Saturday, October 4, 2014

Stalker - Pilot

Maggie Q stars as the head of the LAPD's Threat Assessment Unit tasked with investigating stalking, voyeurism, cyber harassment, and crimes of passion that often leave victims both physically an emotionally damaged. The "Pilot" introduces Dylan McDermott as a former East Coast homicide detective and newest member of the team who shows up just in time to help Lt. Beth Davis (Maggie Q) look into a pair of stalkers whose obsession has turned deadly.

Although I'm happy to see Maggie Q back on TV heading a new show, the first episode of the new show has more than a few rough edges the show needs to work out sooner than later. The stars are likable but the show seems to go out of its way to make the characters less so. McDermott's Detective Jack Larsen is stalking his ex-wife and the "Pilot" goes out of its way to make Q's character extra prickly even when the script doesn't call for it as an attempt to help lay the foundation of the character's own troubled past with stalking (which is touched on briefly in the show's first episode).

Based on the "Pilot" I'm guessing the crimes Davis and Larsen will be called into investigate are likely to more disturbing than many network procedural and center around mostly female victims (who, by the numbers are far more likely to be stalked than men). The show has received harsh criticism for its subject matter which, to be fair, is based on under-reported crimes that go on far too often in the real world. The "Pilot" attempts to balance some of the female victimization with a strong leading female character and an ongoing subplot involving a pair of male college students, one of whom is making life unbearable for his former roommate.

Given its nature I'm a bit surprised the show made it to network television rather than cable where its more risque nature might not earn as much initial backlash as its gotten so far. After one episode I'm less concerned with the kinds of cases the show will focus on (it's in the name of the show after all) than the fact that the "Pilot" didn't spend the effort to properly introduce the supporting cast and the two lead characters it does properly introduce aren't likable enough to stay with while they investigate the kinds of seedy and depraved crimes like those shown in the "Pilot." Given its leads I think Stalker could turn into a solid show given enough time, and I think it's probably been a bit unfairly panned for it subject matter by some (although there are certainly other aspects of the show that could use some improvement).

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