Zelig meets The Fugitive, with a little bit of The Equalizer thrown in. ... "Part of the audience will get the sophistication of The Pretender, and others will enjoy the chase scenes and heartwarming moments," says co-creator Craig Van Sickle. According to Van Sickle, actor Weiss, who plays Jarod Russell (a.k.a. the Pretender), will be the key to the success of this humanistic thriller. "He's not some vapid hunk who could be at Chippendale's. He's got a real look in his eye." ... In the pilot, Jarod performs an emergency tracheotomy, cures constipation, and eats ice cream for the first time. The Pretender is as corny as Kansas in August, but you've got to appreciate a show that tries this hard."
A man that can be anybody, perform any occupation, and blend in. Hmm... Quantum Leap? The Fugitive? It has been done before, but The Pretender pulls it off and turns out a really enjoyable show. ... This show promises to be one of the best this season, and Michael T. Weiss plays a character that can really be admired, and want to root for each week.
The Pretender is equal parts The Fugitive and Quantum Leap. ... "The Pretender is fairly light entertainment, popish, not overly cerebral, but fun. The series does have serious themes, but they are cut with humor.
It's kind of a cute little novelty item, a cross between Highway to Heaven and The Fugitive, and while it's basically easy to take, it's just as easy to avoid.
The plots are well-written, the cast is well-suited to their parts, and consistently give good performances. Pretender leads the viewer on a action-packed suspense-filled hour.
Someone aptly called this The Fugitive meets The Equalizer. ... It's solid, engaging drama, but without much suspense, and Weiss renders a rather colorless performance. According to a report from Leo Burnett Media Research, this series fared better than E.R. in focus-group testing.
A master of disguises joins this fall's hero list by Edward Gross Jarod, the lead character in NBC's The Pretender, is this fall's man of a Thousand Faces, but he's far more than Artemus Gordon redux. This quick-change artist eschews makeup and accents in favor of actually becoming other people.
The Pretender, a failed mutation of The X-Files, Zelig and The Fugitive. One question: If the title character can become anything he wants, then why wouldn't he make himself the star of a better show? Don't say a prayer for this Pretender. All its hopes and dreams begin and end here.