ByEd Looney, writer at Creators.co
Native TEXAN! Love comics (and their presentations on TV / cinema), sports and my wife and kids. Particularly fond of both Marvel and DC.
Ed Looney

Every year there is a jumble of new shows that hit the airwaves, the cableways and the streamviews. Some arrive with a lot of fanfare and hoopla, some have stories that are already known and, Hey! There bringing it to TV!!! And, some roll out and just ... roll out.

How many years was Desperate Housewives on? I wasn't a fan, but it lasted, like, forever. Where did it come from? Who cares? People watched it.

Where'd they go?
Where'd they go?

One of my biggest complaints with television is that the shows I come to love hit the screen for a season then ... for some reason ... I dunno ... they just go away. Firefly has legions of fans. It spawned a movie! It lasted one year.

Almost Human had chemistry; it had a great story; it had fans! It died. No Ordinary Family started out with terrible acting - but, got much better as the season progressed. Then, it died. Alphas was awesome! Their sponsor, Dr. Lee Rosen (David Strathairn), was very well cast (love the actor) and all team members were engaging and realistic. They lasted two seasons. Heroes lasted four seasons! Four! And, in today's environment, that is a long time - especially for a television show that relies on special effects.

Fox killed Firefly and Almost Human, not because they didn't have the viewers - they did - but, they cost a lot to produce. No Ordinary Family and Alphas? Special effects? Good shows... costly production... short lives.

We're in the Big Time
We're in the Big Time

Shows that have people who do things other people can't usually require building a visual experience that is impossible to do if you don't throw a lot of money at it. And, Scorpion has people who do things that other people can't... And, even for the housewife who doesn't like the spectacular - or the impractical - with Scorpion, that's ok. There's a reason - a legitimate reason - these people can do things other people can't.

A team of misfits led by a rebel
A team of misfits led by a rebel

Walter O'Brien (played by Elyes Gabel) has "the fourth highest IQ that's ever been recorded - 197. Albert Einstein was 160." He leads this rag-tag team of miscreants who couldn't get out of their own way... if they had to pay the phone bill - or rent. Taking care of the day-to-day is summarily beyond their capacity to maintain. But, figuring out how Bad Guy lifted the plans for Dangerous Experiment that could cause today's World Wide Disaster? And, figure out a way to stop him? Yeah. They can do that.

Figuring it out
Figuring it out

Happy Quinn (Jadyn Wong) is a mechanical genius. She can figure out how anything works and she can figure out a way to get around it, if it is in her (or her team's) way. I can't do that - anymore, at least. I used to be pretty good at that stuff, but I guess I got old. I can empathize, though, because taking apart things was something I was always good at. My dad once told me I could take apart an anvil with a rubber hammer. It was the putting it back together that bamboozled me.

Toby Curtis (Eddie Kaye Thomas - shown in the hat) is a brilliant psychologist. He can read anyone; their expressions, their stance, their shoulders... he already knows what you are thinking before you do. But, he stays in trouble because he can't manage his own life - he can't stop gambling, either. But, knowing his way around people? He knows that.

Sylvester Dodd (Ari Stidham) is a big fella. And, he has some phobias. A couple. And, he's a statistical wizard with a 100% photographic memory. Don't tell that to Big Bang Theory's Sheldon Cooper - he'll correct you without pause: It's eidetic memory. Still, works for me, either way.

It's the kid - and, his mom
It's the kid - and, his mom

But, all that isn't why you watch this show. If it were, the personalities would, eventually, get to you and you'd grow bored. But, this story includes a kid, Ralph Dineen (Riley B. Smith) who is having trouble in school, trouble with friends, trouble relating to anyone - including his mother, Paige (Katharine McPhee).

When the season starts, Paige is a waitress in a cafe. Her son is there and he's sitting on a stool at the end of the bar trying to stay out of the way. His mom is a busy lady. And, Walter is there fixing their WiFi - it's what he does.

Anecdotal evidence: Walter finishes and goes on back to his "office" which appears to be an abandoned garage. But, it has some space and it has an apartment upstairs. Toby comes running in, out of breath, chased by some guys he'd just suckered because, when you gamble with him, he already knows what you have by the physical reactions you make that you don't realize you're making. Don't gamble with people like that - it's not his fault - you shouldn't be gambling with people like that. He is just gifted. It's your fault you lost all your money.

But, some goons weren't happy about it and were gonna take out their frustrations.

The Sponsor
The Sponsor

Up drives a bunch of suits in black SUVs screeching to a stop as the goons are banging on the door of the garage. Homeland Security's Agent Cabe Gallo (Robert Patrick) doesn't have much time because there's a national emergency going on and these guys are in his way. He stares down the leader of the thugs and quickly assesses the situation. One of the guys in the garage "cheated" this bufoon out of his money and he wants it back.

Cabe reaches into his pocket, pulls out a wad of money and slams the guy with it. "Get Lost".

Patrick is the perfect guy for this role - he's hard-assed as they come... and, he cares about the guys inside the garage. Not just because they can get him out of a jam - he cares. Especially for Walter O'Brien.

It's all about caring
It's all about caring

And, that leads us back to the kid, Ralph. When Walter explained to his mother that the kid was also a super genius (he beat Sylvester, a grand master in chess, in 8 moves). Mom thought he was slow. Walter takes the time to explain what is really going on and promises Mom that he will help her relate to her son.

Then, he hires her to manager their "company". She's good with details - she gets the bills paid. Somebody has to and these idiots can't. Of all the things they can do, managing day-to-day minutiae does not exist in that expansive library - anywhere.

There's a blossoming love between Walter and Paige... but, more, there's a blossoming love between Walter and Ralph. They relate to each other. He knows what it was like to be a kid and for there to be no one to understand the gluttonous vomit of thoughts continuously running through your expansive brain. But, Walter knows.

Superheroes!
Superheroes!

Yeah, these people can do things regular humans can't even comprehend. But it's ok. It isn't because they were splashed with a radioactive chemical or soared through a cosmically irradiated storm in space or were bitten by a radioactive spider - or, even, came from a different planet - they can do things you and I can't do because that's who they are.

And, it's fun.

And, it doesn't require a lot of CGI, so, hopefully, we'll get to see it for years to come.

There's stories here. Good stories. I won't begin to try to fill you in on all of them. I'd rather you go see for yourself.

You'll thank me for it.

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