Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Pilot Review: The Fix

The Fix (ABC)
Premiered March 18 at 10pm

I saw a teaser for this show a month ago during the Oscars which indicated that it was a very dark, intense series, which gave me the wrong expectations of seriousness. I couldn’t get into “The People vs. OJ Simpson,” which went on to win countless awards and universal praise, and it’s no surprise that this show feels similar to that because it comes from Marcia Clark. It’s extremely sensational, and very much feels like the kind of fare that was prevalent in the 1990s and early 2000s. This reminds me in some ways of FOX’s recent effort “Proven Innocent,” with one person getting drawn back in to something that has defined their life much more than they ever wanted. In an era where similarly high-profile corruption and undue influence are prominent but don’t achieve much, this show feels both over-the-top and inauthentic, and certainly not something that fits with current events. I did recognize a handful of actors, most of whom I first encountered a decade or two ago. Robin Tunney wasn’t nearly as effective in getting things done as her ill-fated lawyer on “Prison Break,” and I had forgotten that she spent seven seasons on “The Mentalist” between then and now. I haven’t seen Breckin Meyer for a long time (“Rat Race” comes to mind), and Merrin Dungey was a big player on “Alias” towards the beginning of that show. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, best known for playing Mr. Eko on “Lost,” is inarguably charismatic, and he’s probably the best reason to watch this show. The only performer I think I’ve seen anytime recently is Scott Cohen, who was just in “South Mountain,” which I saw at SXSW a few weeks ago. This show is trying to dramatize its events even more with Cohen’s white lawyer purporting that his very seemingly guilty client is only being persecuted because of the color of his skin, and while that might appeal to some voters, it just didn’t track with me. This show feels excessively familiar, and not in a good way.

How will it work as a series? This is only the beginning, and I can imagine that it’s going to get crazier and more extravagant from here. Painting Sevvy’s innocence as being very much in question because of the way he acts means that red herrings are going to be plentiful and new information is going to shift perception radically. I suppose it might make things unpredictable, though I imagine it will actually be quite easy to call what direction this show is headed in next.
How long will it last? Being more than a week behind in reviewing this show means that there’s already ratings data for two episodes of this show, which, in this case, is not a good thing for its future prospects. The ratings weren’t great to start with, prompting unfortunate puns related to its title, and they got worse in week two. The reviews aren’t positive either, and so I think it’s safe to assume that this show’s ten-episode initial order is all it will get.

Pilot grade: D

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