Now Eli Stone has earned a solid spot on that list!
While a lot of new shows have to grow on you and have a bit of an awkward pilot episode as they introduce the storyline and the characters, Eli Stone jumped right into Eli's life.
We met him sitting freezing on his pile of suitcases wearing a suit up in the mountains of India. Then he tried to "casually" jump on the Sherpa's donkey and flew right over to the other side. Yeah, he may be a lawyer, but after this, you've got to like the guy.
Eli Stone didn't mess around with all this focus on the craziness of corporate life that stresses viewers out every time they watch a Cashmere Mafia episode, but drew the perfect picture of Eli as a successful lawyer who's lost his heart along the way, but is still a very likable and good person underneath a tiny layer of lawyer toughness.
We see Eli get engaged to his fiance, learn that his cuddly yet full-of-attitude secretary, Patti, played by Loretta Devine, does not like one bit. And of course, we're introduced to Eli's weird illusions, starting with him hearing music following him around all day, leading to him running around his apartment in his underwear and finally discovering George Michael in his living room singing, "You've Gotta Have Faith." (Which will now pop into our heads every time we hear "Eli Stone.")
We then meet his doctor brother who says there's nothing wrong with him, but then later after continued illusions for Eli leading to him standing up on the balcony of his San Francisco apartment stories and stories above lots of traffic, that Eli actually has a brain aneurysm.
So, the medical explanation for his illusions is this inoperable aneurysm, while his acupuncturist who's led him to having more visions and realizations about what his illusions are telling him to do, has his theory about this all being about faith.
Eli goes ahead and goes with the signs from his illusions, which will be a theme of the show - Eli taking on cases that actually help people according to where his visions lead him. This time it was to a woman's who's son became autistic after a flu vaccination - a product from Eli's company.
And, as it turns out, this woman was the one he lost his virginity to in college - to George Michael's "You've Gotta Have Faith."
So our hero goes forth and finds his heart and faith, and for now stays with his fiance, though with a pretty good set up for him to come around later to the sweet woman with the autistic son.
Oh, and the mountains? Well that was all about Eli's dad, who his family always thought had illusions because he was an alcoholic, but turns out he probably had the same kind of aneurysm Eli has. So Eli took his dad's ashes to the mountains of India where his dad had always wanted to travel, but knew he never would.
Eli Stone has certainly proven to be a perfect mix of the relatable and lovable character that keeps you coming back week to week, and a plot that's not particularly edge-of-your-seat dramatic, but is fun and intriguing to watch - definitely a midseason favorite!
Review on Get Reel: