It’s fascinating how little “The Nine” reveals in the pilot episode. The writers establish almost no plot points or character insight, yet the drama is all the more addictive for it. The conspiracy surrounding the unknown is almost always more intriguing than the reality, and the writers of the “The Nine” seem to understand this cornerstone of audience retention more than anyone else in television.
“The Nine” follows an unlikely group of bank robbery captives after they’ve just spent 52 hours together as hostages. The robbery is shrouded in mystery, and for some undisclosed reason the nine remain in contact after the highly publicized ordeal. Inextricably hinged on the unrevealed details of what occurred during that bank robbery, the drama portrays each of its core players as a potential accomplice to the crime.
Featuring an ensemble cast composed chiefly of TV vets, “The Nine” boasts an wide array of unique characters. “Prison Break” alum John Billingsley plays suicidal Egan Foote with a mixture of paranoia, nervous instability and awkward affability. Kim Raver (“24”) sexes it up as assistant D.A. Kathryn Hale, while former “Party of Five” star Scott Wolfe makes a triumphant return to the small screen as strong-willed surgeon Jeremy Kates. The diverse cast is well-rounded, with a variety of characters whose mystery only deepens the show’s already rich narrative.
Leave it to the composers to throw off an otherwise excellent show. In the vein of other popular series like such as “Grey’s Anatomy” or “Laguna Beach,” “The Nine” draws from a recognizable pop-rock pool to score its key scenes.
And while the Top 40 might work for the emotional dramatics of say, Kristin Cavallari and her boyfriend breaking up for the fourth time, in the show’s complex robbery context, the whining emo melodies just deflates the show’s potential intensity.
But The Fray be damned, “The Nine” is still one of the most riveting new shows on television. While it remains to be seen how a show chronicling one bank robbery can last beyond its first season, for now any revelation of even the most minor detail of the plot remains a thrill.