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Herc Deems DRIVE Fox’s
Best New Series In Years!!

I am – Hercules!!
It’s a genre-bending Fox hourlong about seemingly ordinary people – a Nebraska landscaper, an abused new mother, an Iraq vet and his girlfriend, a young paroled convict and his rich-kid half-brother, an astrophysicist and his Lohan-y teen daughter, a trio of party girls, and many, many more - unexpectedly plucked from their lives by powerful and mysterious (and sadistic and malevolent?) forces to compete in a secret cross-country road race for a $32 million grand prize. Some are in the race for the money. Some are in the race to find out what happened to their missing (kidnapped?) loved ones, who may (or may not) be waiting at the finish line.

Darkly funny, exciting and loaded with twists and intriguing characters, “Drive” reunites the great writer-director-producer Tim Minear (“The X-Files,” “Angel,” “Wonderfalls,” “The Inside”) and actor Nathan Fillion (“Serenity,” “Slither”), who previously collaborated to gratifying effect on “Firefly.” The sprawling cast (42 carloads of characters leave the starting gate in Key West) includes also Amy Acker (“Angel,” “Alias”), Kristin Lehman (“Judging Amy,” “The Sentinel”), Dylan Baker (“Happiness,” the “Spider-Man” movies), Melanie Lynsky (“Heavenly Creatures,” “Two and a Half Men”), Taryn Manning (“Cold Mountain,” “Hustle & Flow”), Rochelle Aytes (“White Chicks”), Mircea Monroe (“Cellular”), Emma Stone (“The New Partridge Family”), Riley Smith (“Eight Legged Freaks,” “24”), Brian Bloom (“Smokin’ Aces”), Michael Hyatt (“The Wire”), Kevin Alejandro (“Sleeper Cell,” “Ugly Betty”), J.D. Pardo (“American Dreams”) and Charles Martin Smith (“American Graffiti,” “The Untouchables”). As the “Alias,” “24” and “Lost” pilots did, the “Drive” opener generates fascinating questions aplenty - and will leave audiences hungering for answers long after its two-hour introduction concludes. (Happily, a third hour airs Monday.) But what matters Herc’s opinion? Time Magazine says:
… witty, absorbing, if totally implausible entertainment … There are no otherworldly phenomena as in Lost, but creator Tim Minear (Firefly, Wonderfalls) gives you plenty to puzzle on anyway. Such as: why would anyone spend the zillions it must have taken to create a CIA-level conspiracy in order to run, surveil and keep secret what amounts to a giant human cockfight? It doesn't add up. On the other hand: giant human cockfight? Awesome! Drive is an audacious, exhilarating enough concept, and its pace and writing snappy enough, to make you want to believe. … But Fillion, maybe the most underrated leading man in Hollywood, takes command of the screen every time he's on, and as in Firefly, he gets plenty of Han Solo-esque dialogue that builds and breaks the tension at the same time. …
Entertainment Weekly gives it a “B” and says:
… The pilot seems keenly aware of its own hard-to-swallowness, and executive producers Tim Minear (Wonderfalls) and Ben Queen seem to think that by loading up on good humor (embodied by a wry Charles Martin Smith as the vaguely sinister emcee of the race) and blood-pumping action, viewers will just roll with it. Done. Now I hope Drive will stop winking and fully embrace its crackerjack Lost-on-wheels conceit. Give us mystery. Give us mythology. And give us some meaty secondary characters. But with some fine-tuning and bolder steering, Drive could be one souped-up storytelling machine.…
USA Today gives it three stars (out of four) and says:
… Sunday's two-hour premiere does a solid job of introducing an intriguing, if not exactly convincing, story and some appealing actors. … The larger problem for Drive may be that in a TV landscape studded with cloudy conspiracies, this is the cloudiest. It's hard to imagine what the all-knowing race organizers could be after that would possibly justify such an elaborate scheme. What Drive has going for it, aside from the cast, is the writers' willingness to lighten the conspiracy load with humor. When Alex, who arrives late for the orientation, expresses doubts over the race's existence, Mr. Bright balefully responds, "Without the PowerPoint presentation, it does seem a little far-fetched." …
TV Guide gives it a “5” (out of 10) and says:
… As fast-paced as it is preposterous… … Both overheated and half-baked, at least it moves.
Variety says:
… as with "Prison Break," the less you contemplate the plot, the more apt you are to enjoy it. … it's a fairly impressive cast (of characters, not cars), albeit one left skidding around on a rather slippery premise, based on this introduction. …
The Hollywood Reporter says:
… in "Drive" everyone takes the bait, and damn if you don't start to think, "You know, I just might too." Of course, that may say more about me than it does the dramatic quality of the series, though you surely find yourself taken in by the show's heart-racing intensity and sheen of mystery. … "Drive" is at once exasperating and mesmerizing, utterly ridiculous if you read too much into it but utterly beguiling on its face. Creator-executive producers Tim Minear and Ben Queen create in their opening teleplay a surreal world of bewilderment and menace. And while some of the dialogue is leaden and/or fanciful, we still get quickly involved in the whole crazy, mixed-up thing.
The New York Times says:
… “Drive” resembles nothing so much as high-end religious propaganda, or pornography before the sex starts: hollow drama with an ulterior motive. Surely this show cannot have been made chiefly to entertain. Its actual intent does come through, though not in the story line or the speed-demon scenes. To keep it simple, let’s just call the race in “Drive” an amazing one, propelled by clues, and let that suffice for plot summary. The action scenes are distractions. To pay too much attention to the stuff palmed off as narrative makes a person feel cruel, gullible or both. …
The Los Angeles Times says:
… Much of "Drive" is unabashedly derivative. All the bells and whistles of modern TV are accounted for — digital graphics track the various locations, flashbacks fill in the characters' recent past and possible motivations. … But two episodes in, it doesn't really matter. What matters is, as they say at the Writers Guild, the story. Or stories. The idea that life-and-death games exist alongside America's commuter traffic and suburban strip malls is the stuff of much gripping modern literature, from John Updike to Stephen King. … The rat race has never seemed so ratty, and that alone may be worth the ride. …
The Chicago Tribune says:
… the kind of well-made brain candy that nearly demands that you watch it with a bowl of popcorn. The sturdily crafted saga follows competitors in an illegal cross-country road race, and it percolates along nicely, with just the right amounts of action and deft character development. It’s not going to re-invent television as we know it, but that hardly matters. It’s good, clean fun, and who doesn’t like a dose of motor-vehicle mayhem now and again? … Even if you don’t know where you’re going, or how long the show will last, this is one of those cases in which getting there is more than half the fun.
The Washington Post says:
… Series creators Tim Minear and Ben Queen are aiming for edginess, and for an alternative to traditional linear narrative -- you know, those old-fashioned shows that made sense. … Abandoned, too, is any trace of humor. This is a laughless variation on "Cannonball Run" … The pithiest line comes fairly early, as the premise is being laid out: "It does seem a little far-fetched," someone says. That's not just pithy -- that's the understatement of the week.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer says:
… if you can accept most of what you see on TV and you crave a good time, odds are you'll find a lot to like -- maybe even love -- about "Drive." In spite of the menacing undertones, "Drive's" first two hours rarely are anything less than an addictive, rush-inducing joyride. … if you get on board Sunday and Monday night, you won't regret the trip.
8 p.m. Sunday and Monday. Fox.

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