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Monday, September 22, 2014

PILOT REVIEW: Scorpion

SCORPION












Starring: Elyes Gabel, Katharine McPhee, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Jadyn Wong, Ari Stidham, and Robert Patrick

Developed by Nick Santora
Teleplay by Nick Santora, Directed by Justin Lin

THE PREMISE: Scorpion is a new procedural based on the true story of genius and computer expert Walter O'Brien. O'Brien (Elyes Gabel) is working with a group of ragtag geniuses: Toby Curtis (Eddie Kaye Thomas), Happy Quinn (Jadyn Wong), and Sylvester Dodd (Ari Stidham). When a man from his past, Agent Cabe Gallo (Robert Patrick) confronts them with a national crisis, they turn from doing small jobs to major national and international concerns. During a crisis involving planes coming to LAX, they set up shop at a local diner where waitress Paige Dineen (Katharine McPhee) gets involved. She also has a son who appears to be "challenged" but is actually a genius.

THE GOOD: Well, I don't know. There were hints of humor in this dramedy that were somewhat funny. The one part I found particularly funny was when they spotted a "tech guy" among the interns at their airport and his/their subsequent reactions. The show needed more moments like that where it was making fun of itself (more on that below). I guess the cast is competent and it's a somewhat unique spin on your average procedural.

THE BAD: This was just all so silly but it took itself way too seriously. Unlike The Mysteries of Laura, which purposely went back and forth between humor and drama, this one tried to be nearly all drama but too much of it came across in a "laughing at it" way. The fact that each of the geniuses has a special skill and routinely refers to said skill (example: "now we're down to a 17% chance" says the numbers guy) seems to be character development typically reserved for children's shows. The show was so chock full of "smart talk," it basically took the worst and most boring parts of procedurals like Person of Interest and Criminal Minds and created an entire show about it. I'm no idiot and I didn't understand much of what they were saying, nor did I care. The whole involvement of Katharine McPhee's character and her genius son felt awfully contrived (not to mention there's no way she'd be allowed to do all the things she was starting with staying in the diner).

BOTTOM LINE: This show's a stinker. For being a show about geniuses, it is pretty stupid. It takes itself entirely too seriously with its nerd talk. This is not The Big Bang Theory of dramas, it's a show that's been poorly put together and probably won't be around too long. I don't really see what the appeal was here for CBS to end over 60 years of comedies at 9pm Mondays.

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