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Thursday, October 2, 2014

PILOT REVIEW: Stalker

STALKER













Starring: Dylan McDermott, Maggie Q, Mariana Klaveno, Victor Rasuk, and Elisabeth Rohm

Created by Kevin Williamson
Written by Kevin Williamson, Directed by Liz Friedlander

THE PREMISE: Stalker is a creepy new procedural from Mr. Creepy himself, Kevin Williamson. The show centers on detectives who investigate stalking incidents, the fastest growing type of crime, for the LAPD. Jack Larsen (Dylan McDermott) is recently assigned to Lieutenant Beth Davis (Maggie Q) and they must learn to work with each other as they investigate their first case together. We also learn some troubling aspects of their personal lives. Rounding out the main cast are other detectives Ben Caldwell and Janice Lawrence (Victor Rasuk and Mariana Kalveno) and Deputy DA Amanda Tate (Elisabeth Rohm).

THE GOOD: I'm all for cheap, creepy thrills. I love Criminal Minds even though I know it's not near the top of the best-written TV shows out there. So I was fine with the creepy moments that permeated the first hour. If anything, I wanted it to be a little more suspenseful. I like both Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q in this. They both gave good performances and had an interesting chemistry with each other.

THE BAD: I guess I was hoping for this to be slightly more twisted because it was a lot closer to a typical CBS procedural than Williamson's The Following, which has been excellent at times (and far from excellent at others). The show is all about stalking so I actually think it could have created a slightly creepier mood. That can even be accomplished by the ambiance of the show. Look at a show like Gotham and how the ambiance adds so much. That could be effective here but right now, it seemed to have a similar ambiance to every CBS procedural. I was only mildly interested in the case of the week and that makes me nervous about this show staying interesting. There are a lot of stories to tell with stalking cases, but it's going to have to avoid being the same type of show with the same type of suspenseful moments each week.

BOTTOM LINE: This was another example where the preseason reviews put my expectations at a certain level. While many critics hated it, they regularly talked about how scary it was. I went the opposite way on both: I didn't hate it, but I also didn't find it that creepy. Many might disagree but I think the creepiness could set this show apart and I'd rather have a creepy drama than a boring drama.

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