Monday, July 24, 2017

Pilot Review: Hooten and the Lady

Hooten and the Lady (CW)
Premiered July 13 at 9pm

If there’s one network I really haven’t been watching this summer, it’s the CW, which I do find myself tuning into quite a bit during the regular TV season. I didn’t have expectations of any kind for this Sky One import that aired almost a year ago, and I actually found myself quite entertained. I recognized lead actress Ophelia Lovibond right away from her role as Kitty on “Elementary,” a show that I stopped watching three years ago at a time when she had just joined and was infusing it with a fresh energy. There’s no denying that she’s charismatic and loudly endearing as a lead here, and she’s complemented well by the self-assured swagger of her new partner Hooten, who seems to have a knack for getting himself into trouble and ending up in sticky situations. I enjoyed the dynamic that they quickly built, with him making her apologize while she’s hanging on to a branch because she knows he won’t do it later, only to then have both of them fall quite a distance when he finally did reach his hand out. Her anger at his presumption that she was puckering when they were in the water below was equally entertaining, and though it’s going to be an uphill battle for the two of them to work together well, I think it’s sure to be plenty of fun. This is a winning combination of adventure and comedy, and this opening hour served as an unexpectedly enthralling piece of television, one I won’t likely continue watching now but would be open to revisiting in the future.

How will it work as a series? This first episode was a nice modern-day companion piece to the New York Film Festival closing film “The Lost City of Z,” and my assumption is that more exploits of a similarly daring note will follow. They might not all be the same quality of excitement, but as long as the dynamic between the main duo is there, this show should work well.
How long will it last? The show has earned positive reviews, and airing on two different networks is usually a plus since it means that one could decide to continue it even if the other does not. Given that there’s been no renewal notice since the show premiered on Sky One, I think this might just be left as a miniseries, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it did earn a pickup.

Pilot grade: B+