[Ha! After spending the afternoon writing this post, I forgot to publish it. So, should it be retitled “Thursday is the New Monday Night”? Nah.]
Golly jeepers, where have the past four weeks gone? In fairness, I’ve tried writing several posts, but they never quite convey what I want. Fortunately, only a few new Supernatural episodes have aired since, and Suzanne has picked up my slack. She always has some great insights. Check out her post.
On to Monday nights. Now that Sleepy Hollow is over for the season, we still have two shows of sci fi interest, Almost Human and Intelligence. I’m more I’m interested in Intelligence, but its ratings are very poor and will likely be cancelled, or at least not renewed beyond its first 13 episodes. So why write about it? Probably because I have at least two posts in my drafts queue.
Both shows are at the heart a “cop buddy” procedural, yet in both cases, the lead is rather unlikable. (I disagree, but more on that later.) They also feature women in strong positions, the requisite scientific nerd support, and ultra-cool 3-D renderings.
I complain a lot about Almost Human. Much of it is predictable, and its running jokes are getting a little old, even though only 11 episodes have aired. John Kennex (Karl Urban) is indeed unlikable. So far he’s shown only a rough, sarcastic surface with no hint of heart. Perhaps we’re supposed to take his attraction to Detective Stahl (Minka Kelly) as his softer side, but I’m not interested in an inter-office romance. It feels forced. The relationship I’d like to see developed more is that of Dorian and Rudy, the android and the nerd.
Speaking of Rudy, enough with the kinky sex doll robot innuendos. Mackenzie Crook deserves better.
I’ve always liked Lili Taylor. She’s an Emmy-nominated actor, but she falls flat here. She speaks too quickly and without any intonation, so her character is just blah. I know she’s capable of so much more, so I don’t know why she’s chosen this type of performance.
For at least the third time, the police-drama scenario has played out as such: 1) a man (or in this week’s episode, a man and woman) is killed in some high tech manner; 2) during the investigation a second male victim is killed; 3) the third intended victim, a woman, is saved just in time. That’s just lazy writing. Get with it, folks!
For all my complaining, I still watch the show, so it can’t be all bad, can it?
Yes, Virginia, there is a U.S. Cyber Command. I’m not sure the producers knew this when they created the show, because this Cyber Command is all kinds of whack. Still, it’s fun to see my last workplace depicted on television, even if it is a total fabrication. After all, who would find people sitting at their computers entertaining? We certainly didn’t have anyone running around with computer chip in his brain.
Josh Holloway, as the chip-enhanced hero Gabriel Vaughn, has been getting a lot of heat in reviews. I’m not sure what all the griping is about. For my money, Gabriel is a far more interesting character than John Kennex. He’s showed us a softer side, perhaps prodded by his female “partner” (technically, she’s his Secret Service protector). And recently he’s started questioning whether he’s man or machine.
The big draw for me is Meghan Ory as Riley Neal, the agent brought in to protect Gabriel. I’ve liked her ever since her guest appearance on Dark Angel several years ago. She was heavily underused as Ruby/Red Riding Hood in Once Upon a Time, so it’s great to see her in a leading role—even if that role doesn’t take advantage of her tremendous beauty. Riley appears to be giving Gabriel some stability, and they’ve developed respect for each other. Their relationship has all the signs of growing into more. Ordinarily I’d be cautious of these things moving too fast, but since Intelligence seems to be short-lived, I’ll play along.
There could be potential for Intelligence. John Billingsley is a beloved actor and his character, the doctor who imbedded the chip in Gabriel, is well liked. CyberCom chief Lillian Strand (Marg Helgenberger) appears to be more than some high-level bureaucrat, having shown us recently a frighteningly ruthless side.
But characters are only as good as the writing, and the writing for Intelligence is not excellent. I’d say it’s better than Almost Human, but I’d likely be in the minority.