Don’t get too attached to ABC’s ‘Mind Games’


It’s the perfect storm for a quick cancellation.

Kyle Killen created Fox’s “Lone Star” and NBC’s “Awake,” dramas whose critical acclaim was inversely proportional to their life spans.

Christian Slater has starred in three TV series — “My Own Worst Enemy,” “The Forgotten” and “Breaking In” — which lasted a combined 37 episodes.

And ABC can’t seem to do anything right.

Now, the three have teamed up for “Mind Games” (10 p.m. Tuesday, KTNV-TV, Channel 13), which doesn’t figure to be around long, either.

The drama follows brothers Ross (Slater), fresh off a two-year prison stint for securities fraud, and Clark (Steve Zahn), a former academic who’s severely bipolar (freewheeling, wacky Hollywood bipolar, not the more devastating real-world variety), as they launch a business that’s promoted as being “an alternative to fate.”

“I’m sorry,” their first client says, “I guess I don’t fully understand what it is that you do.”

She’s not alone.

Basically they and the members of their team use a combination of science and outright lying to change people’s minds without them realizing it. Think “Inception” remade as a USA network drama.

What begins as an elaborate ruse in Tuesday’s episode devolves into cheating, fraud and a dozen other crimes that eventually leave pretty much everyone involved wholly unlikable, none more so than Slater’s character.

The science behind some of their shenanigans is fascinating, but there’s surely only so much of that to go around.

That’s just one of several ways in which “Mind Games” doesn’t seem at all sustainable.

Then again, odds are it won’t have to be.