Saturday, June 27, 2015

Pilot Review: Killjoys

Killjoys (Syfy)
Premiered June 19 at 9pm

Sometimes, the timing of a new show feels purposeful. Those who enjoyed watching a ragtag band of bounty hunters and other lowlife antiheroes parade around the galaxy getting themselves into trouble in “Guardians of the Galaxy” would definitely be interested in watching three similarly eccentric, if all relatively normal and human, people get themselves into similar hijinks on a weekly basis. This show isn’t based on a graphic novel or some book series; instead, it’s an original concept that doesn’t feel exceptionally creative. The first episode introduces the Hannah John-Kamen’s strong-willed Dutch and her less serious partner, Aaron Ashmore’s John, who steps in to take a kill job in order to save the life of the mark who just happens to be his brother D’avin, played by Luke Macfarlane. This trio obviously has plenty to work out, but by episode’s end, they’re firm allies whose weakest element is the banter that gets in the way of their missions being completed more quickly. It’s fun to be sure, and a good fit for Syfy Friday nights, but it’s hardly as compelling as fellow new series “Dark Matter” and is considerably less gripping. I see why it might make an appealing show, but to me it’s yet another return to the sci-fi space criminal format that doesn’t seem to offer anything truly innovative or energizing. If there was nothing else on and this was it, I think I’d stick around to get to know these characters, but at this point in time, one mission was enough for me.

How will it work as a series? Bounty hunting is a great profession to be featured in a TV show since each episode involves a different notable guest character and permits the exposition of background information on each of the three members of this group. As I said, it should be fun, it’s just not must-see television.
How long will it last? Like “Dark Matter,” this show also airs on Space, a Canadian network, which means that its chances are doubly good since both channels would have to cancel it to be dead. Its stateside ratings were far from promising, but I think that this might be the kind of show that will attract just the right kind of niche audience to merit the possibility of a second season.

Pilot grade: C+

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