A Measure of Limitless


Jennifer Carpenter and Jake Dorman

The appeal of Limitless just might be boundless.

The new CBS fall show presented a nicely balanced mix of character development and action, with a tasty twist of technology, when it debuted Sept. 22. The network could finally have a recipe for science fiction success on its hands.

As much as the trailers might have led you to believe that Bradley Cooper heads the cast, that honor goes to Jake McDorman. McDorman stars as Brian Finch, the hapless 28-year-old would-be musician who stumbles into the world of brain-boosting pills.

Academy Award winning Cooper, much not to my surprise, only makes a limited “special appearance” as his film character, Eddie Morra, in the TV premiere. He is also among a half-dozen executive producers listed for the series.

Cooper stars in the coming film, Burnt, for which a commercial just happens to be sandwiched between Limitless segments. Funny how Hollywood so skillfully knits these things together.

Anyway, Brian lands a position as a temp with a major Wall Street banking corporation. His job is to get some 2,000 employee training forms into their respective file folders. This task is expected to take 2 weeks.

Brian reunites with his drop-out band member, Eli, who was led to his file room location by reports of snores (such a small world, New York City). A successful and sympathetic Eli provides Brian with his first mind-enhancing hit of NZT-48.

Drug-empowered Brian completes his filing job in two hours. He also organizes and color-codes, by order of employment desirability, the contents of all employee files. His supervisor is impressed, especially when he tells her that she has the smarts to take command of the corporation.

On his way home, Brian borrows a street musician’s guitar and executes a virtuoso acoustic performance of Rimsky-Korsokov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee,” which earns a jumping ovation (they were already standing) from an enormous street crowd. That was just for starters. Powerful stuff, that NZT-48.

I’ve got to try some of that. Wow! No need to hit the streets in search of a pusher. Here it is, on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Limitless-NZT-48-Doses-Nootropic-Brain-Boosting/dp/B00AS662GC). In a couple of weeks (I refuse to fall for Amazon Prime), these reviews are going to be a lot smarter!

Anyway, I’ve no doubt already given away too much, hence the warning at the top of this blog. Long story short: Brian connects with an FBI agent, Rebecca Harris (Jennifer Carpenter), who convinces her boss, played by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, that Brian is just what the bureau needs in the way of extraordinary abilities (shades of Chuck!). The stage is set for the coming episodes.

OK, Limitless is limited by the same myth as the film Lucy, that the full potential of the human brain can be unleashed by a wonder drug. Scientists say not; but, hey, that’s entertainment!

Limitless promises a lot of that commodity.