Friday, December 16, 2016

Pilot Review: Incorporated

Incorporated (Syfy)
Premiered November 30 at 10pm

I’m not sure that there’s a sci-fi subject more popular than the dystopian future. There are so many possible ways that things could go wrong in the coming years as scientific and technological advances continue to develop, and the human race is capable of messing everything up at every turn when given the opportunity. Often, such futures are bleak and devastating, with few people still left alive and even fewer still thriving. Usually, however, there are a select few that have risen above the rest and enjoy a much more comfortable life, as portrayed in the recent film “High-Rise,” for instance, though their status can be easily changed or diminished with one wrong move. Syfy’s new show, as its title suggests, paints a picture of a future ruled by corporations, and getting ahead is all that matters. Oh, and of course there are spies and undercover agents working for those who control the less civilized territories, and they’re headed straight to the top of the reigning empire. I’m someone who is easily drawn to the appeal of this type of premise, and unfortunately I can’t report much if anything in the way of originality in this pilot, which felt cumbersome and unexciting. There are two actors I recognize from much better TV roles: Emmy nominee Julia Ormond, who played Megan’s mother on “Mad Men,” and Golden Globe nominee Dennis Haysbert, who was Senator/President Palmer on “24.” Their talents seem wasted on a show that has a decent concept but doesn’t manage to execute it in an interesting or invigorating way.

How will it work as a series? We have some idea of what’s going on and who the players are, but at this point we haven’t seen what life is like in the Red Zone. One innocent man already got framed and sent away for interrogation, and now it’s a question of how well Ben/Aaron can maintain his cover without getting himself or others killed in the process. There are sure to be twists, but I’m not convinced they’ll be all that enthralling.
How long will it last? It’s hard to find much in the way of ratings data for Syfy and for this show specifically, though reviews do seem to be relatively positive. I can’t comprehend exactly what Syfy is going for these days with its programming, and so I’d say this is a toss-up and this one is going to be renewed.


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