As television grows more and more influential thanks to its ready availability through streaming services, networks have been putting more and more money and effort into their offerings. One of the weird consequences of this is the rise of TV shows based on films, and this Fall there are a bunch.
The last time I tried to watch a show based on a film series I had a bad time, so I was pretty concerned with how Minority Report was going to turn out. A show based on a years old film on a network that loves canceling great science fiction shows? Whatever quality the pilot ended up being, Minority Report is basically already done. Fox’ll cancel it before it gets anywhere.
Taking place ten years after the events of Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report (which the pilot has to remind folks existed) and the end of the PreCrime Unit (where the police arrested folks based on murders that hadn’t yet happened), one of the “Precognitives” Dash (Stark Sands) has grown tired of hiding as his murder visions grew worse and worse. He eventually teams up with Detective Lara Vega (Meagan Good of Cousin Skeeter fame) and their adventures in policing begin or something like that.
Pilots are under an extreme amount of pressure. They’ve got to hook their respective viewers within the first fifteen minutes or so while showing why the world they inhabit is worth investing in. Report actually accomplishes this pretty well. The opener follows Dash as he frantically dashes toward the scene of a crime while showing off the pilot’s impressive budget (which I don’t expect to hold weight through the rest of the series, much like Almost Human). It’s a subtle and intelligent sequence as Dash struggles knowing the entire time he’ll fail. But there’s never any hand holding during this, and we’re left to infer it from his actions. And when he does indeed fail to stop the murder, it’s as simple as watching him turn away from the scene since he’s witnessed so much of it already. Unfortunately, that same light touch doesn’t extend past that point. After the first ten or some minutes, Report basically becomes every cop show ever.
I don’t really understand why, but for some reason Report constantly exposits story details. Lines like “They remind you of having no parents, that’s why you came to me.” or along those lines. It loses that subtlety in favor in overtly stating how other characters relate to other ones, and it’s not like those relationships are particularly inventive either. You’d figure with a world 50 years in the future, the future police would have better conversations than “I’m a future police.” That’s not really what they say, but I hope you get my point. I guess I’m still sour about Almost Human. That show had a much better handled premise. It’s not all bad as there are a few nuggets that might prove interesting later, but this pilot had a ton of rough edges. Normally I’d say to forgive a pilot’s bad writing if the cast or premise were gripping enough, but I don’t feel that way here. I’d love for Meagan Good to have a great starring vehicle, but since she yet again plays second fiddle to some white guy, I’m over it.
Either way you fall on this, Fox will cancel this after the first season…if it even gets to that point.
- Meagan Good is great, but I wish the pilot exploited her body less. It really undermines how good of a detective she is when we’re all ogling a picture of her in a bikini.
- We’re all lucky I didn’t use “Meagan Bad”
- Wilmer Valderama is here. That’s all I have to say about that.
- “When I was your age, we used this thing called Tinder. It’s how I met your father.”
- I don’t care what year it is, no one ever will refer to Iggy Azalea’s “Trouble” as an “oldie.”
- I totally believe The Simpsons will still be on the air 50 years from now.