Reviews > Television

One day at a time

Television | Day Break suffers from intense conflict, unsympathetic characters

Issue: "Cellblock campaign," Dec. 23, 2006

ABC's thriller Day Break (Wednesdays 9:00 p.m. ET) revolves around a cop who must relive the same day over and over until he gets it right. Only then can he move on to the next day. The difficulty of watching him go through this process, though, may make viewers want to go on to the next show.

Each episode of Day Break begins with Detective Brett Hopper (Taye Diggs) waking up next to his girlfriend Rita (Moon Bloodgood), and she becomes his only alibi when he is accused of murdering an assistant district attorney the night before. The villains framing him then kill her to eliminate his only out. He must relive the day until he figures out how to keep her alive and himself from being framed. And unlike most crime dramas with a mystery-solving team, Hopper appears to be on his own, as if everyone he knows has been taken over by pod people.

The episodes dissect his relationships with others, revealing the underlying motives beneath the masks everyone wears. A former partner, Chad (Adam Baldwin), turns on him with below-the-belt vitriol, perhaps fueled by jealousy, as Chad used to be married to Rita. Hopper's current partner, Andrea (Victoria Pratt), comes across like the typical hard-edged female detective, but as she observes Hopper being torn apart by the day's events, her eyes redden and her face softens.

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Despite a promising premise (who wouldn't want another crack at a bad day?) and an interesting take on human nature (who doesn't wear a mask?), the show is hard to watch at times. Violence and conflict between unsympathetic characters make it less than appealing.

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