Doug Coutts’ TV Preview: Blindspot

BLINDSPOT | TV1, 8.30 Sunday

A Personal View By Doug Coutts

A Personal View
By Doug Coutts

So there’s this big bag on the sidewalk in New York City. A beat cop spots it and asks if anyone owns it. Nobody puts his or her hand up so in comes the bomb squad. A disposal expert in a special suit armed only with a Geiger counter approaches. These guys have nerves of steel, right? So when the bag starts to move and a leg elegantly pokes out, the tough bomb disposal guy panics and screams like a baby.

One minute in and Blindspot’s already developing plot holes.

Basic story, woman with amnesia and very recent full body tattoos turns up. The tattoos mean something all right – hell, they even include the name of the lead FBI guy, Supervisory Special Agent Kurt Weller, but because the amnesiac woman is a wee slip of a gal, the Supervisory Special Agent bit is omitted for space reasons.

The woman’s prints and DNA aren’t on file anywhere and facial recognition software can’t throw any light on the matter. One thing we do know – this woman didn’t come out of thin air.

Ten minutes in and the American cop show clichés are flowing thick and fast.

So anyway, the tats tell a story. The first installment, found just behind her left ear, tell us that an aggrieved Chinese person is going to blow something up. But where? Thanks to highly contrived deductive powers, loud music and some stylised violence the day is saved. But just the day – there’s going to be many more days like it before the series is out.

Be prepared to not just suspend disbelief, you’re going to hang heavy weights from its feet, and bash it unconscious, if you’re going to make it through to the last episode where no doubt all will be revealed. I’m betting it’s henna.

What other critics said:

Blindspot more than lives up to its description as a thriller. It is gripping, well acted and beautifully written. Most of all, its multiple layers of mystery should keep viewers coming back for more, week after week.” — San Francisco Chronicle.

Blindspot’s concept is easily one of the most cockamamie to ever make it to prime time, but the show proceeds without a smile. The first episode isn’t even that bad, given the absurdity of its premise: It achieves a little menace. But the warning signs of future stupidity are everywhere.” — Slate.

Blindspot isn’t the dumbest show of the fall season, not by a lot. But oh God, does it ever sell itself out by cramming in the most laboured, faux-action-movie dialogue … The show moves briskly enough, and the performances are all fine, but the show’s, well, blind spot is its off-putting use of women as props.” — New York.

Blindspot is a textbook TV exercise in the preposterous.” — The Washington Post.

Doug Coutts has had a career in and around television for close to 40 years. He spent 13 years as a floor manager at Avalon Studios before going freelance and never earning as much again. His writing has spanned TV genres — from Shortland Street dialoguery and quiz shows to documentaries and comedy — while a lengthy stint as TV reviewer in the Auckland Star earned him two mentions in Metro magazine’s Hot List and an angry letter from Jon Gadsby. You can read more of Doug (the satirist) at:

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