Welcome to another installment of “5 Questions and 500 Words,” the Boob Tube Dude‘s approach to reviewing the crazy amount of shows that will be unspooling/returning over the course of the next few weeks. Given the glut of shows, and the glut of reviews that will be published for these shows, I’m keeping things short and sweet.
“Intelligence” premieres at 9:00 pm ET Tuedsay (Jan. 7) on CBS (regular slot: Mondays at 10 p.m. starting Jan. 13)
Are networks ever going to stop make shows with titles that can be easily turned against the program when it stinks?
Apparently not. So the fact that there’s a show called “Intelligence” that exhibits no actual intelligence should not surprise anyone at this point.
Why are you hating on Josh Holloway? You shipped Kate and Jack on “Lost,” didn’t you?
First of all, Team Suliet all the way. Secondly, this isn’t Holloway’s fault: Who can blame him for taking the lead on a CBS procedural? Also, no actor could survive the amount of hacky writing, derivative plotting, and CGI-laced scenes that exist solely to pad out episodes that would normally be over in half the time.
How much better does “Chuck” seem in comparison?
Well, I always liked “Chuck,” even if for vast stretches it was one of the single most frustrating shows I watched on a regular basis. But at least “Chuck” had fun with the idea of an agent implanted with a chip that essentially gave him superpowers. “Intelligence” is dour, dour, dour. On top of that, it seems to have none of the moral quandaries depicted on “Person Of Interest.” So what you’re left with is a dude who bristles under authority while being able to “see” the internet. Or something. It’s so awful I stopped caring.
Is there any way to enjoy this?
Absolutely, by playing the “Where Have I Seen This Before in This Season of Television?” Game! Because honestly, there’s nothing here you haven’t seen before, and seen done in superior fashion. Much like “Low Winter Sun” and “Ray Donovan” came in well after the antihero show has been milked dry, “Intelligence” comes in like a faint echo of other shows currently on the air. At various points, I saw elements cribbed from “Sleepy Hollow,” “The Blacklist,” “Almost Human,” “Elementary,” “Covert Affairs,” and both of the “NCIS” shows, only deployed here in inferior fashion. “Intelligence” isn’t ripping these shows off, merely demonstrating that it’s really hard (but not impossible) to riff on long-standing narrative techniques without bringing something new to the table.
But you only saw the pilot: Maybe it gets better?
Maybe! But probably not. Any show that strips Josh Holloway of all his natural charisma should be taken out behind a shed and beaten. On top of that, “Intelligence” uses the powers of Johnny Internet (not his character’s name, though it probably should be) as a narrative crutch to the point that worrying about anyone or anything becomes moot. Holloway deserves a star-making vehicle. But he’d be better served in something along the lines of “Justified” or a remake of “The Rockford Files” rather than this blind action procedural.