Friday, September 25, 2015

Pilot Review: Blindspot

Blindspot (NBC)
Premiered September 21 at 10pm

I’d probably categorize this show as the most visibly promoted new series of the fall season, with Jaimie Alexander’s tattooed woman emerging naked from a bag in Times Square an image I’ve seen many times over the past few months. It’s difficult to judge this series and its potential based on the pilot because it’s so purely expository, with an anonymous woman sent gift-wrapped with a note to call the FBI on the bag and an agent’s name tattooed on her back, and both what’s on her body and why it’s there are equally deep mysteries. What this pilot did well was to give a smooth and gradual introduction to Alexander’s Jane Doe, who expressed frustration with being asked questions she didn’t know answers to and then conveniently produced translation and combat skills as they became necessary over the course of the hour. Learning more about her and why, as we saw in the closing moments of the episode, she electively chose to wipe all her memories is sure to be a promising and interesting road, and hopefully the show around her and that can develop at the same pace. I much more enjoyed Sullivan Stapleton as a bumbling Australian dentist in “Kill Me Three Times” earlier this year than as a personality-free FBI agent here, but I think he should do okay. This series reminds me of “The Blacklist,” which I don’t like at all, but this debut has whet my appetite much more, and I’m ready to stick around and see what’s going on if it stays interesting.

How will it work as a series? That’s the big question. If future episodes can match the shock value of this episode’s big moment with said scenes not being known to viewers ahead of time, this show will be a surefire hit. It’s just a matter of whether the mystery is too big and complex to solve, or if exactly the right number of easter eggs will be dropped along the way to make it worthwhile and watchable.
How long will it last? A while. This show’s premiere was a big hit in the ratings, and NBC obviously thinks it’s going to be a success given how much promotional effort they’ve invested in it. I think this may well be the first show to be renewed for a second season, but given that only a few shows have premiered so far, it’s probably too early to confidently make that call.

Pilot grade: B

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