Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Pilot Review: Taken

Taken (NBC)
Premiered February 27 at 10pm

I almost missed this show entirely, then panicked because I thought it aired a full week earlier, and then realized that I’m still about a week behind on TV and therefore I didn’t actually miss it at all. I saw the original “Taken” back in 2009 and gave it a B grade, describing it as a decent movie carried by the awesomeness of Liam Neeson. I didn’t see the sequels and I didn’t have any interest at all in watching this show, both because it doesn’t star Neeson and it looks back at the start of his career rather than when members of his family keep getting abducted. I don’t think there’s a single sustainable thing about this premise working on a weekly basis, and that’s why it’s about his past rather than working as an action hero hostage negotiator of sorts. I expected that this might not be good, but I didn’t anticipate it being so dull. By the time Bryan was being held captive and about to be tortured at the end of the episode, I was bored to death. I’m not familiar with Northern Irish actor Clive Standen but he doesn’t appeal to me much, and in fact there’s just one player in the ensemble that I know well. I’m a fan of Jennifer Beals, who I first saw regularly on “The L Word” and then liked her a lot on “The Chicago Code” as well, and the multiple other series that she has appeared on in between and since don’t properly showcase her talents. Sadly, neither does this one. This show might take off, but it will be without me going forward.

How will it work as a series? Well, as I mentioned above, it’s not going to be a case of someone getting taken every episode, making the title a misnomer, and instead is going to have unrelated action that relates to Bryan and his development as an operative. I think we have more than enough shows like this on the air, and this series contributes nothing new or intriguing in my mind.
How long will it last? Neither the show’s ratings nor its reviews have been terribly spectacular, and as a result I don’t expect that it’s going to live a long life. I’d sooner expect a fourth film to be made than to see this show, which might still remain on the air, make it to a third or fourth season, and I think a second is also unlikely.

Pilot grade: C-

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