Minority Report: Pilot
September 21, 2015 7:31 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

In order to stop crimes before they happen, Detective Lara Vega teams up with a precognitive named Dash, who utilizes his ability to see the future.
posted by oh yeah! (17 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have to admit, I kinda liked this pilot. Mostly because Dash successfully pinged my 'oh, poor woobie' reflex. (I never got around to seeing the movie, if that matters.) I expect the show will get canceled -- expensive futuristic procedurals don't tend to last very long -- but I'm intrigued.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:51 PM on September 21, 2015

I'm getting more than a little tired of the Sassy Asian Computer Technology Lady schtick in these kinds of shows, though. Ugh.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:33 PM on September 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Someone said something about this show, and now I can't unsee it. It's Sleepy Hollow. The out-of-place white dude, complete with semi-annoying woman he gets in contact with by almost supernatural means. The is-he-your-boyfriend fellow cop at the station. Obviously Good's character. When they go into scenes, it's almost exactly the same dynamic as on sleepy hollow.

Aside from not being able to unsee that, I was annoyed that Dash had to save Vega 4 or 5 times. And she just failed at being a police officer in so many ways. Add to that the terrible tech that they're trying to convince me we would have 25 years from now. All this tech, but when he starts convulsion, she says "call an ambulance!". You're a police officer. You mean to tell me in 25 years we won't be able to push a button on a small device and get 911? And that's civilians. I can almost do that now - surely police would have that ability, or it would be built into one of her devices.

She gets jabbed in the leg by Dash, and she starts going through his bag, and doesn't call for help. She doesn't hit a button that alerts fellow officers in a certain radius instantaneously? I mean somebody could probably hack that together today, in 2015. But cops wouldn't have it in 2040?

The scene where Vega is in the apartment and going over the scene, using an entire reenactment to figure out to use the infra-red and then find the daughter of the victim....uh, that isn't standard procedure when entering a crime scene? They get a clear picture of Dash and run him through the system and decide he's "a ghost", off the grid. But they have this victim's address, name, everything, but don't know she has a daughter? There's a a human being, not much smaller than Vega, hiding in the unit who could have pulse blasted all of yall out the window in a second, and it isn't in your protocols to do a search?

Shows and media like this are so much more fun when they are built to make sense, and then have tech that would be there, and then characters outsmart that tech in ways you wouldn't think of, because you've only just been introduced to it. I'll be watching still, I just wish it wasn't so sloppy right out of the gate.

Mega bonus points for the Washington Red Clouds. Screw you, Snyder!
posted by cashman at 8:58 PM on September 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Wow, this is cliche city.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:45 PM on September 21, 2015

The premise and the worldbuilding have a lot of potential, but that was a very poorly done episode. I hope it gets better.
posted by homunculus at 9:59 PM on September 21, 2015

Sci fi on Fox? I'm sure it will plenty of time to find it's footing. *something*something*Almost Human*something*something*.

But yeah, considering the early reviews and being on Fox, I'm not going to waste any time. Maybe sometime next Summer, when it's sold cheap for basic cable around these parts.
posted by lmfsilva at 12:34 AM on September 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

Forgive me if this is a stupid question. I haven't watched the movie in years, and I only caught about five minutes of the pilot.

Isn't a big point of the source material that stopping crimes before they happen is... bad or morally wrong in some way? And the show is now based on a hero who does just that?
posted by 2ht at 4:25 AM on September 22, 2015

Good lord, this was terrible. Just...bad.

I really wanted to like it, but came away very disappointed and uninterested. The capper was the unoriginal final scene of the other two precogs plotting something nefarious behind their brother's back. Ugh. Pass.

If Fox really wanted a future-crime show, just give Almost Human another season. That one was finding its legs when it was pulled. At least that duo had some chemistry. These two in Minority Report really didn't click at all.

Now, I'm going to have to find something else to fill the hour between Gotham and Blindspot.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:38 AM on September 22, 2015

Not sure how spoilerish it is to discuss the source material...The source material is twofold - a movie and a PKD short story. **movie spoilers**. In the movie (which I think the show is based on), the main character is an investigator at Pre Crime, and when he gets accused of being a future murderer, he goes on the run and it is revealed that for PreCrime to be activated, two of the three precogs (who are unable to really function outside of a special facility) have to be in agreement; the third projection - or the Minority Report - is discarded. The main character does not murder who they think he would, despite a strong motive, and he becomes the poster child for the movement to end the Dept of PreCrime.

The PKD story, not surprisingly, is more twisted. ***Spoilers** - the basics are the same, except the PreCrime investigator is accused of being the future murderer of the politician leading the movement against PreCrime. After he runs, he is found by the politician who explains the whole Minority Report thing and the obvious problems PreCrime has and convinces the cop to join him at a rally against PreCrime. Once on stage, the cop assassinates the politician, because his belief in PreCrime makes him want to protect it - and that means proving it right, even at his own expense.

The whole point of both is how fucked up the system is - one in which you are arrested and jailed before you do anything- with the added PKD layer of how people will still protect a fucked up system...so I guess what I'm trying to say, after all this spoilerific stuff, is that it's another adaptation of material that has somehow lost the basic point of that material...
posted by nubs at 6:26 PM on September 22, 2015 [6 favorites]

In the movie (which I think the show is based on)

I'm certain it is. Agatha is the same character Samantha Morton played in the film.
posted by homunculus at 8:06 PM on September 22, 2015

I found it reasonably entertaining, but I also felt the Sleepy Hollow vibe, too. It wondered to myself if this might be Lieutenant Abbie Mills' granddaughter or something to that effect (she has a son, who has a daughter...). It also made me miss Almost Human quite a bit, that was becoming a quick favorite of mine. RETURN TO US KARL URBAN, RETURN!

The special effects were surprisingly everywhere and either F/X has either dropped in price or this is an expensive show to dazzle viewers with. Most of them looked all right except for the occasional ad on a glass or something.

The entire subplot with the other two Pre-Cogs was not really necessary, but I'll give them a chance to run with it. I suppose better to have an over arching story versus a mystery of the week format alone.

I definitely found Dash kind of underwhelming when paired up with Lara, they don't quite have any chemistry down yet...

I'm also ready for the moment when Dash has a vision that ends up being wrong and completely effs something up. I was quite hoping it would happen in the episode when he warned Lara about the knife and shoved the bad guy over (who to the show's credit: unless you believe in the 100% accuracy of precogs, was driven bad by being arrested and treated for the murder he was allegedly going to commit) who was foiled. It would have made a nice touch on the underlying problem with precogs not being a absolutely honest source for future events if the guy had fallen to his death after being pushed and not have a knife on him.

One thing that stood out to me was they really wanted to show off Meagan Good's body and sexualize her. We get treated to at least one if not two photos of her in a bikini, she wears a top with plenty of cleavage which the camera tracks over, and then the episode ends with her running in a top that seemed a bit impractical. It just seemed a bit too exploitative and that was probably what I disliked most about the episode.
posted by Atreides at 11:26 AM on September 23, 2015

I'm not sure why Fox canceled Almost Human for this show when this one has exactly the same format but with less interesting stuff going on. I'm really not happy that Dash was correct with all of his visions (except that he changed the future). I totally agree with Atreides that the guy at the end shouldn't have had a knife on him, it would have made me a little interested in the show. As it is, I don't see anything in it hooking me.
posted by demiurge at 10:48 AM on September 24, 2015

The entire subplot with the other two Pre-Cogs was not really necessary, but I'll give them a chance to run with it.

I actually thought that the subplot with the other two Pre-Cogs is probably the most interesting thing this show has going for it. They've established that Our Hero, Dash, is the precog who gets little bits and pieces and does not see the big picture, and that Agatha is the big-picture-seer. And it seems pretty obvious where Dash's actions are headed - the more successful he is at stopping crimes, the more he makes re-starting the PreCrime program seem like a good idea. Obviously, restarting the PreCrime program isn't a good idea, and Agatha can clearly see that as well as seeing that it's the inevitable end result of Dash's success. So it potentially sets up an interesting tension - each time Dash and his detective "succeed" on a case-of-the-week, he's actually helping justify the dystopian arrangement he spent most of his life in. In short: the show sets up that Our Hero is kind of a short-sighted, impulsive dumbass and every time he "wins", he may in fact be making the world a worse place and shooting himself in the foot.

To me, that dynamic - between the emotional, case-of-the-week "Hooray we stopped a murder!" and the horrifying-yet-rational big-picture "If these people can really stop murders before they happen, then let's just plug them back in and reboot the ole' DystopiaTron9000(TM)" - is, to me, the most interesting and original aspect of what is otherwise a fairly generic-seeming procedural.

And to the folks saying it would've been more interesting if Dash was wrong sometimes, like about the guy's knife at the end - well, if Dash was wrong sometimes, that would completely invalidate that tension. PreCrime would just be a straight-up terrible idea, because the PreCogs would occasionally fuck up. But in the world as presented, the PreCogs aren't ever wrong (at least so far) so the lines between good guy/bad guy and good idea/bad idea are not as clear cut. PreCrime would legitimately save lots of lives and all it would cost is the lives of three people and the foundation of our justice system. That's without even getting into the questions of determinism vs. free will that are currently unresolved and would also be invalidated if it's definitively shown that sometimes the PreCogs are just straight-up wrong. I expect at some point we'll get some "Was Dash actually WRONG??? DUN DUN DUN!" episodes, possibly as a season-cliffhanger-y sort of thing, but for them to just drop that major a ball in the a tossed off last couple minutes of the first episode would just be a terrible waste.

All that being said, I'm kinda on the fence about this show still - all the other criticisms leveled at it (the similarities to the character dynamics of Sleepy Hollow, the seriously blatant sexualization of Meagan Good, the ridiculous number of times she needed to be rescued, the silly degree to which the police are bad at their job given the tech they seem to have, the odd blindspots in terms of tech they don't seem to have) all pretty much hit home for me. I'm willing to give it another episode or two to see if they can work out some of those kinks and tighten up the writing to keep it as smart as the premise's potential really needs it to be, but I'm not gonna hold my breath.
posted by mstokes650 at 2:10 PM on September 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

My understanding is that Urban didn't really want to continue on with Almost Human, having discovered that the schedule of putting out an hour long show of that type kept him away from his family too long.

The wildest aspects of the show to me were that somehow DC actually gets the height act abolished and WMATA seems to be running a functional mass transit operation. But then again the officer seems to operate freely in both Arlington and the District so maybe there's been serious politial upheaval.
posted by phearlez at 2:12 PM on September 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

Fox just wanted the show 'cause it's about arresting people before they do anything, similar to the show 'Person of interest' that's about why constant surveillance is good.

(I didn't watch the show and I don't intend to, the movie was good and the novella was tolerable. There's no way the show's going to be any way decent until the 6th+ season.)
posted by FallowKing at 5:50 PM on September 25, 2015

the show 'Person of interest' that's about why constant surveillance is good.

That's...I mean, that's not just wrong, that is like describing the X-Files as being a show about trusting the government. Why "Person of Interest" Is The Most Subversive Show on Television.

I would be thrilled if this show ended up being as smart or even half as paranoid and subversive as Person of Interest is.
posted by mstokes650 at 8:58 PM on September 25, 2015 [4 favorites]

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