Tag: alan cumming

Instinct (CBS) pilot preview: Crime drama lovers, your next obsession is “Cumming”

Written and produced by Michael Raunch (Royal Pains, Life is Wild). Based on James Patterson‘s novel. Also produced by Alan Cumming, Alex Kurtzman (Scorpion, Hawaii 5-0, Limitless, Fringe, Alias), Bill Robinson (Zoo, Pasadena), Leopoldo Gout (Zoo) & Heather Kadin (Scorpion, Sleepy Hollow, Limitless). Directed by Marc Webb (The Amazing Spider-Man, 500 Days of Summer, Limitless). For CBS Television Studios, Secret Hideout & Patterson Entertainment. 65 pages. January 14, 2017 Draft.

Description: Dylan Reinhart, a former CIA operative who has since built a “normal” life as a gifted professor, writer and husband, is pulled back into his old life when the NYPD needs his help to stop a serial killer on the loose. He teams up now with foxy Detective Lizzie Needham, who needs a solid partner since she lost the one who also was her fiancée, and she certainly could use a friend too…

With Alan Cumming (The Good Wife, Web Therapy, Spy Kids), Bojana Novakovic (Satisfaction Rake, Shameless US), Naveen Andrews (Lost, Sense8,), Daniel Ings (Lovesick, Psychoville), Khandi Alexander (Scandal, Treme, CSI Miami, ER), Sarita Choudhoury (Homeland, Blindspot, Hunger Games), Whoopi Goldberg as recurring, Casey Cott (Riverdale) as guest…

  

You’ll like it if you already like: CastleThe Mentalist, Elementary, Bones…

Likely timeslot: Sunday at 9 or Thursday at 10

 

Is this the year when CBS will finally go out of their comfort zone to explore new territory and maybe attract a younger crowd? From what I’ve read so far, the answer is no. You’ve read the description above: Instinct, as the title suggests, is nowhere near something fresh and original. It looks like the same ol’ crime drama we’ve seen on CBS (and anywhere else) a thousand times before. It checks the boxes one by one, meticulously. There’s only one thing that makes it different. One important thing. But let me check the boxes with you first. Let’s see…

A male lead: check. ‘cos yes, 90% of CBS dramas AND comedies are led by a man. They were particularly criticized for it last year but they apparently still don’t give a fuck. A WHITE male lead: check. ‘cos let’s not forget CBS doesn’t seem to be too keen on the diversity trend that television is experiencing right now. Are they racists? Probably not. Do they think their viewers are racist? It’s likely. The good point though is that Alan Cumming, who’s playing the hero here may be a white man, he’s not your typical CBS leading man. Those who have seen him on stage or on The Good Wife as the hilarious and unforgettable Eli Gold, already know that.

A white male lead who’s playing a brilliant, gifted and know-it-all character: check. Dylan Reinhart is exactly like Richard Castle -he happens to be a writer too- or Patrick Jane, or Sherlock “Elementary” Holmes, or Jason Bull. He has these incredible skills that help him see what everyone else doesn’t see. And it makes him act like a pretentious douchebag most of the time. Yeah but he can be sweet too. And the poor baby suffered in his life. So everything’s okay at the end of the day. A white male lead who’s playing a brilliant, gifted and know-it-all character WITH A WRY SENSE OF HUMOR: check! Of course he’s funny. Of course he cracks jokes every other line. That’s what makes such a standart show watchable and even enjoyable. I have no doubt about the fact that a comedian like Alan Cumming is talented enough and special enough to turn a basic procedural into a not-to-be-missed TV appointment. At least for those who like crime dramas and who want more.

And then there’s the female partner. Who’s a bad ass that never takes no as an answer. Who’s fearless. Who’s so strong on the outside and so damaged and lonely on the inside… We already know her story even before she tells it. It’s lazy writing at best. What else can I say about her? She has a great chemistry with Dylan on paper, their newfound relationship starts on the wrong foot but quickly turns into something promising that is both entertaining and heartwarming to watch. And that’s where it finally differs from Castle, Bones and other crime dramas that came before Killer Instinct: there never will be a “Will they? Won’t they? situation” between the leads. Because Dylan is gay (Cumming is bisexual). Yeah! The white male lead who’s playing a brilliant, gifted and know-it-all character with a wry sense of humor is GAY. On CBS. That’s a first! And he’s into a relationship. He’s even married, we meet his husband and they’re determined to have a baby. Finally something progressist on this network (if it’s ordered to series). Oh and I didn’t talk about the investigation part. Let’s just say it’s effective, nothing more, nothing less.

Instinct follows the rules of what a crime drama is supposed to be on network television, which will we please those who are fans of the genre, with little space to add something distinctive. They took this space though and gave it to Alan Cumming, hoping he will make it his own. That remains to be seen but there’s a good chance the show becomes a little more interesting than your typical CBS procedural thanks to his personality and indeniable talent. But is he popular enough to make it a hit? That’s a question CBS will have to deal with at some point and the answer might seal the deal…