Saturday, September 26, 2015

Minority Report reviewed: "Pilot" (#1.01, duh)

This show doesn't deserve to be quotable.

What is it? Single-camera sci-fi futuristic (with painful near by-the-minute reminders of how "futuristic" it is) adult crime procedural/drama, 1 hour (44 minute) length
Where did it air? FOX, a network that has long resigned to the fact that in order to get any viewership whatsoever it pretty much has to hand the reigns over to Seth MacFarlane and just give him carte blanche to do whatever the hell he feels like, hence Dad.
Who stars in it? Meagan Goode, Demi Lovato's (maybe) current boyfriend who once appeared in an episode of Wizards of Waverly Place as Alex's human uncle, which makes that whole relationship kind of creepy knowing that Selena and Demi are the same age and this guy was old enough to literally play Selena's uncle, and a whole slew of no-names I do not care about.
Why are we reviewing this? Considering that it's far away from the type of stuff this blog normally would review and is named after, it's being reviewed strictly because I needed a mouthpiece to warn people on how awful this show is/was. Fortunately people caught on and it was canceled mid-season, yay!

I'm going to take a detour from this blog's mission statement of reviewing/examining Nickelodeon and Disney Channel and quickly review FOX's Minority Report, based on the Stephen Spielberg movie (with him attached as a producer, which can mean anything from having direct script input and approval to merely agreeing to have his name slapped on it to sucker viewers in) based on the Phillip K. Dick novel (and despite the fact that he probably has more books adapted into movies than Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke combined, very few have pointed out how hilariously unfortunate his last name is. When people completely forget that your last name is in invitation to perpetual penis jokes, it means you're that good). Minority Report, the TV show, however, isn't good. It's not good at all. 

It's just bad. If you're just looking for someone to hand you an opinion for you, there you go. Rarely do I ever deny a show a second chance. I'm not going to bother to watch Episode #1.02. That's how bad the pilot is, and almost nothing can convince me the second episode is going to any better whatsoever despite backstage info about the second episode being rewritten and reshot.

If you really want a detailed Report (hah!) of how bad it is, there are literally hundreds of professional reviews out there you can Google. I'll just go over some key points. The first one is about how some people apparently felt lost in this. I don't really see how as the show conveniently delivers all the expository dialogue you need to catch up. As long as you remember that there were three siblings who could see into the future who were used to lock up would-be criminals who were put into some sort of weird bizarre statis thing but were then freed, you've got it. And don't worry, the show won't let you forget, as that's pretty much the only thing driving the plot, or any sort of semblance of plot. In fact most of the episode is expository dialogue relating back to the plot of the movie for a good, say, 15-18 minutes of episode run-time. It completely destroys any sense of urgency, suspense, climax or all those other things that makes TV shows worth watching. It's just watching the protagonists jump from expository scene to expository scene until they finally get to the big action scene at the very end of the show.

And no, that final action scene isn't big enough a payoff. In fact it's just as awful, if not worse, than the rest of the show. More than a few professional sites already talked about a mass terror attack conducted by pigeons. Seriously. I hope they paid royalties to Alfred Hitchcock (BTW almost anything he's done is better than this). Then the daughter of the terrorist guy person (he isn't give much of an identity beyond that, and doesn't deserve one like the rest of the show) is pushed into the wall by an air blast from the cop lady (played by Meagan Good, I don't know what the character's name is and if you make me relive the episode by having to look it up I will punch you)'s gun and she ends up on the floor bleeding profusely and obviously dead which was just kind of weird. Yeah yeah I know if someone is pushed into a wall hard enough that person will die but it didn't make it any less weird or outright bad. And that's probably the least bad part of the whole scene.

A few sites have also pointed out some of the excessive (or really, just bad) future puns and humor like the Simpsons 75th season or Good's mother meeting her father on an ancient thing called Tinder. Really, it's as if the writers forgot they were making a show called Minority Report and really wanted to make a live-action future version of Family Guy.

And then the heroes - Good and future predicting guy, something, whatever, look at the Washington D.C. skyline at sunset in the smarmiest, most cliche way you can imagine, as if to top this whole mess off with an image that will seal how awful and cliche this whole mess is.

One thing that very few, if any, review sites got but one commentator on IMDb did (forgot who it is, too lazy to look it up) is this little gem right here. Prepare for the first use of pictures on this blog!: 

That pic is from a site called I was going to link back from them but they're a conservative news site so...nah, too bad. Since updating old reviews of this blog to a newer format, I've also been forced to use a new image, so enjoy this gif from a non-right wing source, yay! (it's from if you must know)

Anyway in the Minority Report future the Washington Redskins have been renamed the Reclouds. Despite my jab at I don't want to make this a political blog, but I want to say two specific things. First, that yes, I do support changing the name of the team. Second, this is one of the laziest things I've ever seen on primetime TV, Chuck Lorrie sitcoms included. If you look closely all they did was literally put a cloud over the current Redskins logo. That's not even trying. If you're not going to try to give your fictional team at least a halfway original if not still generic name and logo like they do on even freakin' Disney Channel and instead resort to putting a cloud over a native chief caricature's face, why are you even bothering with anything else? Including writing this show in the first place.

There is a very vocal fanbase defending the show on the grounds of its diverse cast alone. And frankly I'm very glad for them. Defending a show on diversity grounds is a valid reason for defending a show. It's just too bad that such a diverse cast has to be stuck on this show, and it's doing a disservice to its own attempt at diversity and the actors stuck on it. In a era where the forces pushing for more diversity finally gave us Black-ish, and Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder, and even Rosewood on Fox which is still pretty bad but eh, there's no excuse to force your diverse actors through such an awful, awful exercise when they deserve to be in better stuff. There still needs to be more diversity on television, but it still needs to be good. Television this bad is just a disservice to everyone involved, especially the actors themselves, even if it is the most diverse show around.

Furthermore, it's pretty clear that Meagan Good is pretty heavily sexualized from even her normal "detective" wear to that ridiculous getup pictured above. That isn't diversity, that's exploitation, which is kind of the exact opposite of diversity. Yeah yeah yeah, I know, it's also been a long-time staple of television that's here to stay and in the grand scheme of things it's a minor thing to complain about and not even a bad thing - depending on the exact context of that sexualization and how it's used. For a show this bad, whatever, I'm reserving the right to nitpick and hate anything and everything, and in the context and utilization of the show, it's bad, period, end of story.

I will concede that Meagan Good is ridiculously...Good...looking. Cue the CSI: Miami intro.

Grade: A big fat solid F. Congratulations Minority Report you are the worst premiere of the Fall '15 primetime far.
Episode MVP: A toss-up between Meagan Good's Redclouds shirt (as lazy a photoshop as it is) and Me for having to endure this piece of crap.

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