July 14, 2017

SHOWBUZZDAILY Series Premiere Review: “Hooten & The Lady”


HOOTEN & THE LADY:  Thursday 9PM on CW – Change the Channel

Here’s an indicative moment from CW’s summer adventure series HOOTEN & THE LADY.  The disreputable treasure-hunter Hooten (Michael Landes), having just found out that his reluctant companion, assistant British Museum curator Alex (Olivia Lovibond), is an actual member of the British nobility, rushes to protect Alex from an attacker on a runaway helicopter, and because this is the kind of show where a moment like that requires a quip, he advises the bad guy “That’s no way to treat a lady.”  Get it?  Laughing?  If not, stay away.

CW is using the British import Hooten & The Lady (shot in South Africa) as filler for a few summer hours, probably at a very low price, and it evaporates while you’re watching it.  The extremely basic concept is credited to a veritable army of co-creators:  Tony Jordan (who wrote the first episode), James Payne, Sarah Phelps, Jeff Povey, and Richard Zajdlic.  How it took the five of them to glue together shards of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Romancing the Stone, and The African Queen is anybody’s guess.  Hooten is meant to be a slightly shady charmer, whose rough edges rub the veddy proper (yet headstrong) Alex the wrong way, but also the right way, despite the fact that she has a fiancee.  The two are thrown together in colorful locations as they seek historical bounty, she for the satisfaction of discovery and the glory of the Museum, and he for the money.

The opening episode got them together for the first time in South America, on the trail of the same Lost City of Z that was the subject of a far more esoteric adventure film a few months ago.  Neither Hooten nor Alex is particularly brilliant–she doesn’t realize that her trusted French guide is actually the bad guy–and their discoveries are mostly the result of dumb luck.  The action sequences themselves are very circa 2003 basic cable.  The chemistry between the leads is supposed to carry much of the show’s appeal, but while they’re individually likable enough, they don’t bring any conviction to the idea that their characters are sticking in each other’s minds.  (They certainly don’t stick in ours.)

Hooten & The Lady is harmless, and those who use their televisions as slightly-more-plot-driven screen-savers may find it provides what they need.  But there are no treasures to be found in its content.

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."