I was excited when I saw that CBS was putting a show in their schedule this fall that was a follow-up to a pre-award Bradley Cooper/Robert De Niro film from 2011 about a loser who becomes a super genius when his ex-brother-in-law turns him on to a “new experimental drug”. I loved the film. Cooper’s running, stream-of-consciousness commentary is perfect as dry, wry asides to the action on screen. I had high hopes for the show when I discovered that Cooper was the executive producer of the TV show, as he had been on the movie. Director Neil Burger also reprises for an unspecified number of episodes.
At the end of the film, we see Cooper running for a senate seat. In the opening scenes of the pilot, we see posters for his re-election campaign in the background as our intrepid loser stumbles along from temp job to failing music gig. He also has the introspective wry running inner dialogue that I found such a bonus in the movie. His father, played beautifully by the great Ron Rifkin suddenly falls sick from an unknown illness. When Brian (Jake McDorman) offers to move in to help, his dad gently asks what would he have to contribute?
Brian goes back to the temp job and runs into a former friend/bandmate who has become the picture of success. The friend, Eli, gives him one tablet of NZT, our little miracle drug. Adventures ensue. Bradley Cooper arrives in time to keep Brian from bleeding to death from a gunshot wound in a cheap hotel room. He takes him to a secret warehouse and offers him the deal of a lifetime. A way to prevent the NZT from turning him into a burnt out shell in exchange for becoming a useful member of society. One catch, the conversation never took place or Senator Morra will leave Brian to die in the most painful, drawn out way he could ever imagine.
Hmmm…which one do you think he chooses?
This show gets off to a great start. I can’t wait to see how it develops.