Ever wonder what it would feel like to be psychic? Then check out Minority Report – because you’ve seen it all before.
Minoriy Report is one of those truly frustrating shows that never lets you stop wondering what one change in the past could’ve made the future work so much better.
Like Dash, a precog (one of three psychically gifted – or cursed – siblings with the ability to see future events), we’ve seen flashes of what this show could be. The Plexiglass-and-steel city of the future, the floating, J.A.R.V.I.S.-like computer interface, and of course, the pulse-pounding Spielberg thriller that served as its inspiration.
But somewhere along the way, something was lost. Something vital.
All the pieces are in place. Lara, a do-gooder detective frustrated by constantly “mopping up” crime scenes in a world where these things used be stopped before they happened.
Blake, a Police Lieutenant frienemy whose desire to fight crime seems directly proportional to his desire to be promoted.
And of course, there’s Dash, the gifted, but socially awkward precog whose incomplete visions of the future render him in dire need of a partner if he’s to help stop murders before they happen. Oh, and also to keep the show’s threadbare premise from completely unraveling and floating away on the slightest breeze.
So that’s it. Those are the future-flashes you get. Based on what you’ve seen, can you predict what the actual show holds for you? Here, save yourself the trouble of rushing to the crime scene and scan this quick rundown of all the events your future holds:
The Technology. Both innovative and intuitive, the way humans interface with their computers and the way these systems are integrated into their lives feels logical, breezy and fluid. Only a few times does the show intrusively draw attention to the tech that’s being used, but it’s way less frequent than you’d expect in a “sci-fi-for-the-masses” show like this. Although seeing Lara’s initial yoga-pose crime recreation fiasco makes a compelling argument to move this item to the next list.
Youth-Baiting. No one on this show looks older than 25, no matter their rank, status or supposed wealth of experience. Anyone over 30 years old is either a parent or the bad guy – hashtag spoilers. Also not helping matters are the constant references to 2015 pop culture (Tinder, selfies, photo-bombing, Iggy Azalea) regardless of how outdated those things would be in the this futuristic setting. Oh, and don’t forget this interactive subway ad:
Sparse backgrounds. It seems as if all the budget went to creating the look of a future city, and not actually filling it with anyone. No matter what time of day, the bustling future metropolis never seems to have more than 8 people in it at once. There IS one terribly CG-looking crowd toward the end, but they’re all huddled together in an almost prefect square, all looking the same direction…almost as if, I dunno, it was the same Poser model multiplied over and over and placed in a geometric pattern by an underpaid 3D artist. Or something.
The Forced Romance. You can practically hear the producers straining to make the sparks fly between Lara and Dash even though there is absolutely zero chemistry there, either on the page or on the set. They even go so far as to pull out the old gem of having supporting characters throw knowing glances and suggestive winks their way, as if to say, “hey, you’re a man and a woman in the same room – you guys must be destined to be together.” Call it the Jurassic World school of romance.
The Dialogue. “Peekaboo, bitch.” Yes, this seems like the title of Fox Fall comedy show, but regrettably it’s not. I’d probably watch that. This was a line of dialogue. That was spoken. Onscreen. Because it was in the script. That someone wrote. And someone else approved.
The Characters. These guys are paper-thin. The show is filled with “I fight crime cuz my dad was killed in a crime” style motivations that never get tweaked or nudged in the slightest way. It doesn’t help that Lara’s most distinguishing character trait is her Power Girl-esque “boob window” outfit that she wears throughout the episode. Peekaboo, bitch.
The Crime. Just because the characters are psychic doesn’t mean that the audience should be able to see everything coming. If you’ve seen any show ever, you’ll quickly sort out who the murderer is, how they did it and why. Which is a shame because a lot of the fun in the movie was in thinking you know how everything will play out, before the revelation of a single detail changes everything.
The Big Bad. Seems like all the cop shows over the last few years have been playing with the idea that there is something else out there, a coming event or a shadowy bad guy that is creeping in to wipe us all out. This Coming Crisis (again, another show I’d watch) is seen in glimpses throughout the season’s run and slowly dovetails into the catalyst of the season’s final episodes.
In this show, it’s the fact that the procogs will eventually be taken back into custody by the government. The problem with this is two-fold:
1) We never spend enough time with Dash’s siblings to care what happens to them. At all.
2) Having already been in the clutches of the eeevil government seems to have had almost no adverse effects on them.
Yes, Dash is socially awkward, but not in a tortured soul kind of way, more in a funny sidekick who balances out the seriousness of the protagonist sort of way. His sister Agatha seems like the most clear-headed and balanced person in the show, and their brother Arthur is a successful millionaire playboy.
There are also zero signs of governmental corruption in this show. In fact, if anything, between the sleek and efficient transit system, the abolition of the corrupt pre-crime division, and the invention of healthy French fries, it seems like the government of the future is a pretty progressive and helpful entity. Not to say that this all can’t change, but it also doesn’t put any weight behind the implied seriousness of Agatha’s “they’re coming to take us away” warnings.
All in all, this show – whose premise was taken from a short story and then stretched into a feature length film and stretched further still into an episodic narrative – feels a lot like a show whose premise was taken from a short story and then stretched into a feature length film and stretched further still into an episodic narrative.
Which, we suppose, was pretty predictable.