Monday, September 3, 2018

Pilot Review: One Dollar

One Dollar (CBS All Access)
Premiered August 30

Streaming service CBS All Access is relatively new, but it’s already established itself as a top television platform with two successful spin-offs, “The Good Fight” and “Star Trek: Discovery.” Its third foray into drama, “Strange Angel,” which premiered in June, was bizarre and seemingly random, and this fourth hourlong show feels very much the same. The opening credits and the show’s title refer to the value and significance of a single dollar that has such a devastating and violent effect on one town and the people within it, but I failed to see much of that connection in this opening episode. It’s billed as a mystery-thriller, and while it’s certainly hard to deduce exactly what’s going on and who’s involved, I don’t have much interest in finding out both what happened and how it’s all going to be resolved. I did recognize a few faces in the cast, including John Carroll Lynch from “The Drew Carey Show” and plenty since, Christopher Denham from “Billions,” and Leslie Odom Jr. from “Person of Interest” and “Smash.” Who the lead is isn’t clear either, and this just ranks to me as the latest in a series of supposedly intriguing and innovative series with ensembles where focus shifts week to week, like “Lucky 7” and “The Slap.” Those didn’t last long, and even though this show has an advantage not being on a broadcast network but a dedicated streaming service, I can’t imagine it’s going to have an easy time finding a broad audience.

How will it work as a series? We have the basics of a man not being where he was supposed to be in the middle of the night and showing up to stop an attack that wasn’t actually in progress, while up to seven people were murdered yet none of them remain at the site. It’s a mess, and I guess things might get cleared up soon, but it’s going to be a slow and laborious process.
How long will it last? So far, most of CBS All Access’ programming has been renewed, though “Strange Angel” has yet to get that endorsement. This show’s reviews are slightly better, and of course its viewership isn’t going to be nearly as high as the flagship franchise series. I think this one won’t end up getting renewed in the end, though it really could go either way.

Pilot grade: C-

No comments: