Thursday, September 28, 2017

Pilot Review: The Brave

The Brave (NBC)
Premiered September 25 at 10pm

Every season, it feels like there’s a new show about some military response or criminal investigation team that’s indistinguishable from the rest, identified only by a slight modifier regarding who it features and where it’s set. I can understand why TV producers and networks would think that this is exactly the time to make a show about America as a policing force keeping the world safe from terror, though I do wonder if the heavily liberal-leaning Hollywood is quite as gung ho about that kind of idea. Regardless, audiences aren’t only liberal or conservative, and therefore this show is definitely premiering at the right time, a less intelligent but more action-centric companion to “Homeland.” It’s important to have an attention-grabbing plotline in the first episode, and the abduction of an American participating in the Doctors Without Borders program so that she can save a terrorist the US thought was already did was undeniably that. I question this show’s frivolous desire to kill those that either seem like they have it coming or are deemed too villainous to leave, since certain moments, like the headshot received by the terrorist in the passenger seat and the detonation of the bomb in the terrorist’s wife’s hands, felt over-the-top in their emphatic nature. The most notable name here is Anne Heche, whose most recent show, “Aftermath,” was cancelled after just one season, and she’s playing a pretty typical role for her. Tate Ellington from “Quantico” is also in the cast, which his hardly reassuring given the quickly deteriorating quality of his last government agent show. This show wasn’t terrible and did manage to be mildly engaging, but if you ask me to tell you what it was called a year from now, I can’t imagine I’ll remember.

How will it work as a series? One element of a memorable series premiere is its ability to get you to come back for a second outing. This episode’s end is certainly game-changing, but to me all it suggests is that the area of the world they’re operating in is unsafe, which we know, and anyone who didn’t survive this hour is going to be replaced by other characters we don’t know yet in the next. That’s not enough of a reason for me to stick around after this relatively uninspired start.
How long will it last? The reviews, expectedly, aren’t great, but more crucially, the ratings weren’t much to write home about. NBC hasn’t been the ratings leader for a while, but given that this show premiered after “The Voice,” a strange pairing of sorts, I think that the network though it would perform better. I’d imagine that this will be cancelled pretty soon.

Pilot grade: C+

No comments: