I watch pilots with a cool detachment, because new shows are like looking at puppies on an adoption website. They’re all fluffy, adorable things wanting to bring you love and entertain you, and yet they can be ripped away at any second. I’m still grieving over the cancellation of “Battle Creek” and missing out on that adorable Char-Pei-Lab mix. However, I cannot contain my almost aggressive glee over Fox’s “Minority Report” starring Meagan Good, Wilmer Valderrama and Stark Sands.
It’s been 10 years since Tom Cruise shutdown the Precrime Division in the 2002 film of the same name, which was powered by a group of psychic siblings who could stop murders before they happened. They have since dropped out of society to live in anonymity.
Good plays Lara Vega, a homicide detective who’s weary of the carnage, and wishes they could go back to preventing murders.
Enter Dash, a now fully-grown, socially-impaired, emotionally-raw Precog. He’s still consumed with death and the need to help people, but he can only identify faces and smaller details. His brother, Arthur (Nick Zano), can hone in on identities. He is stoic and stony, the shark to his twin brother's desperate heroism.
Lara and Dash secretly unite to prevent the murders of a do-gooding politician and dozens of supporters. “Minority Report” has clearly learned from its many predecessors, and by the end of the hour there was already a sprouting bond between cop and Precog. Vega is a dedicated detective, but hasn’t sacrificed her soul to rise in the ranks. Even though Dash is a means-to-an-end, she cares for him as a person, not a thing. And it’s nearly impossible not to.
His visions hit like a freight train, and reverberate through him like a grand mal. Even my guarded heart begins to manufacture serious feels when it clicks that is how Dash spent his formative years—writhing from visions of constant murders and the physical pain of seizures. Since regaining his freedom, he doesn’t know how to live yet he’s dedicated to saving others from death. He’s a martyr, a futuristic Sam Winchester minus the mane. Their partnership is reminiscent of the best of “Sleepy Hollow’s” Abbie Mills and Ichabod Crane collaboration before Katrina swooped in to ruin everything.
The rest is pure, imaginative fun. The pilot completely immerses you in the futuristic world that Spielberg built, and updates it. It’s still sleek and silver, lively and completely realized. There are colorful little touches—teleprompter glasses, healthy fries and flying selfie drones. There's suspense, humor and more than enough badassery, thanks to Good leaping off buildings and ziplining into warehouses without a flicker of hesitation. Even more, Dash's sister, Agatha, has been having a recurring vision that Precog program will be reinstated, and they will once again be imprisoned.
Unlike Starks, Good—an industry veteran despite her babyface—doesn’t have the chance to stretch her acting muscles as much as her physical ones. Knowing the shelf-life of sci-fi shows on Fox (R.I.P. “Almost Human”), it is crucial that she gets the opportunities to show her range—her humor, rage and sadness—in the next few episodes. To carry the show, Good has to be more than the straight-laced cop or the hot girl with a gun, she has to be a fully-drawn person, and she's not yet. If Report trims the slightly indulgent scenes with the fancy CSI tools, they’ll have more time to invest into the cases, the action and the drama.
Ultimately, “Minority Report" is not reinventing the wheel, but it definitely makes it more fun to play with. Its ability to play with linear time, burgeoning mythology arc and refreshingly diverse cast is a pretty slick way to solve the worst case of the Mondays. Grade: A-
“Minority Report” airs every Monday on Fox at 8/7c.
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Photo Credits: Fox.com
Small Screen Girl
I am an unabashed pop culture and TV-aholic with no plans to ever seek treatment. Explore this blog and see just how deep my obsession goes.