Stumptown: Forget It Dex, It's Stumptown
September 25, 2019 8:07 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Dex Parios is a strong, assertive and sharp-witted Army veteran with a complicated love life, gambling debt, and a brother to take care of. With only herself to rely on, she solves other people's messes with a blind eye toward her own, finding herself at odds with the police and in the firing line of criminals. (ABC US broadcast)
posted by oh yeah! (16 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I liked it. Dex Parios hits the spot between V. I. Warshawski and Kinsey Millhone. Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother) delivers a performance worthy of James Garner in Rockford Files and Tom Selleck in Magnum, P. I.

Anyone who wants to bring in Tantoo Cardinal (Where the River Flows North, Smoke Signals) and Camryn Manheim (The Practice) in reoccuring roles has my vote.
And I enjoyed Jake Johnson (The Mummy -- 2017) and Michael Ealy (Their Eyes Were Watching God) as associates willing to call Parios on her nonsense on occasion.
Cole Sibus brings her back to earth as her brother.
Two more episodes are slated in October.
posted by TrishaU at 9:35 PM on September 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

Oh yeah, I was definitely reminded of Rockford Files in all of the ways Dex comes out ahead with unadorned gumption. Like running around the block to snatch the cellphone from behind,l or by dispensing with the goons with a throat punch, a slammed car door, and a kick to the balls. There was always something very real and charming about how Rockford stayed ahead of people without having to resort to silly screenwriter cleverness. Dex has that too.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:59 PM on September 26, 2019 [3 favorites]

I liked the show too. I think they struck a good balance between Dex's displays of competence-porn (shredding the fake-veteran pick-up-artist, the cell-phone snatching trick, defeating the kidnappers with car-fu, etc.) and her being a self-destructive disaster (the gambling, the fight inside the moving car which veered between brave and suicidal.). I think Cobie Smulders has that likability/charisma similar to Kristen Bell on The Good Place, in that she can play a character who behaves horribly and yet have the audience still rooting for her/sympathizing with her.
posted by oh yeah! at 4:29 PM on September 26, 2019 [7 favorites]

Cobie Smulders is amazing in this show and I really hope the rest of it rises up to her greatness.

Which is not to say I disliked it! I enjoyed it quite a bit! It was a lot of fun! I will continue to watch (mostly for Smulders) but it came across a little try-hard in places. But it's a pilot so I get it.

(Tiffany's "I Think We're Alone Now" was 100% a reference to Robin Scherbatsky and you can't tell me otherwise. I also think it was a wink to The Umbrella Academy, too, because that show used it better & Portland is a tiny comics town, really.)
posted by darksong at 7:23 PM on September 26, 2019 [4 favorites]

It was way better than I dared hope it would be. Burning through the entire first miniseries in the pilot was unexpected.

Dammit, now I’m hoping that this does well enough to somehow make a Queen & Country show a thing.
posted by FallibleHuman at 11:34 PM on September 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

I liked it from the absurd car jump at the beginning to the absurd car jump at the end. Though I wonder if vaguely criminal native American casino boss isn't too much of a trope...

(Also Queen & Country is a Sandbaggers comic, so in a sense there is already a show. I expect it's likely you probably already knew that, but I hate to miss a chance to point out that The Sandbaggers is excellent.)
posted by surlyben at 5:41 PM on September 27, 2019 [2 favorites]

Cobie Smulders.

I'm in.
posted by porpoise at 11:59 PM on September 28, 2019 [2 favorites]

My favorite thing about Dex that I noticed is that she doesn't know when to quit.
posted by memento maury at 9:16 PM on September 29, 2019 [2 favorites]

This definitely scratched my early Burn Notice itch and it's hard to say why. Maybe because she's such an underdog? Maybe it's the dialogue? Maybe it's the competence? Regardless, it definitely worked for me and I'm looking forward to seeing future episodes. This really makes use of Cobie Smulders' talents, Michael Ealy is dreamy (as per usual), and Jake Johnson is apparently typecast as a bartender now? (For those who haven't seen The New Girl, he was a bartender there.) I'm looking forward to seeing more of this.
posted by rednikki at 6:28 AM on September 30, 2019 [3 favorites]

My daughter and I were recently watching a few episodes of The New Girl, and I came up with the bizarre concept of having these same characters appear in completely new shows. Not spin-offs, but just the same character in a completely new premise, and I feel like we almost got that with Nick Miller here.

In general, this one didn't hold my attention, to the point that I hadn't realized that it was over and Hulu switched to a different show until I saw the Cougartown folks.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:45 AM on October 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

...I think Cobie Smulders has that likability/charisma similar to Kristen Bell on The Good Place...

I had a similar reaction, but for a different Kristen Bell show-- that Stumptown could be a version of adult Veronica Mars done right. Not that I didn't enjoy the recent season four of VM, but there were times when it felt like the show couldn't escape some teen detective tropes that were no longer appropriate for a women in her mid-30s. By contrast, Dex Parios was a human, believable, damaged, likable protagonist that you can understand and still root for. I liked it.
posted by seasparrow at 1:16 PM on October 1, 2019 [3 favorites]

Along with all the other superlatives, I don't recall seeing a P.I. origin story, and this one was great.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 7:36 AM on October 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

I loved it. I'm glad Cobie Smulders is getting a lead, she deserves it.

Both she and Jake Johnson have co-starred in Tom Cruise movies. Smulders was in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (aka the most violent Hallmark family movie ever made - watch it, tell me I'm wrong) and Johnson was in the execrable The Mummy (my thoughts here). I like him a lot better here. It doesn't mean anything, but little connections like that amuse me.

I hope Camryn Manheim gets more screen time in future episodes. Michael Ealy seems right at home in his role.

Minor quibble though - if you're going to have people locked in the trunk of a car on your TV show, maybe go ahead and pick a model that has a trunk? That 'stang is a hatchback.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 12:10 PM on October 11, 2019 [2 favorites]

I don't know how I feel about the Portland stuff! I think.. bleh! A lot of the callouts feel like cheap pandering, and the geography in the kidnapping drive doesn't quite make sense. I assume this is what people who live in NYC or LA feel like all the time with every other television show or movie set in their cities.

Also, there's a pretty famous bar in town called The Alibi, and the idea that someone would open up a "Bad Alibi" and not get completely fucking roasted beggars belief a tad. (also there's no way it would open up under the sign)

Still watching more, tho!
posted by curious nu at 8:19 PM on January 23, 2020

Just started watching this, and I am totally here for Cobie Smulders as a trash-fire bisexual with bad habits.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:25 AM on October 13, 2020

Sadly ABC reversed their decision on season 2 renewal (another pandemic-related cancelation). It was a good season though, and not a horrendously cliffhanger-y S1 finale, so, enjoy. (I mean, there's a bit of a cliff, but it's a set-up for what would have been a new arc in S2, rather than one that leaves you hanging over S1 plots, as far as I recall.)
posted by oh yeah! at 10:21 AM on October 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

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