10 Thoughts on Minority Report – Pilot

Hello and welcome to our first review of the new FOX show, Minority Report. The show takes place some years after the original movie took place, where pre-crime has been outlawed. In that film, three people known as pre-cogs were able to see into the future and prevent murders. But now that the very concept of pre-crime has been outlawed, Dash, one of the original pre-cogs, is determined to stop the murders that he sees on a daily basis. Neat, right?

Here are some thoughts on the premiere.

MINORITY REPORT: MINORITY REPORT premieres this Fall on FOX. Pictured L-R: Meagan Good as Detective Vega and Stark Sands as Dash. CR: Bruce Macaulay. FOX Broadcasting.

1. Seamless integration of narrative with setting

The year is 2065 and technology has come a long, long way. We see Dash, uh… dash past many different pieces of technology that we intuitively understand and accept into the reality. The sky scrapers tower above, giant LED screens blaring. It is (not so) subtlety implied that pot has been legalized and commodified through a sneaky dancing subway ad. There is no need to draw our attention to the technology, as most of it is pretty clear the way it’s being used. Whoever did the production design, I applaud them enthusiastically. It really is inspired.

2. Excellent tech tutorials

And when it isn’t intuitive what the technology is being used for, it’s explained in a way that doesn’t feel like a how-to video, but rather we are plopped into situations where the writers are confident that the viewers will understand what’s going on. At one point, our main cop protagonist, Lara, uses a piece of technology that reconstructs a crime scene to show how exactly a situation might have gone down. It’s nice not to feel coddled by a sic-fi property.

3. The city isn’t dirty enough

This is something every sci-fi movie except Blade Runner gets wrong. Just because the future has new tech does NOT mean the cities will get cleaner. Everything is shiny and chrome. There are no dirty surfaces. Everything is glaring white and way, way too clean. I understand the desire to create a utopic sense of the future, but this is ridiculous.

4. Casual technology touches are great

Selfie drones. Facial disguises. Pigeon controlling. The world is exploding with new technologies, most of it intuitive outgrowths of technology we already have today. I’m excited to what other tech might be in store for us.

5. Explanation of pre-cogs is meh

So apparently there were only ever three pre-cogs. They’ve since split apart but keep in touch. One of them is good at seeing names… really? One of them is good at seeing names? How the hell does this precognition thing work? That seems weirdly specific and kind of a flimsy plot device to get Dash and his brother Arthur back together.

6. SEASON 75 OF THE SIMPSONS

Yup.

minority-report-simpsons

7. “When I was your age, we had this thing called Tinder.”

Ew, grandma, ew. Like, I get that the show wants to be cute about things trending now, but no WAY is Tinder going to be remembered fondly in the year 2065. My guess is that it won’t be remembered at all. At least I hope not. Oh god… what kind of legacy are we leaving behind for our kids!?

8. The acting is passable to okay

Dash is probably the most interesting so far. His meek, yet brave demeanor is something a little different than what we’ve seen on other drama shows. Lara is also okay, but the tough and feisty lady-cop routine has been done to death. It’d be nice to see something a little out of the box. They both have cringe-worthy moments and moments of real reflection or vulnerability. Every one else on the show is instantly forgettable. It’s like they’re all acting in front of a green screen or something.

9. The Washington Redclouds

See, that’s a nice compromise. I guess FOX is putting their two cents in about the Redskins debate. It sounds nice. Not an especially tough name for a football team, but it’s better than a racial slur.

10. Is this going to be episodic or serialized?

My strong sense (or precognition) is that it will be episodic. There doesn’t seem to be any “big-bad” looming and the narrative threads being dangled seem like they are not especially pressing. My guess is that this will turn into a “case-of-the-week” kind of show. Something like Fringe is what immediately comes to mind. A sic-fi show that has an arc, but mostly deals with the day to day weirdness. Although I’m guessing this show is not going to be as good as Fringe. I miss that show…

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