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“Scorpion” Boring at Best

September 24, 2014


Scorpion was one show that I had pretty high hopes for. I initially thought that it looked really good and Katharine McPhee would be the worst part of the show. However, she was the least annoying person in the pilot, and I still didn’t like her, so that should give you a clue about how the rest of this review is going to go.

We start with a flashback to our main character’s past, when he hacks into NASA as a child in Ireland. Cut to cut years later where grown up Walter O’Brien (Elyes Gabel) has no Irish accent and looks distinctly Middle Eastern. (Though I have to give a shout-out to CBS for casting a non-white lead.) He is the leader of a ragtag group of geniuses with poor social skills. Sound familiar? There’s a reason that an hour of The Big Bang Theory was the lead-in to this show.  However, when that show premiered, we were invited to laugh at the main characters until they became loveable enough to laugh with. But in a drama, we’re expected to connect with the characters immediately and unfortunately that’s hard to do in this case.

Our four main characters are all geniuses, and they’re all incredibly annoying about it. From Sylvester Dodd (Ari Stidham)’s OCD to Happy Quinn (Jadyn Wong)’s brash attitude to Toby Curtis (Eddie Kaye Thomas)’ disregard for any human emotion other than his own, none of the characters are relatable or interesting. And Walter, as the leader, who is meant to be our way into the show, just doesn’t pop on screen. There’s nothing about him that makes him particularly interesting to watch, and when you pair that with Katharine McPhee’s incredibly bland acting (she’s like another Kristin Stewart), you get a budding romance you’d rather not watch.

Characters aside, the show’s plot stretches credibility to the limits, and that’s saying something, cause I’ll believe anything. When the NSA needs our four genius heroes to keep planes in the air, the natural place to go is a diner, apparently, since Walter installed WiFi there earlier in the day. Then, after the team 24s and Burn Notice’s it’s way to a solution, the final step is for Walter to hotwire a sports car, then drive it 200mph underneath a jumbo jet liner flying right above him, with McPhee connecting a laptop to the plane.  Seriously? Give me a break.

It was ridiculous and boring at the same time, which is really hard to do. There was one bright moment where Elyes reveals to McPhee that her son is a genius, but since that was the only time I felt anything other than annoyance or boredom toward the characters or the plot, there is no way in hell I’ll be watching another episode of this show.

The show is a procedural, and it’s on CBS, so I’m sure it will last at least the full season and maybe even beyond, but on any other network, it would be dead in the water.


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