I’m not sure why I get excited every fall about new TV shows, especially since many turn out to be mediocre or unwatchable. But maybe because I’ve been so beaten down by the last TV season, I’m always optimistic that this is the season we’ll get some groundbreaking shows. A girl can hope, right?
One of the shows that looked most intriguing to me was NBC’s Blindspot, premiering tonight, starring Jaimie Alexander and Sullivan Stapleton. She plays a woman with no memory, completely naked and covered in tattoos, found in a duffel bag abandoned in Times Square. He plays the FBI agent whose name, Kurt Weller, is one of her tattoos.
Jane Doe, as the mysterious woman is called, undergoes an invasive process in which all her tattoos are photographed and studied by people trying to decipher them. Jane realizes one is Chinese (and that she speaks Chinese!), a clue to something very bad that a Chinese person is about to do to NYC. She and Agent Weller set out to stop this bad thing.
And that seems to be the setup for this show: each week, Jane and Weller will focus on a different tattoo and find that it points to something they should investigate. Meanwhile, Jane will also try to discover who she was before her memory was erased.
Alexander, probably best known for the Thor movies, is a striking—sometimes literally—presence, with her green eyes and dark hair and almost Amazonian figure, so she has the proper physicality for the fight scenes, if not the grace (see: Rebecca Ferguson in Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation). For now, though, she has a hard job trying to give Jane some emotional depth. How do you provide layers for a character who’s a blank slate?
Like in his previous series Strike Back, the Aussie Stapleton is once again playing an American law enforcement character, though Agent Weller is a more straight-laced version of Sgt. Damien Scott. While it’s good to see that the actor gets to keep his clothes on here, Weller is missing Scott’s roguish charm and devil-may-care attitude. Here’s hoping he’ll loosen up a little as Blindspot progresses.
Since pilots are full of exposition, it usually takes several episodes to get an idea of how strong a series will be. I think Blindspot deserves a second look, to see what else the creators pull out of the bag.