Winstead (“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”) as Rowan and Aaron Douglas (“The Killing”) as Tony. While there are no huge stars in the cast, the show could feature some breakout performances from the many young actors.
Here are the titles of the first eight episodes:
Episode 1 – “Camille” (March 9)
Episode 2 – “Simon" (March 16)
Episode 3 – “Julie” (March 23)
Episode 4 – “Victor” (March 30)
Episode 5 – “Tony and Adam” (April 6)
Episode 6 – “Lucy” (April 13)
Episode 7 – “Rowan” (April 20)
Episode 8 – “Claire” (April 27
“The Returned” follows a group of dead people who return to life in a small town, but it is a familiar face behind the camera that might be more responsible for the show’s success. Executive producer Carlton Cuse is no stranger to A&E or creepy television. The producer and writer, who previously worked on another supernatural mystery show, "Lost," also serves as an executive producer on A&E’s “Bates Motel,” so the new series should be in good, albeit twisted hands.
“The Returned” is based on a French series, “Les Revenants,” which is in turn an adaptation of the French film of the same name. The series has an identical premise and storylines and the show has drawn both acclaim and criticism for its almost too faithful adaptation of the French series.
New York Times writer Alessandra Stanley wrote of “The Returned”: “The creators seem so scared of not living up to the French version that they have replicated 'Les Revenants,' almost word for word and scene for scene, with the same characters, conversations and crises. Both shows are chillingly enigmatic, but the American one is more timid about it — afraid, perhaps, of the French one’s shadow.”
Fans will have to decide for themselves if the meticulous remake is refreshingly loyal or dully unoriginal.
While some may be criticizing the similarities between “The Returned” and the French original, if “The Returned” were to be renewed for a second season it would be a new ball game. There was no second season of “Les Revenants,” so if A&E chooses to continue with the show, the writers would be forced to make it their own.
Watch the spooky trailer for “The Returned” below:
Will you be watching “The Returned”? Tweet your thoughts to @Ja9GarofaloTV.