Fans of Dystopian Action Should See “See”

The next in my series of reviews of new streaming series is another offering from Apple TV+ titled “See“. I’ve seen all eight episodes of season 1 and it has already been renewed for season 2. It is set in a post-apocalyptic future where the entire human race has lost their sense of sight. No one has been able to see for many generations and so the entire concept of vision is impossible to explain to anyone. It is viewed as an evil mystical power that was responsible for the fall of civilization.

However there exists one person named Jerlamarel who claims they have the ability to see as does his children. This makes him and the children targets. Not only is vision believed to be evil witchcraft, if by chance you can control someone who has this mystical ability of sight, you would have great power over everyone.

Our main character is Baba Voss played by Aquaman star Jason Momoa. He is the leader of a clan of people who live in the woods. His wife Maghra played by Hera Hilmar. She is pregnant with twin children that were fathered by sighted Jerlamarel. She came to their clan as a pregnant refugee and Voss took her in and agreed to raise the children as his own. In the opening episode, the clan comes under attack from witchfinders who do the bidding of a bizarre leader named Queen Kane played by Sylvia Hoeks. She is in search of the sighted man and/or his children. The Queen rules over the area from a hydroelectric power dam that is still barely operational.

The entire thing is sort of a mixture of “Game of Thrones” and “Bird Box” with a little bit of “Mad Max” thrown in.

The action sequences as Voss defends his community from the witchfinders are exciting, bloody, and actually make you believe that a bunch of totally blind people could not only survive on a day-to-day basis but can defend themselves from a bunch of evil invaders. The entire society is created in detail and we learn a lot about how they survive. For example writing is accomplished by tying knots and pieces of cord.

The clan survives the initial attack but concludes that their main line of defense will no longer hold and the raiders will be back again so they have to flee their habitat in the woods. The sighted biological father of these hunted children have left them a trail to a new habitat where they relocate out of harm’s way. The series then fast forwards to when the children have grown. They have inherited their father’s ability to see and they are given a chest full of books left to them by their father. Voss and Maghra are assisted in raising the children by the clan’s medicine woman Paris played by Alfre Woodard. She gives the children the books despite their parents insistence that she not. The children teach themselves to read and educate themselves in the history of the fallen civilization. Eventually as they reach their teens, they go on a quest to seek their biological father and their destiny as one of the few human beings left alive who know what it is to see.

Although some critics didn’t think much of Momoa’s portrayal of Voss, I found him to be an interesting character. He is a devoted family man who is trying to protect his children and his clan without reverting to the violent mercenary he once was in his past. He does an adequate job of portraying the character torn between his violent nature and his desire for a peaceful family life.

I suppose you have to be a fan of dystopian post-apocalyptic genre and enjoy seeing a muscleman like Jason Momoa engage in all sorts of bloody battles. But if you do enjoy this kind of story, this is a really good one. The world they live in is richly drawn. The characters especially Queen Kane are a bit bizarre but that makes her all the more interesting as a maniacal leader obsessed with finding her white whale that is these children.

The series runs for eight episodes and to be honest that was probably enough. Although I really enjoyed it, it didn’t leave me anxiously awaiting for season 2 which has already been approved. I will watch it however when it returns. I’m giving it a strong rating “I’m watching” and if you like the genre I strongly recommend it.

“For All Mankind” is almost worth subscribing to Apple TV+

I barely have time to write reviews of new broadcast TV shows so I rarely write reviews of shows on streaming networks. But there has been such a lack of interesting new shows on broadcast that I need to point out a couple of really interesting series recently released on streaming. (See my recent blog “Is Broadcast TV Dead?“)

We are going to start off with a new offering on Apple TV+ titled “For All Mankind“. It’s a bit of alternate history sci-fi about what might’ve happened if the Soviet Union had landed on the moon before us. In real history, once we had made it to the moon first, the US visited the moon 6 times but with nothing left to prove, the space race was over and decades later we still haven’t been back. But in this alternate history, the space race continued.

The series is created and produced by Ronald D. Moore who is most known for the reboot version of Battlestar GalacticaClick and the romantic time travel series Outlander as well as several Star Trek series and films.

Our main characters are fictional astronauts and their families but most of the other characters in the series are based on the real life people who worked on the space program. Fictional Astronaut Edward Baldwin is played by Joel Kinnaman who has been in a variety of TV shows but is most known for playing detective Holder in “The Killing“. We also have astronaut Gordo Stevens played by Michael Dorman, a NASA engineer Margo Madsen played by Wrenn Schmidt and a memorable performance by Chris Bauer as real-life NASA astronaut/manager Deke Slayton. Colm Feore appears in three episodes as former German rocket scientist Warner von Braun who oversaw the design and construction of the Saturn V moon rocket. You can click on the names in this or any of my other entertainment blogs to see their resumes on IMDb.com. I won’t bother mentioning their many roles.

Before writing this review I have seen all 10 episodes and I’m pleased to report that it is already renewed for season 2. There are going to be some minor plot spoilers in the rest of this but I don’t think it will ruin your viewing. After the Russians landed on the moon one month ahead of Apollo 11, the US goes ahead and sends Armstrong and Aldrin to the moon as planned. But I will spoil the story this much to say that this mission doesn’t go exactly as smoothly as history’s real Apollo 11. The series also covers Apollo 12 but makes no mention of the accident suffered by real-life Apollo 13. There is a time jump in the series and from that point forward all of the missions are fictional.

As mentioned before, the story follows the continuing space race between the US and the Soviet Union. It now becomes a race to build a permanent moon base. On one of the missions, water is discovered in the permanent dark areas of Shackleton crater near the Moon’s south pole. In real life, water wasn’t discovered there until a few years ago when satellite reconnaissance detected the presence of frozen water. This early discovery makes a permanent moon base feasible and both countries race to build a moon base on the edge of this crater some distance apart from each other.

The Soviets also get one up on us by landing the first woman on the moon paralleling the true life events where they put the first woman in orbit years before we did. In this alternate history, we respond by rapidly recruiting and training a group of female astronauts and several of the episodes through the middle of the season forward deal with that story. Not only does the series deal with women’s issues it also touches on LGBT themes. It dramatically illustrates the way such issues were dealt with or not dealt with in the 70s and 80s. We get a glimpse of the political background of this alternate history which has some interesting twists and turns as well. The world these characters live in feels very real. An excellent bit of alternate world building on the part of the show’s creators and writers.

The writing is excellent. The acting is wonderful. The drama is compelling. There are surprises and tragedies that will break your heart. I will warn you don’t watch episode 9 unless you are prepared to watch the finale episode 10 immediately following.

I have to admit a bias because I grew up in the Apollo era and have always been a spaceflight enthusiast. But I don’t think that you have to be a space history buff or a spaceflight enthusiast to really enjoy this series.

For the most part the science is reasonably accurate. There are a couple of places near the end where I thought they glossed over a couple of issues for the sake of keeping the story moving. However I found much less of what I call “plot driven technology” then I find in many sci-fi series. I should mention that the special-effects are excellent as well for a TV series. Also a big tip of the hat to the set decorators. On the wall of one of the astronaut’s homes there is a wall decoration identical to one that has been hanging in my living room since the early 1970s.

I was fortunate enough to get a free subscription to Apple TV+ when I purchased my new iPhone 11. There are at least 2 other series available on Apple TV+ that are worth checking out.One of them is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi series titled “See” starring Aquaman star Jason Momoa which I will review soon here. And a drama series called “The Morning Show” starring Jennifer Aniston which I have not yet seen but which earned a number of Golden Globe nominations. Ultimately whether or not it’s worth the subscription price to you is something you alone will have to decide. Overall Apple TV+ does not have a huge catalog of programming. There are less than a dozen original series but I suppose it will grow over time.

I’m giving this a strong recommendation of “I Really like It“. If you do have access to Apple TV+ this is something you should definitely check out. Really quality stuff with more to come next season.

“Deputy” is Nothing Special

The first new show of the midseason is Fox’s procedural cop drama “Deputy“. The show stars Stephen Dorff who has most recently been seen in the 2019 season of HBO’s “True Detective“. In this show he plays LA Sheriff Deputy Bill Hollister. He’s your typical hard-nosed cop who hates authority and breaks all the rules. As the show opens he’s being disciplined for refusing to engage in an ICE operation to round up illegal immigrants saying that it’s his job to protect them and not round them up just so that LA County Sheriff Department can get federal grant money for cooperating with ICE.

The show then goes to a case in the field where he engages in a high-speed car chase that is ridiculously over-the-top. Not quite “Fast and Furious” ridiculous but clearly unrealistic. It involves all sorts of dangers to the public such as him speeding down side streets and narrow alleys at high speed and eventually running the suspects off a bridge where they crash into a street below. That kind of reckless behavior would have someone kicked off any police force.

As the chase concludes, the higher-ups come to inform him that the sheriff has recently died of a heart attack and because of an arcane law from the days of the wild West, his most long serving deputy will be made interim Sheriff until an election can be held. And of course that’s him. So suddenly this almost rogue cop who everyone hates and who can’t follow the rules is now in charge of the entire LA County Sheriff Department.

The entire premise is so ridiculously contrived that you have to hold your nose just to buy into the concept. If the characters were compelling and the stories interesting you might be able to get by the ridiculous premise but unfortunately none of that happens.

Hollister is accompanied by his only friend in the department Detective Cade Ward played by Brian Van Holt most recently seen on TV in the series “Cougar Town” which I never watched. The show also features his driver/bodyguard a young lesbian woman named Deputy Breanna Bishop played by Bex Taylor-Klaus most recently seen in “13 Reasons Why” and also appeared in 9 episodes of “Arrow” as the character “Sin”. These two sidekicks are mildly interesting but can’t save this otherwise un-extraordinary cop show.

The plot of the opening episode was nothing special. The action sequences were okay although as I said before quite unbelievable. If you want a good action filled cop show you should skip this and watch SWAT or Hawaii Five-O on CBS.

I’m giving this a solid rating of “Skip it“.

Is Broadcast TV Dead?

Those who have followed this blog in my postings on Facebook know that I used to post entertainment news about once a month but I been so tied up with other things in my life I haven’t had a chance to do that. Among the things I haven’t followed very closely for this year’s Golden Globe awards. When the awards aired last night on NBC I had not even looked at the nominations prior to watching broadcast. As I watched something disturbing became evident to me. Click here to see a complete list of nominees and winners. Here is a chart I put together showing how the nominations were split up among various kinds of media. The categories are Streaming: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Apple+. Premium: HBO, Showtime etc. Basic cable: FX, BBC America. Broadcast: NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX. A “w” in a column designates that’s the category for the winner.

Category Streaming Premium Basic Broadcast
Drama Series 2 2w 1 0
Musical or Comedy Series 4w 1 0 0
Limited or TV Movie 2 2w 1 0
Actress Limited or TV Movie 3 1 1w 0
Actor Limited or TV Movie 2 2w 1 0
Actress Drama 3w 1 1 0
Actor Drama 1 2w 2 0
Actress Musical or Comedy 4w 1 0 0
Actor Musical or Comedy 4w 1 0 0
Supporting Actress 3w 2 0 0
Supporting Actor 2 3w 0 0
Grand totals 31 18 8 0
Winners 5 5 1 0

As you can see not a single nomination for a broadcast TV show. Nothing for “This Is Us” or any other broadcast drama. Nothing for a traditional live audience sitcom in the comedy category. Even basic cable was only represented by 2 networks FX and BBC America with only 3 shows nominated: Fosse/Verdon, Pose, and Killing Eve. Streaming services and premium cable split the wins at 5 each but streaming was nominated nearly 2 to 1 over premium cable.

The only conclusion that we can draw from this information is that if you want to see quality television, you are going to have to pay extra. So we have to ask the question: is broadcast TV dead? If they don’t change they will be.

“The Unicorn” Verifies Walton Goggins Can Do Anything

Ever since his starring role as Shane Vendrell on the hit police drama “The Shield” I’ve been a big fan of Walton Goggins. Like the rest of the strike team in that series he was a tough hard-nosed detective who had no qualms about breaking the rules to get the bad guys and making a little money on the side. Staying true to his tough guy image he followed that up by playing Boyd Crowder in “Justified“. Another memorable role. Along the way he then proved his versatility by playing the transgendered prostitute Venus Van Dam in six episodes of “Sons of Anarchy” proving that he could play a comedic role with a touch of pathos thrown in. A truly memorable performance all around. Going back to his roots as a tough guy he did 11 episodes of military drama “Six” playing Navy seal Rip Taggart. He is also recently appeared in “Deep State” and “The Righteous Gemstones“. When I heard he was going to do a sitcom at first it seemed to me he would be out of place since he always plays such bad ass characters. But remembering his comic chops playing the transgendered prostitute gave me hope that he can master a full-fledged comedy.

Much to my delight, my hopes were fulfilled in the new CBS sitcom “The Unicorn“. Here he plays Wade Felton, a widower who is trying to raise 2 teenage daughters on his own. As the series opens it has been a year since he lost his wife. The family has been eating frozen casseroles that people made for them when his wife died. He has a sort of a meltdown when he takes the last casserole out of their freezer. Meanwhile his friends are trying to get him to go out in the world and start dating again.

Through various scenes we see that he has dealt with his grief by being highly involved in his daughter’s lives. He is fluent in videogame jargon in a way most parents would not be. His daughter Grace is played by Ruby Jay most known for playing the title role in the Hulu children’s series Holly Hobbie. The other daughter Natalie is played by McKenzie Moss who is most known for voice work on the “Pup Star” films.

Wade is accompanied by 2 couples who are his best friends Forest played by Rob Corddry and his wife Delia played by Michaela Watkins. Also his friend Ben played by Omar Benson Miller and his wife Michelle played by Maya Lynne Robinson. Corddry is a comedic character actor recently seen in Ballers and voice work on a variety of animated shows. Watkins is most known for being on the 2008-2009 season of SNL. Miller was also in Ballers but is most known for 63 episodes of CSI: Miami. Robinson appeared in last year’s episodes of “The Conners” as DJs wife Geena who spends much of the show away in the military.

After going through a sort of sitcom cliché scene as his friends help him fill out an online dating profile, he soon discovers he’s quite a catch. He’s available but not divorced or not some sleazy guy who has been sleeping around. He is what all single women have been looking for. An elusive creature like a unicorn. He can’t believe the number of women ready to throw themselves at him. He finally goes on a first date which of course is a disaster. In the end the woman is ready to take him back to her house for a night of passion but he realizes its pity sex because he’s a widower. He just isn’t ready for this.

The characters are all likable. The situations are not overly contrived although having contrived situations is a staple of most sitcoms. Goggins proves he can pull off comedy. The show has a lot of heart. The kids are funny without being pretentious. His friends are a little bit shallow but I presume in future episodes we will get to know them better.

My ultimate test of a sitcom is did it make me laugh? In several places it did. Although not a kind of must-see sitcom like “The Big Bang Theory” or “Seinfeld“, it is an enjoyable show. I’m not sure I’ve got room for it in my already overcrowded viewing schedule. So I’m giving it a rating of “Recommended Watchable” which means I like it but I may not end up adding it to my regular schedule. But I can recommend you check it out and see if it tickled your funnybone.

“Batwoman” is a Worthy Edition to the Arrowverse

CW network has added a new series to its DC universe commonly known as the Arrowverse because the shows were a spinoff of the original “Arrow” series. “Batwoman” is a new series whose titular character first appeared in a series of Arrowverse crossover episodes “Crisis on Infant Earths” near the end of last season. Unfortunately I’m way behind on my Arrowverse shows and did not see those episodes yet. However I decided to go ahead and check out the pilot of Batwoman.

The story revolves about Kate Kane who is a cousin of Bruce Wayne apparently on his mother’s side whose name was Martha Kane. When she was a child her mother and sister died in an accident when a school bus full of kidnapped kids driven by The Joker drove them off the road and they were dangling precariously on the edge of the bridge. Batman tried to secure the vehicle with some cables and then went off to chase the Joker. Kate was able to crawl out of the car before the cables failed and mom and sis fell to their death. She always blamed Batman for caring more about catching the bad guy then saving innocent lives.

As the story opens, Batman has mysteriously disappeared for several years. So the job of protecting Gotham City had fallen to a private security firm called “The Crows” headed by Kate’s father Jacob Kane. He had sent her off to military academies supposedly to train her to be part of his kick ass security firm but had always denied her the opportunity to serve. Kate is an out of the closet lesbian who was kicked out of the military academy for having a relationship with fellow student Sophie Moore.

Just as Gotham City is ready to give up on Batman by turning off the bat signal and putting all of its trust In the Crows, a new super villain calling herself Alice (as in Wonderland) appears on the scene to terrorize the city and convince them that the Crows can’t keep them safe. Kate’s former girlfriend Sophie now works for the Crows. In an attack on a public event Alice kidnaps Sophie. The idea is that if the Crows can’t protect one of their own, how can you trust them to protect the city? Kate returns to Gotham to help rescue her former girlfriend and to try to persuade her father to let her work for the family company. An offer he initially refuses. We also learn he has since remarried and has 2 grown stepdaughters.

Kate Kane is played by Ruby Rose who has had a variety of minor roles including 9 episodes of “Orange Is the New Black“. For some reason she was a bit of a controversial choice for the role. In real life she is genetically female and attracted to women but describes herself as gender fluid not identifying as male or female herself. This led people to claim she wasn’t lesbian enough to play a lesbian role. Of course the actress’ own gender identity and orientation really doesn’t have any bearing on their ability to play gay, straight, or whatever. And how many roles are there out there for gender fluid people? The only one I can think of is Taylor Mason played by gender fluid actress Asia Kate Dillon on the series Billions. (I apologize for not knowing the proper gender-neutral noun for person in the performing arts). For me, the lesbian aspect of the storyline neither adds to nor distracts from the rest of the story. The relationship between Kate and Sophie could’ve just as easily have been a heterosexual couple in which one was expelled for fraternization.

Kate’s father is played by veteran character actor Dougray Scott who has played a variety of roles. Sophie is played by Megan Tandy who is probably most noted for 18 episodes of Teen Wolf as well as a variety of other TV roles. Along the way we meet Luke Fox son of Lucius Fox who is keeping the abandoned Wayne Manor and Batcave secure in the absence of Bruce Wayne/Batman. When Kate stumbles on to the secret identity of her cousin Bruce, she decides to fill the void and become Batwoman.

Although she is highly trained in a military academy and a fit kick ass fighter, she’s not quite as invincible as we have expected Batman to be. Usually he completely overpowers his enemies but the fight sequences she has are not quite as one-sided which sort of increases the drama and tension. She’s still getting used to her new role.

Overall the quality of story, acting, stunts, action, and special effects are on par with the rest of the Arrowverse. If you’re a fan of those other series you will definitely want to add this one especially since this will be the last season for Arrow so there should be room in your schedule for another series. I’m giving it a strong rating of “I’m Watching“.

“Sunnyside” Celebrates Incompetent Politicians

Sunnyside” is a new sitcom from NBC starring Kal Penn. He’s of course most known for his role as Kumar Patel the Harold and Kumar movies. He plays Garrett Modi who is a disgraced former New York City councilman. He got elected promising to look out for the little people and then sat on his ass for years doing nothing. He was unanimously voted out of office by his colleagues after a DUI arrest that went viral on YouTube.

He tries to reinvent himself and redeem his image so he can get back into politics. Along the way he runs into a group of immigrants who need his help to pass their naturalization test.

The cast of immigrants is played by a variety of different ethnic types. You won’t recognize any of them. It’s a little bit difficult after just one episode for all of these strange characters to define themselves. Penn’s character is your typical loser who is self-centered and lazy. The premise is that when he takes up the cause of these people, it turns his life around.

I always judge a sitcom by the standard “Did it make me laugh?” And I suppose I got a chuckle or two along the way. But it’s not really very memorable.

I suppose there is potential here if you get to know the characters but I’m not sure it can hold your interest that long. It isn’t terrible but it really isn’t very interesting. I’m giving it a recommendation of “Skip it“. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s an early cancellation.

“Almost Family” is Almost Worthless

The new Fox drama “Almost Family” is the story of Julia Bechley played by Brittany Snow. Her father Leon Bechley played by Timothy Hutton is a famous fertility doctor. It is revealed that he has used his own semen to impregnate 100 women. Julia discovers that among them are childhood friend Eddie Palmer played by Megalyn Echikunwoke, and retired Olympic athlete Roxy Doyle played by Emily Osment. I haven’t bothered to tell you the resume of these people. You can click on the names to look them up on IMDb.

Although technically a drama, at times the show is a bit too lighthearted for such a serious topic. Some of the characters are bit goofy and the others are mostly unlikable. Only Snow’s character comes across as mildly sympathetic trying to deal with the situation.

The show is based on an Australian TV series titled “Sisters“. That was going to be this show’s original title and then it was changed to “Not Just Me” and then finally its current title. This tells me even the writers and producers couldn’t really decide what the show was all about.

I was only able to make it through about half of the one hour pilot episode before giving up. I give it my worst rating of “Worthless“. Rotten Tomatoes gives it 25% and Metacritic gave it 40/100. I’m not going to waste my time or yours discussing it further.

“Stumptown” is Mildly Entertaining but Nothing Special

ABC’s new detective series “Stumptown ” starring Cobie Smulders as Army veteran Dex Parios who becomes a private investigator in Portland Oregon. She is sort of a down on her luck, hard drinking, gambling PI in the tradition of classic PI stories. Whenever she gets in trouble, she has flashbacks to dramatic events when she was in Afghanistan. The other gimmick is that she has a grown brother who has Down Syndrome that she cares for.

Smulders is most known for her role as Robin Scherbatsky in ” How I Met Your Mother” but also has appeared in the Marvel Comic Universe as SHIELD agent Maria Hill. So she has some background in action series.

She hangs out in a bar owned by her friend Greg McConnell played by Jake Johnson who is most known for his role as Nick in “New Girl“. Camryn Manheim and Michael Ealy play Portland police detectives whom she encounters on a regular basis. Her special needs brother Ansel is played by newcomer Cole Sibus who either is a phenomenal actor or actually has Down Syndrome.

The opening plot was that she owes large sums of money to the local Indian casino and in order to pay off her debt she agrees to track down the casino owner’s runaway granddaughter. It turns out that the runaway is actually a kidnapping and everything goes sideways from there.

Some of the fight scenes and action sequences are almost played for comedy. While the character is believable and has a certain charm about her, there really isn’t anything special about this show. It’s just your ordinary down on her luck detective story. She drives around in a junk Mustang that fails to start most of the time she turns the key. The automobile stunts are a bit ridiculously impossible. Not quite as bad as Fast & Furious films but almost.

I’m a little bit disappointed that she calls her brother “Buddy” in a bit of a condescending tone. That term applied to intellectually disabled people sometimes comes across the same way the word “boy” would be perceived when applied to an African-American. The subplot of the brother really doesn’t add anything to the show.

There’s nothing particularly wrong with the show. It’s mildly entertaining and has a few laughs along the way. If this was the 70s which was the heyday of PI shows with “Magnum PI“, “Mannix“, and ” The Rockford Files” it would fit right in to that genre. But these days you need to have a better gimmick to hold people’s interest.

I’m giving it a mild rating of “Could Be Watchable” but I’m not sticking with it.

“Prodigal Son” is a Hannibal Ripoff but it Works

In 2013 it was with much anticipation that we had a TV adaptation of “Silence of the Lambs” character Hannibal Lecter in the series “Hannibal” which explored the early days of the character before it was revealed that he was a cannibalistic serial killer. The show was highly stylized, very dark, and quite compelling. Sadly it only lasted three seasons. The new Fox drama “Prodigal Son” could easily be described as a ripoff of “Hannibal”. But as I said in the title, I think this one works just as well.

Tom Payne stars as Malcolm Bright, a former FBI profiler who now works with NYPD. His insights into the dark criminal mind, mostly from studying his own father, an infamous serial killer known as “The Surgeon”.

You may or may not recognize Payne from his most recent role as Paul “Jesus” Rovia in “The Walking Dead” without his long hair and beard which gave him the nickname in that series. Malcolm’s father surgeon Dr. Martin Whitley is very creepily played by Michael Sheen. This character is the most blatant ripoff of Hannibal Lecter. The relationship between him and the police profiler is more complicated because unlike Lecter vs Will Graham or Lecter vs Clarice Starling , this relationship is a father-son relationship. Malcolm Bright is much more like Will Graham in that he is a tortured soul not only because of the dark paths that his profiling takes him down as he explores the criminal mind but also because of the legacy of being the son of such an infamous killer. Dr. Whitley exploits this relationship and is constantly appealing to the dark side of his son’s personality declaring repeatedly “we are the same”.

Of course like Lecter, Whitley consults with the profiler to help him solve cases. He does so to manipulate his son to continue to visit him. In flashbacks we learned that Bright (who changed his name to distance himself from his infamous father) quit visiting his father in jail when he applied to the FBI Academy in Quantico.

Similar to the opening plot of last year’s new profiler drama ” Instinct ” in which the opening case was a copycat, the first case that Bright covers for NYPD is someone re-creating four of his father’s most famous killings.

Lou Diamond Phillips costars as Bright’s NYPD boss. Bellamy Young plays Bright’s mother. You will recognize her as Mellie Grant from ” Scandal”. We also meet his sister Ainsley played by Halston Sage who recently appeared as Lieut. Alara Kitan on ” The Orville ” although you might not recognize her without her alien forehead makeup.

Despite the fact that the entire thing is derivative of a variety of other stories in the genre, the father-son relationship adds an interesting twist and the overall execution of the story is very compelling. Set aside any trepidation you have about the fact that it isn’t entirely original and is very much a Hannibal ripoff and just sit back and enjoy the ride.

It is a very dark drama and deeply psychological. But I would say it is not quite as dark as the 2013 TV version of “Hannibal”. I’m giving it a strong rating of ” I’m Watching” and I recommend you give it a try if this kind of story appeals to you.