September 29, 2015

SHOWBUZZDAILY Pilot + 1 Review: “Minority Report”



A lot can happen between the creation of a TV pilot and the production of regular episodes: writer/producers may be hired or fired, audience focus groups weigh in, networks and studios (which may have had their own turnover) give plenty of notes, helpful and otherwise, and critics start to rear their ugly heads. Tone, pace, casting, and even story can change. Here at SHOWBUZZDAILY, we look past the pilots and present reviews of the first regular season episodes as well.

Previously… on MINORITY REPORT:  In 2065, 11 years after the events of Steven Spielberg’s film, the “precog” program, in which a trio of psychically gifted empaths were used to predict crimes that hadn’t been committed yet, allowing police to arrest the potential perpetrators before the fact, has been dismantled.  Idealistic Dash (Stark Sands), his more pragmatic twin Arthur (Nick Zano), and their foster sister Agatha (Laura Regan), were sent far away.  But they’ve gravitated back to the Washington DC area, and Dash has been trying to stop crimes on his own, although he only gets flashes of the occurrence of the crime, without any information about who’s committing it or why or where.  One of his cases brings him together with police detective Lara Vega (Meagan Good), and by the pilot’s end they’re partners, although they have to hide his special and now forbidden abilities.

Episode 2:  As expected, the visuals in the first regular episode of the series were toned down quite a bit from the expensive scope of the pilot.  Although director Greg Beeman did what he could, the result looked more like a Syfy hour, and it made even clearer what a dim and routine procedural this Minority Report actually is.  Series creator Max Borenstein’s script gave us a singles bar killer this week who could have been from any cop show of the last 20 years, and the only supposed twist was that what appeared to be a tattoo in Dash’s fragmentary vision was really the cover of a book, so the killer wasn’t the obnoxious dating “expert” Dash and Vega had been shadowing all episode but the next most likely suspect.  (The seemingly friendly bartender at the club.)

Sands’ socially inept nerdplay as Dash is already getting tiresome in Week 2, and although Good brings the material more of a spark, it’s hard to light a fire with such damp dialogue.  The serialized elements of the story were no more compelling, with Vega’s former partner, now boss (Wilmer Valderrama) too clueless to realize he should be suspicious that she’s working with a precog, while Arthur looked into the records of his and Dash’s mother, and Agatha had menacing visions of the trio back in their milky pods.

Minority Report got off to a rotten start in the ratings, and it’s hard to see things improving.  One never knows these days how low a rating is considered tolerable by a network, but Report isn’t a cheap show, and FOX will be hard-pressed to justify a back order unless it has nothing on the shelves as a replacement.

PILOT:  If Nothing Else is On…

PILOT + 1:  I Can See the Future, and MINORITY REPORT Isn’t There



About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."