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Minority Report: Pilot

The time: 2065

The place: Washington, DC

The premise: What happened after the end of the movie Minority Report, where the all important precogs were freed and sent to live somewhere in secret, no longer forced to work for the Precrime Program. Except one of them is still desperate to do something about his visions.

This pilot was very glossy, fun to watch, full of action and special effects. But does every impressive gadgety sci-fi show have to be about solving crimes? Okay, yes, the original movie was about solving crimes before they happen, but I didn't care much for the original movie. While I was watching this pilot, I kept thinking of my initial positive reaction to the Karl Urban show Almost Human, and how bored I became as the series unwound and I realized it would never be more than a futuristic procedural.

I'll even quote here what I said about Almost Human two years ago, because it applies to Minority Report: "This could be a terrific science fiction show centered on two complex characters who care about each other. Or it could turn out to be a buddy cop show procedural with a twist that I'll stop watching in a few weeks."

I did like the two leads. Lara Vega is The Cop With A Tragic Past ™ who cares so deeply about stopping crime that she's willing to do it illegally. Dash, one of the three former precogs who is still having visions and trying unsuccessfully to stop crime on his own, is socially awkward and earnest and somewhat endearing.

But likable leads might not be enough. What could they do that could keep a viewer like me (lover of science fiction, not a lover of procedurals) interested in watching this show?

One thing that interested me was that Dash saw imprisoned Precrime perpetrators, scarred by their "containment", as his victims. It would be interesting to further explore the morality and fallout of imprisoning people for a crime they hadn't yet committed. The three precogs were victims of the government and the Precrime Program, too, and their attempts to live like normal people could be an interesting aspect to explore. This episode was mostly about Dash and his need to help people, but we also met Arthur, who only seems to care about himself, and Agatha, who… well, hard to tell. There was also Wally, the guy from the movie who used to work with the precogs and who had the jury-rigged equipment. He was a hoot.

I also liked some of the fun details: that The Simpsons was about to start its seventy-fifth season (lol), that women could have babies in their sixties, that French fries used to be bad for you, but not any more. (Please, could we have that now?)

So I'll give it a few episodes, and we'll see. This could be a terrific science fiction show centered on two complex characters who care about each other. Or it could turn out to be a buddy cop show procedural with a twist that I'll stop watching in a few weeks.
Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. Thank you for reviewing this, Billie!

    I'm going to wait and see with this one. I suspect it'll be a "buddy cop show procedural with a twist that," a few weeks from now, I'll be glad I didn't bother watching. :-)

  2. Thanks for the review!

    I'm also getting really sick of cop shows, and lead characters in genre shows being either cops or government agents. The V remake, Fringe, Sleepy Hollow, The Walking Dead, Wayward Pines... all have cops or government agents as leads. Sam and Dean pretend to be cops or government agents most of the time on Supernatural. Enough already.

    Let's have some other professions represented on television please!

  3. Ideas:

    The Route. One mailman. One hundred mailboxes. Can he discover which resident is responsible for the fate of mankind? A new suspenseful thriller from Tim Kring.

    Phlebotomize This! Ever wondered what happens to your blood after the doctor takes it? Chuck Lorre's newest single-camera sitcom goes behind the stethoscope to focus on the lab workers in the basement of Mass General. Spilled bodily fluids, lab coat mix-ups, and an authoritarian assistant manager who refuses to let the worker unionize all adds up to some wacky pathogenic fun!

    Love in a Venti Cup Two of your favorite things--Starbucks and Jillian Michaels--come together in this season's newest weight-loss smash hit! Three overweight baristas compete to lose the most poundage while on the job. Enjoy watching minimum-wage workers lift gallons of milk (9 lbs of weight!), fight back against their espresso-machine induced repetitive
    motion injury, and find love along the way. Make sure to tune in for the sweeps-week challenge, in which the least successful dieter will be scalded with a gallon of 190 degree coffee!

  4. I completely agree with you Billie. I don't care much for procedurals either. We have Criminal Minds and a billion CSI shows for that.

    You are dead on in comparing this to Almost Human, a show I completely forgot about now. It did get boring after just a few episodes. I also think of Intelligence with Josh Holloway. Anyone remember what that was about? These two shows got cancelled rather quickly.

    However, there are some procedurals that work for me. I enjoy watching Castle now and then, and I guess you can count Person Of Interest as well (although I'm starting to lose hmmm...interest in the number-of-the-week-thing).

    I used to watch Bones the first couple of seasons just because of David Boreanaz. And all the above mentioned shows had/have Karl Urban, Josh Holloway, Nathan Fillion and Michael Emerson. Minority Report doesn't have any actors I care about beforehand. Maybe that's a good thing?...or not. We'll see. But I suspect MR might fall into the piling up at the DVR category.

  5. Josie, I would definitely rather watch any of those instead of Law and Order: L-5 Colony or CSI Ancient Rome!

  6. It sounds like I'm in the minority, but I actually enjoyed the entire run of Almost Human. I thought it explored some interesting philosophical and moral ideas related to the scientific advances they portrayed in their episodes, and the chemistry between the leads was excellent. And when I watched the premiere of Minority Report, all I could think about was how much I'd rather still have Almost Human. Yes, Minority Report had some nifty sci-fi stuff, but Almost Human did a better job of actually exploring what the future would be like. I have a feeling Minority Report is going to devolve into a fairly typical cop show with some whiz-bangs bolted on pretty quickly.

  7. I liked Almost Human, too. But it was fairly erratic. I loved the central partnership, and sometimes they actually built out the world in interesting ways, but then they'd suddenly slide back into weak case-of-week territory. (It didn't help that it got the "airing episodes out of order" treatment.) The husband and I were both liking it a lot as it came towards the end, and were bummed it got cancelled, but then final episode was pretty "meh." It ended and we were like, "Okay, then. I guess it's alright that we won't get any more."

    I've got no plans to watch this one though. Maybe if it gets a full season and the buzz starts to get better, I'll try it later.

  8. Great comments, everyone -- thanks. You guys made me realize that one problem I had with Minority Report is the lack of a Karl Urban or a Josh Holloway, the reasons I watched Almost Human and Intelligence as long as I did.

    Josie, loved those proposed shows. :)

  9. Haven't seen this..already wasted time on "Intelligence" for Josh Holloway and Meghan Ohry..only to be bored out of my mind..
    Not likely to see it either. Thanks for the warning. Yeah, I'd like those proposed shows too instead.
    CSI: Cardiff would have been a hoot though.


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