Starring: Jamie Alexander, Sullivan Stapleton, Rob Brown, Noel Ramos, Audrey Esparza, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Ashley Johnson
NBC has been struggling for years trying to launch new shows. One show has worked for them. The Blacklist. This fall, NBC is trying to recreate that magic with two new shows that are very like-minded in Blindspot and The Player.
Blindspot is probably the most likely successor as it does a really good job of setting up the universe, in that the characters are clear after the pilot, and the premise and mystery are established. I write a lot of reviews of how a pilot either works or doesn’t work. You can’t just make Episode 1, you have to make a pilot. They are actually different things. Shows that often get straight-to-series orders are not tasked with the job of making a pilot, so their episode 1 can often be weaker. Shows like Blindspot have to fight for their spot on the lineup, and are tasked with making a truly engaging, terrific pilot. Straight To Series orders often hurt shows, because there’s no guarantee we’ll be coming back for a second episode to continue the story.
Blindspot does a good job of convincing me to come back for more.
More importantly, bravo to doing so with two lead actors I’ve trashed before in their film roles. Sullivan Stapleton was the star of the awful 300: Rise Of An Empire, a film I despised, and I despised him in it. He was void of personality, and I claimed at the time that Stapleton should just be not given any more roles. He has proven me wrong here, as he works well as sort of a Chris Meloni type. Serious, believable, bad ass. Jamie Alexander also has had some sketchy films, like The Last Stand. Here, she’s used really well and actually brings some acting chops to the table. She’s believable as an amnesiac, and the audience is empathetic to her situation. She reminds me a bit of Eliza Dushku, who kicked ass in shows like Buffy, Tru Calling, and Dollhouse.
Blindspot isn’t the absolute best pilot I’ve ever seen, but it does a really good job of setting up the world and the characters. I’m definitely looking forward to the next episode, even if I haven’t made a full commitment to the series yet on a permanent basis.
My one concern is that Blindspot will somehow lose steam fast, much the way The Blacklist did, and sort of shift into procedural mode. I’m not sure how Blindspot will work as a multi-season show, but it really should have a pretty great first season. If someone from the future came and told me that Blindspot ended up running for 7 seasons, I’d be really surprised.
FINAL GRADE: B+