I like it but it's similar to other espionage shows
I really liked the Intelligence pilot but, on the other hand, I also like Nikita, Alias, Covert Affairs, Person of Interest, Numb3rs, Burn Notice, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Arrow, Tomorrow People, The Blacklist, Orphan Black, Torchwood, The Unit, Almost Human, Homeland, 24... basically, all shows about espionage or spies, either as part of the higher level government security agencies (often secret ones) or free agent spies, trying to combat sinister terrorist organizations, corrupt governments and evil multinational corporations, with individuals who frequently have enhanced abilities (knowledge, fighting skills or super powers).
So, this show is right up my alley. But the question isn't if Intelligence is good, it's is it good enough in 2014 to not be canceled? Will the plots and characters be distinctive enough to distinguish this show from many other series that have the same episodic structure and design? And this question just considers spy-oriented shows, this series also has similarities to cop shows like Elementary or even procedural crime series that are basically 60 minute mysteries with, often, a long- arc story tying the season together.
After just seeing the pilot, I like the characters (or, at least, the actors) well enough but for this show to succeed, it will really rely on the talent of the writers and production crew. Espionage shows already demand a great suspension of disbelief because they reside in a world of secrets and lies that are hidden from ordinary citizens. Viewers won't compare Intelligence to life but to other espionage series and whether the world it creates is consistent to the one we have come to know in similar shows.
Right now, besides a likable cast of actors, Intelligence is trying to distinguish itself through the premise that a computer chip implanted in his brain enables the Gabriel Vaughn character to somehow download every fact that exists anywhere online, even behind firewalls and, seemingly on hard drives as well. It's accepting this premise that seems to be the main dividing line in user reviews of whether people like or dislike this show. While visually, it's stunning to watch Gabriel "cyber-render" a scenario, this show will succeed or fail on whether this goes beyond science fiction into fantasy territory. Will viewers buy this?
The other factor is scheduling and Monday nights at 10 pm is a tough time slot with audience-pleaser Castle and the very promising The Blacklist as opposition. It's hard to see the mid-season Intelligence ranking anywhere other than #3 and it would be wise for CBS to move the series to a less competitive night like Wednesdays or, even Friday nights where it will be more likely to develop an audience. I see this program as one that people DVR and may (or may not) ever watch later. While other shows survive being second choice viewing, it's not a good place for a new series to start from.
Personally, I hope the series last more than 10 or 14 episodes and lasts to a second season, hopefully on a different night of the week.
14 of 29 people found this review helpful.
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