What's Worth Watching: Life and Death Re-enactments on In an Instant

Damian Holbrook

In An Instant

In an Instant, "Flying Blind" (Friday, March 6, 9/8c, ABC)

Turns out the Discovery Channel and TLC haven't cornered the market on harrowing true-life stories. In ABC's new weekend series (another Instant airs tomorrow night in its regular time slot), normal folks recount their most hellacious experiences, which are re-enacted by actors who actually look like the people they're playing. With a bigger budget than the smaller cable nets that traffic in this sort of "I shouldn't be alive!" docu-reality, tonight's Instant—about a small Alaskan commuter plane crash involving a U.S. Army vet and his family—is a much slicker production. But by focusing on the survivors' emotional lives, the series leaves viewers with the feeling that they know not just these people but also what they gained and lost by enduring such tragic situations.