Friday, October 13, 2017

Pilot Review: Valor

Valor (CW)
Premiered October 9 at 9pm

I think I’ve seen this pilot twice already in the past few weeks. It’s not the CW’s fault that they have the misfortune of premiering theirs after “The Brave” and “Seal Team,” but this isn’t the kind of series that the network tends to produce. I’ll admit that I thought it was about honor in the middle ages or something like that, and I was surprised to find that it doesn’t feature superheroes, supernatural forces, or comic elements. This foray into more serious drama is still, however, laced with unnecessary and all-too-familiar antics like people sleeping together when they shouldn’t be, overdrawn characters, and a sense that none of them could actually be real. I’m not sure what it is about following military and government forces overseas that seems to appeal to those who greenlight shows, but I guess that the CW doesn’t have a show like this and they want to follow CBS and ABC in exploring a sex-filled action drama that doesn’t depend on powers to enthrall audiences. I don’t know any of the actors on this show, which isn’t rare for the CW, which has been known to launch careers of a number of actors and actresses. Compared to the other two similar shows that we’ve already seen this season, this one feels the least sophisticated and the most likely to get lost in its own web of dark conspiracies, and I definitely won’t be back to find out why they’re lugging around an American soldier when they’re supposed to be fighting terrorists or whatever.

How will it work as a series? I can’t imagine it will be interesting – this seems to be constructed more as a soap opera than as an action series, and I think that the CW wants it to be more like the latter. Most importantly, I’m not sure what audience of the network’s other shows this will appeal to.
How long will it last? The reviews, predictably, aren’t very good, though somehow it rates better than a handful of other shows that have already premiered. The numbers, on the other hand, are lackluster by the CW’s standards, matching some shows later in their runs but hardly enough to enable it to make the cut for a renewal based on its initial performance.

Pilot grade: F

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