Monday, June 18, 2018

Pilot Review: Condor

Condor (Audience Network)
Premiered June 6 at 10pm

DirecTV’s original channel has been doing well recently with its dramas, and it’s no surprise that a counterterrorism thriller would be next on the list. This is one case where I’m glad that I didn’t read the official summary before I watched the first episode since it completely spoils its events. I’m not too fond of seeing defenseless people gunned down in their places of work by assailants since it hits a bit too close to home with real-life shootings happening regularly, and it never gets any more comfortable, even if it’s crucial to the development of the plot. Before our analyst whiz saw his entire office taken out, I noted that this series really is a ticking time bomb show, which I remember John McCain debunking in the powerful documentary “Taxi to the Dark Side” after a clip of terrorist interrogation from “24” played. Joe made the point that Muslim-Americans are allowed to have P.O. boxes and work in football stadiums, and it seems that the man killed before he could unleash this deadly virus may have been framed after all, which suggests that this show is combating the popular notion that all Muslims should be suspected terrorists and that torture can really prevent immediate threats from being carried out. It’s worth noting that this show is based on a 1975 film, “Three Days of the Condor,” from director Sydney Pollack and starring Robert Redford. Though I haven’t seen that film, I assume this is a pretty stylish update, one that involves lots of sex and nudity to go with all the action and violence. I was pretty sure that was Brendan Fraser in the opening scene and wasn’t sure he would be starring in both this and “Trust,” but it indeed was, and William Hurt is always recognizable by his voice. Star Max Irons is the son of Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons, and he does seem energetic even if he can’t quite mask his British accent. This show does its suspense well but its plot doesn’t appeal enough to me - I’d recommend the superior “Counterpart” instead.

How will it work as a series? The way this episode ending always demands that the next episode be watched, though it’s hard to imagine that Gabrielle will manage to catch Joe and kill him since he’s the main character on the show. The pacing is good even if the story isn’t as original, and I imagine that it won’t take much to entice audiences to return for more as the plot progresses.
How long will it last? Reviews for this show were pretty good, and it’s hard to find much in the ways of ratings data. I suspect that this is the kind of fare that Audience wants to able to present, especially one of its flagships, “Rogue,” ended. I’d expect a season renewal to be announced soon.

Pilot grade: C+

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