John Walker's Electronic House

Eli Stone

by on Mar.14, 2008, under Television

I LOVE Eli Stone. I’m sure there’s a ton of stuff wrong with it, but it doesn’t make any impact of 42 minutes of just lovely television.

Concept: A lawyer develops an aneurysm and starts seeing visions – visions that turn out to be prophetic. He had been a very successful young attorney, working for a large law firm that deals with big money cases. Stone won on behalf of the corporations, and won well. But the visions directly challenged this position.

Part of the joy of the programme is the nature of the visions. It begins with George Michael performing live in his living room. Then other people start singing Michael songs, with accompanying dances. Then he’s in World War 2, hiding in bunkers. Or at the beach. Or being chased by a dragon. As each vision finishes we see Stone in a compromising position, whether it’s hiding under the table in a board meeting, or dancing in the middle of the firm’s foyer. Unlike nearly every show ever, he doesn’t get away with this. Sam Beckett talked to an invisible Al for nearly a decade without being sectioned. Eli gets more than weird looks – he instead has to fight to keep his job after he’s nearly disbarred.

He has one believing confident – despite openly telling his now-ex-fiance and his brother – which is unfortunately his acupuncturist. In a rather lame plot device, he need only have a needle tapped into his forehead and he travels back into his childhood to recall moments of his father having similar visions (but in his case, accompanied by alcoholism). Pleasingly, the acupuncturist all but admits he’s a fraud, with a fake accent for his other clients, and a seeming surprise that the needles help. He’s also the person who suggests to Eli that he’s likely a prophet, and draws the connections with God’s involvement.

It really isn’t a stand-out show. It doesn’t have a brilliant script, and while the cast are all excellent, it isn’t mindblowing acting. Visually it’s the pastel colours of a daytime hospital drama. But it’s just lovely. Early on Eli is warned that he’s not going to win every case, and he doesn’t. He wins a lot because he’s incredibly good, and rather because he’s being guided by the Almighty, which is something of an advantage. But often when he loses it’s because he realises he’s fighting for the wrong side. It’s cheesy, sure, but dammit, it’s a show about fighting for what’s good and right, and that’s a great thing to watch between episodes of The Wire and Dexter.

4 Comments for this entry

  • Steve W

    Tsk, Sam Beckett was sectioned twice IIRC.

    The trails for Eli didn’t appeal to me, but all the Christmas DVDs have been watched and they’ve not made any new post-strike telly yet. So it’s worth a punt, I guess.

  • Iain "DDude" Dawson

    After sitting bored at my PC i decided to start to read all the blogs from the past that I have missed first time around. I found this, from feb 2006:

    “Brian is 1 year old!

    There are exciting plans for Brian’s second year of life, with new additions to the website coming up, a reader’s Brian section for all the excellent Brian stuff I’ve received, and other fantastic Top Secret projects.

    Keep spreading the word about Brian. Here’s to another year.”

    Now I have to live in suspense. What happened to Brian? Did these “Projects” ever come about? Now I am going to spend an evening looking for answers…

    Thought you might like to know.

  • Nick Mailer

    Mr Walker always lets us down. He must be destroyed, I tell you.

  • Tedi Worrier

    Brian is resting … he is only a little fellah and he did have a prolific output for quite a while … today’s appeal is on behalf of tired and listless philosophical rabbits … or rather, rabbit … spare a thought and give generously for Brian and rabbits like Brian, should you find any
    … NB our Brian is one,we have no other philo-rabbit than Brian