Sunday, January 29, 2012

Is The Finder a keeper?

There's a midseason replacement on Fox, called The Finder. It's a spin-off of the popular (at least with this reviewer) Bones. It's pilot was actually an episode of Bones late last season, and it survived in mostly its original form until it was picked up in January.

The show isn't bad. I've seen the first three episodes, and there's good stuff there. The main character is "quirky" but actually manages to pull it off without being annoying or trite. Who knows how long it will take until it gets old, but it hasn't yet (and the quirkiness of Temperance Brennan from its parent show has yet to stop amusing me). The mystery and the twists aren't bad. Here, however, are the weaknesses that the show is going to have to overcome.

It's incredibly formulaic. Not quite as bad as House, but bad. Thus far, it's been a little "fairy tale" with its happy endings. And then there's Willa.

Teen angst. Apparently "in" this year.

What I don't get about Willa is that she doesn't seem to be a part of the actual show. Every other character plays some role in the eponymous "finding." Willa tends to wander off and do her own little storyline and occasionally get some advice from the main characters. She's not, in my opinion, particularly likable. Objectively, her life isn't as bad as they treat it like it is, and I simply lack sympathy. She strikes me as the boring genre of tragic heroine whose flaw is that she simply goes with the flow and does what's expected of her and what's easiest so she doesn't have to think or make any decisions. I know far too many people like that in real life, and talking with them makes me want to smack them one. Why would I watch that in a TV show?

A big draw is the love interest, Isabel, a Deputy US Marshal. Refreshingly unpretentious, she and The Finder are already in a relationship of casual sex when the series starts. I could be alone, but I am bored with the traditional "will they/won't they" and I'm grateful for the change-up. She also pulls off that difficult trick of being very powerful without giving up one iota of femininity. Her squeal of glee at getting a beautiful pair of designer shoes increases to a cackle of delight when she discovers that they are knock-offs, and she'll be able to bring in the counterfeiter. There's also something else I like about her, but I'm having trouble putting it into words...


In short, I'm gonna keep watching it for a while. It's good, and I definitely recommend watching the Bones pilot and the three episodes that are currently available on (just search for The Finder, and the Bones episode will pop up, too). I'm just not holding out a ton of hope that it'll really draw me in.

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