Television Odds & Ends: Intelligence & Community

So I watched the pilot for Intelligence and I feel it has potential. I wasn't blown away, but found it more intriguing than The Black List. My rule is to give shows three viewings before I give up on them, so we'll see.

If you're wondering, Intelligence stars Lost's Josh Holloway as, well, pretty much another version of Sawyer (at least in terms of attitude). Here Holloway is Gabriel, a Marine who has since had a special chip implanted in him to make him the equivalent of a human smartphone. Think: if Sherlock Holmes's intelligence was fabricated rather than natural. You'd have this guy.

They've given Gabriel a bit of a personal quest: find his wife Amelia whom everyone says (a) was a traitor and (b) is dead. This will clearly be the thru plot for the show. Remember Mulder and Samantha? Same idea. While possibly cliché, I do find this more interesting than the stuff The Black List tried to do with the husband, etc. In that show, the writers hadn't made me care enough about the characters to then care about the truth behind them. Here, Gabriel is likable enough, and the idea is interesting enough. Plus, they've given him a cool body guard sidekick who is willing to break a few rules with him. It's a good dynamic and they made the good choice of deciding not to pile on any immediate sexual tension.

There is also the threat of the Chinese possibly having a similar souped-up human agent. This is nice because it doesn't make our hero the smartest guy in the room. There's nothing less interesting than someone who can't be beat. Holmes needs Moriarty, and Gabriel needs this Chinese lady. (Or will.)

Less exciting is the potential for this show to become rote. Though I liked some of what I saw, I found a lot of it average, and my mind wandered now and then. I wasn't riveted. I also didn't buy the whole Gabriel-recreating-crime-scenes thing. Side effect? What? Where's the data being pulled from for this? "Analyze it like a dream," Gabriel says. Um . . . Then I can't really take it at face value OR believe in its accuracy, can I? Someone didn't think that one through.

Okay, but on to Community. I'll admit I wasn't wowed by the double-header premiere last week, though I did watch both episodes a second time and found them better and funnier than I originally thought.

But tonight's episode—a parody of David Fincher films—was brilliant. For me, an immediate classic in the Community pantheon, up there with "Pillows and Blankets" (my all-time favorite). Glad to have the show back; between it and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, my comedy needs are being met splendidly.

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