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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

PILOT REVIEW: Intelligence


Starring: Josh Holloway, Meghan Ory, John Billingsley, PJ Byrne, Michael Rady, James Martinez, and Marg Helgenberger

Created by Michael Seitzman
Written by Michael Seitzman, Directed by David Semel

Intelligence is a new cyber drama with a high concept. Gabriel Vaughn (Josh Holloway) works for US Cyber Command and has a super computer microchip implanted in his brain, which him to be connected to any information grid and able to access data and intelligence to help the United States, blending the use of human capabilities and computer capabilities. Lillian Strand (Marg Helgenberger) is the director of US Cyber Command and she assigns Secret Service agent Riley Neal (Meghan Ory) to protect Gabriel.

THE GOOD: This is an interesting concept for those who enjoy cyber/futuristic plots. I thought there were certain aspects that were appealing: the dynamics between Holloway and Ory showed promise of being one of those fun male/female combos we see often in dramas like Castle and Bones. Marg Helgenberger is good in her role and convincing as the woman in charge of a major operation like US Cyber Command. The show set up some good stories and had a couple twists, one of which I saw coming and one I didn't.

THE BAD: Shows like Intelligence are hard for me to judge because I'm just so uninterested in the premise. That being said, I think a really good show in this genre could captivate me and Intelligence didn't. I'm not saying it's a bad show, I'm just saying there's nothing in it that hooked someone like me who isn't a fan of the genre. The big "twist" at the very end of the episode was also seen from a mile away as this show, with its innovative concept, seemed to fall into many cliches of today's dramas. Even the rapport between Holloway and Ory, while good, is a cliche. It's as if this show wanted to take a lot of chances with its premise but then got gun shy and resorted to a pretty generic way of storytelling.

BOTTOM LINE: I'm not sure what the general audience will think of Intelligence. To me, it's not comfortable enough to be a typical CBS drama but not interesting enough to be a strong departure. I know I will not be coming back for more simply because this show just isn't for me. Getting through an hour of it was more than enough for me.

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