Stop me if you have heard this one before. A person has or gains unique abilities or knowledge that make them perfect for solving crimes even though they are not a member of law enforcement themselves. That person gets teamed up with a very attractive officer/agent/operative of the opposite gender and together they fight crime/terrorism/bad things. Wait, why are you stopping me?
Admittedly, this has been done before. Many times. More than one time this season even. Need a partial list? Okay. How about: Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman, The Sentinel, Jake 2.0, iZombie, The Finder, Chuck and to some degree Psych, Monk, The Mentalist and Castle and those were off the top of my head.
This season you can add Limitless, Blindspot and Minority Report to the list. I have not yet watched Minority Report but I have seen the first two episodes of the other two and I see a lot to like.
Blindspot (Monday at 9 central on NBC) was being promoted all over San Diego Comicon including live models with fake tattoos all over their body (as seen to the right) walking in the region of the convention. You were supposed to text BLINDSPOT to 36500 if you saw them. I gave it a shot and it gave you a place to go to a few blocks away to get your ‘First Clue.’ Nice try, but no.
The basic story of the show is that a woman with no memory shows up in a bag in the middle of Times Square with the name Kurt Weller (an FBI Agent) tattooed on her back along with very recent tattoos over all of her body. She remembers nothing of her past life but it is gradually revealed that she has procedural memories like how to speak Chinese, precision shooting and a proficiency with martial arts. She is given the predictable name Jane Doe.
Most of the images don’t seem to mean anything individually but each one unlocks a potential crime that the FBI must solve with Jane’s help and she is motivated to help to unlock her own mystery. Whoever laid the ink on her had to have advance notice of the crimes and some way to know that the clues would be unlocked at just the right time to create the maximum amount of TV tension and hopefully she doesn’t run out of tattoos before we run out of interest in the show. If they had picked Cullen (in the green shirt) the show could have run for many seasons just based on the total surface available for ink.
Jaimie Alexander (she played Sif in Thor and Agents of Shield) helps us relate to the inconceivable violation that has happened to Jane. She shows us a very emotionally vulnerable (and physically kick-ass) woman desperately trying to solve the mystery of her past life while also afraid of what she might find. Was she a good person? Will the truth be worse than the mystery?
The other new show I’ve checked out is Limitless (Tuesday at 9 central on CBS) which has more of a comedic side than Blindspot. Limitless is based on a movie of the same name from 2011 which featured Bradley Cooper and his character shows up in the pilot of this show to lay down the limits of our ‘limitless’ character. The TV show follows Brian (anagram for brain?)Finch, a lovable loser, down on his luck musician with no prospects although he does have a supportive family.
Brian ends up with a drug called NZT which gives him the ability to access every neuron and every memory of his brain and to connect all the information together. The drug has massive side effects though, most notably death. Bradley Cooper’s character tracks Brian down and offers to give him injections of a drug that will leave him the benefits of NZT without the hazardous effects as long as he doesn’t reveal any of it to the FBI. The FBI believes that Brian is simply immune to the hazards.
Brian makes a deal with the FBI to allow them to study him and to help with their cases if they get his father a liver transplant that he needs immediately. So, Brian is with the FBI, which he actually enjoys but he can’t reveal the truth to anyone. His new (and beautiful) partner believes that her father died due to NZT and she wants to solve his mystery as well so everyone is committed and there you go. Jake McDorman is funny and easy going as our lead character and Jennifer Carpenter does a great job as our frequently frustrated but patient FBI agent.
These shows are both off to good starts so if you like this sort of thing Treat Yo Self to some TV!