16 August 2015 | rosebudfr
*My thoughts after having watched the pilot* What a bizarre and sad idea to set the show years after the events depicted in the film, rather than exploring the whole Precrime division idea from a new, TV series angle. This means that the show has to clumsily explain in its first few minutes, through a boring and unimaginative voice-over, the premise and everything that has happened before, rather than surprising and challenging us with slowly making sense of this future world - one of the great pleasures a film or starting TV show has to offer. It's like the producers had thought: 'Hey, let's spoil the mystery as soon as possible!' The whole writing in the pilot is the same - everything explained right away, no challenge anywhere, just watch and please don't think, you idiot TV viewers. This also means that everything that was really different, and morally challenging, in the film has been abolished, to give us a future world where the only difference are the gadgets.
MINORITY REPORT the film hinged on a challenging idea - is it okay to arrest people for crimes they haven't committed yet? Are you really destined to do the things you're supposed to do, or do you still/always have a choice? Is there any such thing as 'the future'? You'll have a very hard time finding these issues in the TV show that bears the same name. Rather than trying to grapple with the notion of determinism vs. free will, or the idea of divergent future timelines or possible time paradoxes or manipulating future history or whatever, the show soon devolves into a bland, heartless, formulaic, boring police procedural - with futuristic tech, ha ha what a *wonderful* twist! Shows like this really give a bad name to TV series adaptations, giving fresh ammo to the people who say that movie versions are always better. Can't argue with them on this one.
Really, you've been there, you've seen it all, CBS has tons of these kinds of shows. The Precog here is nothing more than a medium, helping a police detective (cue the funny contrasts between the two leads and the romantic tension) prevent murders before they happen (and they will *of course* succeed in doing so each and every week, yawn). The characters, lead or secondary, are uninspired, unbelievable mediocrities, the acting is flat, the squeaky clean, bright, sugar-coated aesthetics of the show are insipid and a far cry from the movie's, while the writing is lazy (e.g. the way the characters meet and pair up in the pilot, *just like that*). There is no tension or conflict in this, no antagonism of any kind among the characters, no character flaws to be detected (they just want to help people out you see), no conflict with authority, no nothing. Just good-looking, smartly dressed folks who live in awesome apartments and want to do good, because that's what people want to watch right? The real sci-fi element here is cloning - endlessly cloning the same CBS-inspired formula to give brain-dead viewers yet another copy of CSI, The Mentalist, MediuM, Elementary, etc. That being said, I've always hated the aforementioned shows (except MediuM), so I might be biased here.
The film concluded with the idea that it was wrong to preventively arrest people because you can't really know what the future will be like, but the show is not interested AT ALL in that kind of stuff - the people Precrime had arrested really were criminals it turns out, and let's just go stop the baddies already. In spite of the slick production design, it all feels kind of cheesy - emotionally cheesy, psychologically cheesy, and even sometimes literally cheesy (see the scene when the cops "drop out" on the suspect in the factory).
You do actually feel like a precog while watching this - you know everything that's going to happen. I can even foresee the future of this show - cancelled after a few episodes. Really what is the point of adapting a movie if you're going to discard the most intriguing parts of it (a Philip K. Dick idea for heaven's sake) and just dumb down the whole thing? ALMOST HUMAN, the previous FOX attempt at a futuristic procedural, was *far* from perfect and suffered from some of the same flaws, but it was miles ahead of this piece of shiny emptiness.
Really, don't bother.