You’ll like if you already like: Veronica Mars, iZombie, Sue Thomas F.B. Eye…
Likely timeslot: wherever there’s a slot available, it doesn’t matter much anyway
This is a **rolling my eyes** logline, probably the “best” one since… Jane The Virgin! Yes, never forget that before becoming a critical darling, the Gina Rodriguez-led show was considered as the dumbest thing ever based on the pitch during pilot season. Maybe In The Dark will follow the same path… I see you laughing! I’m batshit serious. The thing is, it’s a good script. Not a great one, a good one. And this alone is a good sign. Starting from where it starts, I mean… Plus, it’s coming at a time when one of the biggest hit of the past few years is about an autistic doctor. You know where I’m going. Not saying here that In The Dark will become as huge as The Good Doctor but it makes sense for The CW to try something like that, centered on a blind detective. She’s not exactly a detective, to be honest. But she’s about to become one of some sort. And a beautiful mess. Enough to shake a little bit the detective genre’s tired formula? Also, it comes from Ben Stiller as an executice producer and one of the hottest indie director out there right now Michael Showalter: other positive signs going for it.
How did they come with such an idea, you ask. There’s a story! It originated from the network and its social good program, CW Good, which last year began partnering with the Guide Dogs of America organization to sponsor litters of puppies to be trained as guide dogs. That’s when they thought of a series involving a guide-dog program. So writer Corinne Kingsbury was asked to write a script and tadaaa! Again, it’s a good one and the pilot order makes total sense. The only real problem I see, it’s that it should have been a procedural with a serialized arc to ensure it some longevity. It’s not something I write a lot. It’s probably the first time I’m writing this in fact. But I can’t see where the show will go once the ongoing mystery about the heroine’s best friend is solved. I mean, I know what they will do: start a new one. But remember when Veronica Mars did that… It struggled a lot and it was cancelled after three years. The situation was a bit different since the show was part-procedural too but I see it as an advantage In The Dark doesn’t even have from the start. By the way, I didn’t choose Veronica Mars as an example by chance. A few things reminded me of the Rob Thomas show. It’s even suspicious he’s not involved in this! The story of course, but also the heroine, though she’s way more trashy, and the overall tone that could be described as very witty and cynical, just like Murphy is. And I mean all this as a good thing. It’s a great show to be compared to, isn’t it?
So Murphy. Gosh, I love her already. She’s a disaffected, hard-drinking, promiscuous mess who pushes away anyone who cares for her. Or in other terms: she’s a cold alcoholic bitch bitter than liquor. We don’t meet so many characters like her, especially on The CW. And when it happens, it’s rarely the central one. I can think of a few, but it’s quite daring. Risky also. But I’m not gonna lie: towards the end of the pilot, she becomes self-aware and decides to change a few things in her behavior. It doesn’t mean it will be easy but she promises to try, for herself and for those around her. It might become a feel-good show after all! Anyway. She’s not easy to like but she’s too funny to hate. I’m very curious to see Perry Mattfield’s performance. I don’t know her, she gratuated from acting school just two years ago but she sounds like the new CW discovery everybody will be raving about, like Gina Rodriguez & Rachel Bloom before.
She’s not the only funny character. They all are, especially her parents. And the bond between the three of them, even though it’s damaged at the time, is quite strong and emotional. Some scenes could make us cry! All the people around her love her so much that it’s heart-warming to witness. The same way as The Good Doctor. Oh and for those wondering, the dog is not that important in the pilot, but it adds a little flavour to it and it certainly doesn’t hurt at all. With the mystery comes a cop, of course. He’s called Dean and he has a daughter who happens to be blind too. How convenient! It’s phony, it’s true, but somehow they make it work. Of course, it opens up the possiblity of a love story between Murphy and Dean. Well… It’s almost inevitable, I guess. The mystery helps sending a message about racism, showing the police doesn’t care about black victims, especially when they come from a poor neighborhood. Can’t say it’s dealt with subtlety but at least there’s dignity and a substantive issue behind the fun entertainment that this pilot is.
“A blind girl and her guide dog. This is, like, the worst crime solving team EVER“, says Murphy’s roommate Jess at some point. And she’s right! And that’s why In The Dark is an intriguing show in the making, that could surprise and quickly become a tasty pleasure if The CW gives it a chance. I wouldn’t watch it blindly, but it may be worth opening our eyes to it. It has a lot of heart behind a layer of riveting cynicism.