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TV Series Review

Carrie Wells never forgets where she put her car keys. Or anything else, for that matter. A New York City detective, Wells is blessed (and cursed) with hyperthymesia, a condition that allows her to remember everything. Not just important birthdays or when to change her oil, but what she ate for breakfast … seven years ago. The spoon she used for her oatmeal. The consistency of the grapefruit. Whether the orange juice was pulpy or not. Everything.

She can remember the last day she forgot—the day her sister was murdered about 30 years ago when both of them were still children. Had she been able to remember the details from that day, she believes she would've found the killer. So, from that day forward, she says she promised herself "that I would never lose anything again." And she's devoted herself to not only solving this long unsolved crime, but other crimes too.

While Wells has yet to make much headway in her sister's case, you can see how her extra-special skill could come in handy as a detective. While the rest of her cohorts, particularly her partner-in-crime-busting Al Burns, are all dandy detectives (and generally nice folks), having Wells in their corner is a little like having a superhero at their beck and call.

But, frankly, Unforgettable might've been a more—ahem—memorable show had Wells actually been a superhero. She could wear a snazzy metallic hat that she'd call her "thinking cap." And maybe Burns would call her into the office by way of a spotlight called the Brain Signal. As it is, Unforgettable is one of the most misleading titles in today's television landscape, a landscape already littered with cookie-cutter cop procedurals. Every episode begins with a crime and ends with someone going to jail, with the 38 minutes in between filled with lots of scenes devoted to scanning for fingerprints and tense interrogations and, of course, several examples of Wells' fantastic memory. (But even that little shtick has been done before. USA's  Psych and CBS' own  The Mentalist both feature protagonists with spooky-sharp memories.)

Like most procedurals, content can vary widely from episode to episode. Some will deal with horrific murders or sex crimes, for instance, while others concentrate on more mundane matters. Unforgettable has kept the content throttled back, though, and that's at least something. This isn't CSI, where every case eventually winds up on the autopsy table. It's not Law & Order: SVU, where viewers squirm through the explicit details of rape after rape after rape. But neither is its content completely unremarkable. Read on for the details.

Positive Elements

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Sexual Content

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Episode Reviews

Unforgettable: 7-28-2013
Unforgettable: 11-8-2011



Readability Age Range


Drama, Crime



Poppy Montgomery as Carrie Wells; Dylan Walsh as Det. Al Burns; Jane Curtin as Joanne Webster; James Hiroyuki Liao as Jay Lee; Tawny Cypress as Cherie Rollins-Murray; Dallas Roberts as Eliot Delson






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Year Published



Paul Asay

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