24: Legacy Pilot Episode Script

24 appears to have nine lives. There’s just no stopping the 24 hour intensity format. After 8 original seasons/days, 1 tweaked continuation called 24: Live Another Day, the show will be resurrected a third time under the name 24: Legacy.

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Season 1(0)
Attached to the project, are Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton) and Miranda Otto (Homeland, The Lord of the Rings). Presumably, Otto will be running CTU, while Hawkins plays a military hero, assisting her to stop a terrorist attack. The first season, or should say tenth, will probably – just like 24: LAD – consist of 12 episodes. That’s still 6 times longer than a movie, but for all you binge watchers out there, it might be a disappointment. There’s nothing like a 24 hour day, full of action, surprise twists and that famous CTU ringtone.

That’s Nice And All, But You’ve Got The Script?
It’s still a year away, assuming 24: Legacy will premiere in January 2017. The script is probably not even finished yet. So in order to ease the anticipation, I wrote it myself. Yes, the title might be a bit misleading, but there is a script. It is completely 24. And I believe it would, if I say so myself, be a perfect way to start off the new season. There’s a threat, things blow up, people keep secrets, there’s a bad guy, an even badder guy, bad guys turning on each other, there’s a hilarious character with a dog, CTU is a mess, planes are going down, i.e. the whole Bauer Shebang, just without any of the Bauers involved.

The Script
As being a fan of the show myself, I think other fans will love it. Check out the script below:

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The day starts, just like the very first season, at midnight. Maureen Kingsley makes a cameo, and there are a few other references to the Bauer Era. But the story stands on its own. To make the who’s who easier, I’ve named Hawkins and Otto’s characters Corey and Miranda. Enjoy.

Update

I’m sorry to inform you that the legal team of FOX got wind of my script and I had to take it down. Even though I clearly stated that it was a spec script, a script written by a fan of the show with no ties to the official producers and not affiliated with FOX in any way, lawyers be lawyers, I suppose.

Spec scripts are fairly common in Hollywood. It’s one way for showrunners and the like to find writing talent. Obviously, these ‘speculation scripts’ use characters and story arcs already established. No, the lawyers knocking on my door said, you can’t use any copyrighted property. So there you go.

Pearson Specter Litt On Fire

Suits, season 5, episode 12, ‘Live to Fight’ reveals the identity of who’s after Mike Ross, Harvey Specter, Jessica Pearson, Rachel Zane, Louis Litt, Donna Paulsen – am I forgetting someone? – and especially for Louis it’s a hard pill to swallow.

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Hope
Anita Gibbs (Leslie Hope) has got the whole PSL family by the balls. I wasn’t much of a fan of Hope, to be honest, when I first saw her. As Jack Bauer’s wife, in the very first (and many people consider best) season of 24, Teri Bauer was a worrisome woman, jealous, suspicious and no stranger to constant nagging. But that’s 15 years ago. She got herself a nice head of hair and insufferable as Gibbs is, Hope plays her brilliantly. A force to be reckoned with. Everybody’d better be on their game, because once she grabs you, she doesn’t let go.

The Email
Gibbs smells blood, and rightly so. And all because of a secret source. One she doesn’t have to share with opposing council for another three weeks. The judge, however, starts to question her motives and makes Gibbs hand it over. It’s an email. Anonymously sent. Whoever wrote it, implicates Mike (Patrick J. Adams), calling him a ‘potential fraud’. Funny choice of words. The source seems to have a hunch; no evidence.

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The Professor
Mike and Harvey (Gabriel Macht) can think of only one person who could’ve done this: Harvard professor Henry Gerard (Stephen Macht; Gabriel’s father in real life). Mike looks him up – Harvey’s got other things to take care of – and confronts him, but Gerard swears he didn’t do it. Mike, good lawyer that he is, has come prepared. Would the professor be so kind to sign a statement in which he solemnly swears Mike was in his class? No. As fond as Gerard is of him, he’s not going to perjure himself. He won’t be blackmailed either.

Father Donna
The one getting grilled in a holding cell by Gibbs this week is Donna (Sarah Rafferty). They’ve picked up her father (Derek McGrath, She’s the Mayor and, of course, My Secret Identity) for a 7 year old minor offense. He’s going to hang for it, if Donna keeps quiet about Mike and the conspiracy of keeping his secret. The show gives us a nice introduction to her father and their relationship via flashback. Turns out, Donna’s always been this smart. He, not so much. Mike comes up with a plan to at least make Gibbs back off the Paulsens. Professor Gerard was willing to sign something else. A sort of letter of recommendation, in which he expresses his admiration for Mike as a lawyer. No word on Harvard, although it’s kind of implied that Mike went there. The most important thing is, it’s enough to bluff.

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The Sazs Factor
In the courtroom, Harvey makes a deal with Gibbs. Drop the charges against Donna’s father and they won’t bring in Gerard to testify. It’s a huge gamble, but it works out. Now, if Mike had indeed been innocent, what keeps him from putting Gerard on the stand anyway, after the charges have been dropped? Maybe that’s not possible, because it’s a lawyer-y backroom deal. In the meantime, Louis (Rick Hoffman) has taken a look at the email and knows exactly who wrote it. The way it’s written, is classic Sheila Sazs (Rachael Harris, Lucifer), his former soulmate – with the emphasis on former.

It Gets Worse
Like in many cases, Louis talks to Sheila and just makes matters worse. She didn’t know for sure that Mike was a fraud (ergo: ‘potential’), and wasn’t planning on coming forward. Unfortunately, she has now. Given she’s the female counterpart of Louis, maybe even more rigid and stubborn, it’s going to take a lot to win this case. Also because every other law firm now knows about the fact that Mike’s a suspect – publicity is a bitch -, and Rachel (Meghan Markle) is contemplating strategies to keep her boyfriend/fiancé out of jail. It looks like the only way to do that, is turning Harvey in instead. With everything that’s going on, and half the city knowing about the case, it finally seems like something Mike and Harvey won’t be able to weasel themselves out of this time. But you never know. This is Suits. Suits operated by puppet master Aaron Korsh.

The White Bronco Case Fictionalized

Everybody still remembers American football player and The Naked Gun actor O.J. Simpson, and that white Bronco car being chased by the police on the highway. FX has made a limited series about it, called American Crime Story: The People v O.J. Simpson. Why v and not vs? No one knows.

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Trial of the Century
In a time when police brutality occurred on a regular basis – nothing much has changed, it seems – the Trial of the Century became much more than just a trial, back in 1994. A spectacle. A circus, and more about race, manufactured evidence, conspiracy theories and the role of the media rather than about O.J. It would seem the perfect material for a television show, and FX has turned it into a high profile drama, if not by the casting alone.

Gooding, Schwimmer & Travolta
Cuba Gooding Jr (The Book of Negroes, Jerry Maguire, As Good As It Gets) plays O.J. An uneasy, anxious, suicidal and conflicted O.J. His best friend, Robert Kardashian (David Schwimmer, Madagascar, Friends) is looking out for him, but O.J. goes from bad to all over the place, after the police discover the bodies of his ex-wife and her boyfriend. To make matters worse, his lawyer Howard Weitzman (Ken Lerner, Happy Days, Chicago Hope) is gone, all of a sudden. They turn to Robert Shapiro (John Travolta, Pulp Fiction, Swordfish, Primary Colors, Grease), who seems to know exactly what he’s doing, keeping all options open. He asks O.J. twice, if he did it. Some shows about lawyers, say Suits, claim they should never ask a client if he’s innocent. It’s irrelevant. Besides, it could cause someone to drop the case because of strong feelings; lawyers are capable of receiving these little things we call emotions.

On the Cover
Did I just say Kardashian? O, yes. We have O.J. to thank for planting the seed of the biggest topic in gossip column history. And American Crime Story: The People v O.J. Simpson knows it. Khloe (Morgan Bastin) and Kourtney (Isabella Balbi) even briefly pop up in a scene. While O.J.’s getting more paranoid by the hour, detective Marcia Clark (Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story, Deadwood, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip) is putting all the evidence together. On her own, at first. She can handle it; the case is a no-brainer. O.J. did it. She’s quickly paired up with Bill Hodgman (Christian Clemenson, Turn, Legends, The Adventures of Brisco County Jr and Jerry Espenson on Boston Legal) to help her, because since a celebrity’s involved, this will be on every cover of every magazine.

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Dream Cast
If you thought that was it, you’d be mistaken. FX has put together a cast most productions can only dream of. Nowhere Man himself Bruce Greenwood (Mad Men, John From Cincinnati) is Marcia’s boss. Steven Pasquale (Rescue Me, The Good Wife, Bloodline) a colleague, just like Chris Bauer (True Blood, High Fidelity and Frank Sobotka on The Wire). There’s Courtney B. Vance (Law & Order: Criminal Intent, FlashForward, State of Affairs) as Johnnie Cochran. Selma Blair (Hellboy, Anger Management) as Kris Jenner. Jordana Brewster (The Fast and the Furious, Chuck, Dallas), Connie Britton (Nashville, American Horror Story, 24, Friday Night Lights). Michael McGrady (Southland, 24, Day Break, Ray Donovan). And even Malcolm-Jamal Warner (The Cosby Show, Jeremiah, Sons of Anarchy).

Reconstruction
I started by saying this would seem like the perfect drama material, but it isn’t. There’s not going to be a payoff. There are not going to be new revelations. The first episode, ‘From the Ashes of Tragedy’, follows the well known events closely, which makes The People v O.J. Simpson above all else a reconstruction. A star-packed, big budgeted reconstruction, but a reconstruction nonetheless. It’s well written, well acted, but if this were fiction, you would keep watching to see whether or not O.J. did it. That climax is going to be absent. In other words, the series is building towards something that will never come. The People v O.J. Simpson can only result in ‘stellar performances’ and ‘critically acclaimed’, but still a disappointment.

2016 Q1 Pilot Season

It’s the beginning of the year and CBS, NBC, ABC and FOX are busy ordering, reshooting and test-audiencing their pilots for the 2016-2017 season. What are we going to watch after we get bored by (the already cancelled, just doesn’t know it yet, dead show walking) Second Chance, (style over substance) Quantico, (paint by numbers) Blindspot and (sprawling) Limitless? They’re holding the cards. Let’s take a peek at their hands.

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24: Legacy
A year ago, FOX was in the preliminary stages of creating an Expendables-like action series. Legendary television action heroes would team up and kick, strangle, shoot and blow up bad guys. I suppose, given the stubborn nature of these characters (Magnum, Jack Bauer, Michael Knight, Sydney Bristow), they couldn’t make a deal with them to share the limelight, so there hasn’t been news about this idea for a while. They did come up with a reboot of sorts – yes, another one – to continue the 24 franchise. No matter the ratings, no matter the critical acclaim, 24: Live Another Day was very disappointing. A clean slate was promised, and we got more of the same. Luckily, it only lasted half a day. FOX seems to have come to its senses, because they’re serious about starting from scratch, with 24: Legacy. No Jack. No Chloe. No Bill. No Audrey. They’re all out of the picture – i.e. let Jack rot in a Russian prison. New players, new CTU, new leading man: Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton, The Walking Dead). Also starring is Miranda Otto, who’s switching from one Howard Gordon show (Homeland) to the next. That’s all good news, on paper. However, it is once again about a ‘potential largest-scale terrorist attack on American soil’. When are they going to realize it’s not the scale of the threat that once made this series so great?

MacGyver
While FOX is reworking its past successes, CBS thought it’d be a good idea to bring back MacGyver. The guy who could melt steel with a matchstick, blow up tanks with a popsicle, make a trampoline out of toothpaste. Even in the eighties, this show was already too goofy. The only way it would work is, if they come up with not just realistic, but real physics tricks. My guess is the 2016 audience doesn’t like to be fooled as much as the one of 30 years ago, so they’d better bring in the Mythbusters.

Re-Imaginations
These aren’t the only re-imaginations. NBC thinks it can strike gold in B-movie territory. Apparently, there’s a good enough reason to continue the story started in Cruel Intentions (1999). For Taken – Liam Neeson’s I’m going to hunt you down trilogy – they’ve created a prequel series. It’s about how ‘a young Brian Mills develops his particular skill set’. So, basically another MacGyver show. If you change the name of Mills into ‘Dr. Phil’, then you get the logline of CBS’ Bull. A procedural to inflate Phil McGraw’s ego a little more, turning his younger self into the incredibly smart man that he (thinks he) is, who’s helping people prepare for trial. That sounds a lot like the 2006 series Justice. With The Following obliterated, FOX gets its creep on once again, with The Exorcist. Set 15 years after the 2001 movie ended, CBS’ Training Day will pick up the story that got Denzel Washinton his Oscar. Ethan Hawke’s character will not only be older, but also morally more ambiguous.

Supernatural Beings and Lawyers
What’s a pilot season without vampires, werewolves and angels? Written by Monica Owusu-Breen (Alias, Fringe, Revolution, Brothers & Sisters, Charmed and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Midnight Texas brings all of your supernatural suspects to life. Also on NBC: Suits First Class AKA Miranda’s Rights and Timecop Sliders AKA Time, written by Shawn Ryan (Mad Dogs, The Shield). The green apples in ABC’s basket: Cold Case 2.0 AKA Conviction, created by Liz Friedman (Elementary, House MD). ‘Macbeth with a Cuban twist’, The Death of Eva Sofia Valdez, created by Charise Castro Smith (Devious Maids). The People vs Somebody Else AKA The Jury, written by VJ Boyd (Justified), directed by Neil Burger (Billions) and produced by Carol Mendelsohn (the one who founded the CSI factory).

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ABC
There’s no telling when the superhero hype’s going to slow down, but we’re getting closer. ABC puts another series out there, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff Marvel’s Most Wanted, to completely clog the trend. Nobody cares about models, but that’s no reason to pass on Model Woman, a sort of Models Inc In The Seventies, written by Helen Childress, who’s got one other writing credit to her name (Reality Bites). If we didn’t have enough legal business already: Notorious focuses on a criminal defense attorney and a cable news producer. Stephanie Sigman (Narcos, Spectre) stars in Presence as a private investigator, created by John Ridley (12 Years a Slave, American Crime). Also on ABC: Bizarro Revolution AKA Spark, created by Michael Cooney (Identity). Romeo & Juliet The Sequel AKA Still Star-Crossed, created by Heather Mitchell (Scandal, The Chicago Code). And another Time Machine Series AKA Time After Time, created by Kevin Williamson (The Vampire Diaries, Stalker, The Following).

The Ghost of Dave Eggers
Over on CBS: Dave Eggers’ The Circle Meets Dr. House AKA Bunker Hill, written by Jason Katims (Parenthood, About a Boy). Katherine Heigl’s 68th Chance To Show Her Acting Skills AKA Doubt, and Sherlock Is A Woman AKA Drew, written by Joan Rater (Grey’s Anatomy). Although CBS’ Zoo was a (and this is the appropriate term) turd of a show, FOX just made Zoo 2: More Sick Animals under the name of Zoobiquity, written by Stephen Nathan (Bones, Joan of Arcadia). Also on FOX: Dave Eggers’ The Circle Meets Hill Street Blues AKA A.P.B., directed by Len Wiseman, who’s done the pilots for Hawaii Five-O, Sleepy Hollow and most recently Lucifer. Quantico Homeland Mashup AKA Recon, written by Caroline Dries (The Vampire Diaries). The Way Of The Ball Or What Was That Clint Eastwood Movie Called Or Was It That Kevin Costner One? AKA Pitch, starring Kylie Bunbury (Under the Dome) and written by Dan Fogelman (Galavant, Danny Collins).

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A Title So Bad
Two more FOX shows are Shots Fired, about ‘racially charged shootings in a small town’ and (working title) Star, starring Queen Latifah and Benjamin Bratt, a kind of Nashville, this time in Atlanta. The last show on our list, makes us come full circle: ABC’s Designated Survivor. A title so bad, the leading man takes you by surprise: Kiefer Sutherland. It’d be wrong to assume he’s going to play another Bauer-ish character, especially given the logline: ‘A lower-level U.S. Cabinet member suddenly is appointed President after a catastrophic attack during the State of the Union kills everyone above him in the line of succession.’ That sounds interesting. The show, which has been ordered straight to series, is written by David Guggenheim (Safe House) and produced by Simon Kinberg (X-Men Apocalypse, The Martian). Now, is Sutherland going to play this Cabinet member and what’s he going to do as acting President? Who knows. This is by far the most promising pilot of all, but please, ABC, change the name. Mr. Sutherland Goes To Washington would even be a better title than Designated Survivor.

X-Cruciating Pitch Of The Week

The second episode of season 10 of The New X-Files, or The Elderly Files, or even The Redeployment Of The Scully Fox, called ‘Founder’s Mutation’, has Fox Mulder and Dana Scully investigating a suicide. No ‘X’ in suicide, though, so why they’ve been put on the death of a scientist at Nugenics is an X-File all in itself.

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Original Order
It’s one of those ‘monster of the week’ episodes, an important part of The X-Files DNA, starring a high pitch as the monster in question. Initially, ’Founder’s Mutation’ wasn’t supposed to air. Originally, the order of the six episode event was slightly different. The way it was:

1. My Struggle
2. Home Again
3. Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster
4. Babylon
5. Founder’s Mutation
6. My Struggle II

And the way it is:

1. My Struggle
2. Founder’s Mutation
3. Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster
4. Home Again
5. Babylon
6. My Struggle II

I’m not a big fan of these kind of switcheroos. Sliders, The Shield, Supergirl, among many others, have all done it for different reasons. Usually, you can’t quite put your finger on it, but you often sense something just doesn’t add up. In this case, jumping from a massive conspiracy theory in ‘My Struggle’ to quite a small standalone episode does feel a bit weird. However, this is The X-Files and the show used to do this all the time, so I guess it’s what was to be expected.

2016 Toolbox
The episode starts off with Dr. Sanjay (Christopher Logan, Alcatraz) committing suicide, because of an excruciating pitch in his ear. Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) arrive on the scene, collect evidence, even when they’re not supposed to (despite their clearance level), which leads them to experimental doctor Augustus Goldman (Doug Savant, Desperate Housewives, 24, Melrose Place, Harsh Realm). Presumably using alien DNA, he’s treating kids with the most outrageous forms of special effects. It’s 2016, and The X-Files has got all the tools to create as much deformities as they want, but it does make one a bit nostalgic, reminiscing to the good old days. The time when it was just puppets and paper maché.

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Telepathy
The alien DNA detail, Sanjay’s suicide and the experimentation on children, all tie into the conspiracy of ‘My Struggle’, so the episode’s not as standalone as you may have thought at first. When Mulder gets the same pitch in his ear, time is of the essence. As it turns out, it’s a side effect of the ‘alienness’ inside these kids, which allows them to communicate telepathically. At least, in theory. Normal human beings just want to stab themselves in the head to make it stop. Goldman’s laboratory of human/alien hybrids, makes Mulder and Scully wonder about their own child. Their son, whom they had to abandon for his own safety.

Antagonist
What if he’s out there, also being experimented on, carrying some sort of alien gene? We see Mulder and Scully imagining what it would be like, to raise him. He must be 15 years old by now. Old enough to be an antagonist, me thinks. Would that be the ‘huge cliffhanger’ creator Chris Carter has promised us? A direct confrontation between DanFox (or SculMul) and their own green little monster? That would actually be something, although The X-Files has never been about big action packed superhero-esque climaxes, so we’ll just have to wait a couple more weeks. O, and Mulder has shaved.

Wait, what?!

Don’t Stop Belieeeving

Like many other people, I kind of called it quits on The X-Files around the 7th or 8th season. I checked in on Fox Mulder and Dana Scully every so often, but after 7 years, Mulder had a lot of vacation days. He was regularly nowhere to be seen, and who could blame him. It also felt like creator Chris Carter dug himself deeper into evermore incomprehensible conspiracies, so the series finale (season 9, double episode 19) came as a relief.

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Quality Drama
When the FBI duo came back, in the 2008 movie I Want to Believe, it proved everybody’s point that The X-Files were done. Until Hollywood began digging up graves of past successes, that is. And me too, got excited about a return of Mulder and Scully on the small screen. Call it an inclination to nostalgia, a chance to relive my first encounter with the show, call it what you will. Fact is, The X-Files brought movie quality to television drama in 1993. Carter changed the game. It took however another decade before the game was actually changed, with 24, Alias and The Sopranos as the first wave of shows that meant business. There’s more quality drama out there than ever now, more competitive outlets with onorthodox play books all getting a piece of the pie. It will be very interesting to see how The X-Files (albeit with only 6 episodes in 5 weeks) is going to fare amidst all these hungry sharks – X’s own offspring – in the water.

My Struggle
Season 10, episode 1, titled ’My Struggle’, takes Mulder (David Duchovny), Scully (Gillian Anderson), Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) and The Cigarette-Smoking Man (William B. Davis) out of retirement. Carter has big plans for them, because the old conspiracy’s dusted off, repackaged and very 2016. Everything they missed out on these past 14 years, plays a vital part in one giant scheme. In terms of special effects, there’s no limit to what they can do these days, and they’re not holding back. In terms of direction, it’s flawless. In terms of music, Mark Snow is back at the controls. In terms of main titles, it’s like the show never left. It basically picks up right where it left off, with Mulder forgetting about his depression and diving right into the extraterrestrial rabbit hole.

Old Properties
Really, any reservations you may have had concerning this ‘event’, they’re efficiently dismantled in the first episode. The X-Files has splendidly returned to form, and I couldn’t be happier about it. For Carter, the actors, FOX (the network) and a dozen other reboots, continuations and events currently being in the works. After Heroes Reborn, and the constant production calamities of Twin Peaks, studios might think twice about bringing an old property back to life. And I really would like to see the new A-Team, the inventive jailbirds of Prison Break and the Jack-less 24: Legacy. Luckily, Carter and company have shown there’s nothing to be afraid of. Kickstarting old franchises can be executed brilliantly.

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On Board
So, okay. That’s enough praise, I think – right? The story, then. As we’ve known from 9 seasons and 2 movies, men inside the government used to fumble around with alien technology. Tad O’Malley (Joel McHale), a populistic conspiracy thinker AKA personality television show host, has put (more than) a few pieces together. He invites Mulder and Scully for a glass of champagne, trying to get them on board and guess who bites and who doesn’t. On board of what, that remains a bit of a mystery, since there’s only the conspiracy theory at this point and no real plan to expose whoever’s behind it.

Exposition Extraordinaire
The key to everything is a girl called Sveta (Annet Mahendru, The Following, The Americans). She’s been abducted and impregnated multiple times, supposedly by aliens. Mulder figures out they never were aliens, but men. Powerful people who want to destroy the world and blame it on extraterrestrials. David Duchovny has got an extreme amount of exposition to do throughout the episode; he gives Jules Winnfield a run for his money. ‘My Struggle’ is rich in every way, there’s a lot to take in, but doesn’t feel bloated (like, for example, the first two episodes of season 7 did). Now that Mulder has gotten a glimpse of a global threat, which is already in progress, he can’t let go. Skinner – still only assistant director, by the way – sees the importance of it, too. He reopens that damp dark room in the basement. Ladies and gentlemen, The X-Files have been reopened. O, and Mulder and Scully have a child together.

Wait, what?!

Shades of Blue: Pilot

The limelight loves Jennifer Lopez; she’s everywhere again. A new season of American Idol on FOX, and a new TV series called Shades of Blue on NBC. Apparently, she hasn’t given up hope on an acting career, even if everybody else has. It’s too bad, the way her days on the big screen came to a screeching halt after Money Train, Blood and Wine, U Turn, Anaconda and Out of Sight. She was this close to becoming a force to be reckoned with, but then Ben Affleck happened, I suppose. That, and the pull of the music biz.

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Uphill Battle
Now Jennifer Lopez The Actress is back. Starring in her own executive produced cop show Shades of Blue. My expectations beforehand were low. The trailer didn’t look like much. Too ‘clean’. Too contrived. Ray Liotta. Drea de Matteo. Created by Adi Hasak, who’d written John Travolta’s From Paris with Love and Kevin Costner’s 3 Days to Kill. Directed by Barry ‘hit or miss’ Levinson. Meh. This series was going to fight an uphill battle with me.

70, 20, 10
It’s about corrupt cops, and Harlee Santos (Lopez) is one of them. In fact, the whole precinct seems to live by the Book of Mackey*; as long as crime goes down, everything is permitted. Including cover up rookie mistakes, work together with drug dealers, lie, steal, extort and kill. Head of this Strike Team is Matt Wozniak (Liotta), a ‘good man’, who goes to the high school music recital of Harlee’s daughter, but one with a dubious moral compass. And even though De Matteo’s on every billboard all over town, we don’t get to know anything about her character Tess Nazario. The show’s 70% Lopez, 20% Liotta and 10% Warren Kole (24, The Chicago Code, Common Law), who plays FBI agent Robert Stahl. Blink and you’ll miss everybody else.
* Book of Mackey: Vic Mackey used to be the leader of a similar corrupt team of cops on The Shield.

The Best Deal
If the precinct wasn’t enough, Internal Affairs is also in Wozniak’s pocket. Basically, every cop is a bad cop on this show. Luckily, the FBI has managed to employ one good guy. Stahl goes after Harlee. She’s shit out of luck when she unknowingly makes a deal with one of his undercover agents. Normally, that would be jail, but he tries to turn her into an informant. In exchange, she gets total immunity. That’s silly writing right there. There’s no negotiation. There’s just: give us Wozniak and you’re free to go. The first thing Stahl does, is put the best possible deal on the table. First rule of the FBI, I imagine, and screenwriting is you never put the best possible deal on the table. At best, they’ll reach some sort of compromise.

No Morals Whatsoever
Harlee’s made to wear a wire and camera, in her necklace, when she goes over to Wozniak’s house. He pulls her aside. There’s a mole, he says. How he came to know this, we don’t know. Of course, Harlee thinks he’s on to her, even though she hasn’t said or done anything yet. But no, Wozniak’s got his eyes on somebody else, and wants her help to kill him. I must say, Liotta surprised me. He’s the bad guy, but a nice guy. He’s really made The Woz a character of flesh and blood. Lopez is alright. I can’t quite get a grip on Harlee yet, though. She’s a loving mother, absolutely, and she’s a tough cop, maybe, I don’t really buy her toughness, but let’s give her the benefit of the doubt. The thing that bugs me is her belief that she’s doing the right thing. It’s not the right thing, and she should acknowledge that, and then do it anyway because of circumstance. But that’s not how Lopez’ character is written. Harlee is a woman without any kind of morals. To her, everything is just peachy, as long as crime statistics stay low and she doesn’t get caught. The writers clearly have over-simplified her. Audiences don’t want to invest themselves in a woman with such a one dimensional world view, no matter how exciting all of her informant missions are going to be.

Beautiful People?
That’s really the problem of Shades of Blue; it’s too simple. They may have gotten away with it in the nineties, but television has come a long way. Speaking of two decades ago: what an odd choice it was to use the song ‘Beautiful People’ by Marilyn Manson during a chase sequence. Looks like the music supervisor forced his own dated record collection onto the production. It may have been cool in 1996, but come on. The scene didn’t even involve beautiful people; what were they thinking?