by DICK CHENEY
creators Martin Gero & Greg Berlanti
A crazed Asian man with only cursory weapons training has completely subdued FBI agent Kurt Weller (Sullivan Stapleton). Some trampish looking woman (Jaimie Alexander) he has thrown a bulletproof vest on before heading up to the top of the Statue of Liberty saves him by shooting that disturbed Asian, who is so disconcerted at his mission that he is panting and crying. NBC’s new tonedeaf TV series Blindspot is most disappointed by the Asian people of the world: as bad as fanatical Muslims are, at least they never weep when they hold you hostage.
The week before, Weller learned this Jane Doe was in a duffel bag, nude in the middle of Times Square, tattoed from head to toe with his name across her back. A lot of people have asked me what I thought of this last Republican debate, besides the utterly obvious response of being embarassed for the people CNN hired to moderate it.
My second answer was that except for Ted Cruz, who is a gorgeous looking lawyer-type, everyone looked especially unappealing. Looks are everything, don’t let anyone tell you there are not. I mean Jennifer Aniston gave Justin Theroux several million dollars and he still refers to her by the not-so-gentle nickname of Madam. You have to look your best.
Given that Donald Trump looks like his face was run over sometime during 1997, I’m not sure where he gets off on commenting on the physical appearance of others. The rest of the group was similarly unappealing: John Kasich looked to be having some kind of potentially dangerous stroke, Marco Rubio just reeks of being super cranky, Jeb Bush looks like Mrs. Doubtfire, and Scott Walker reminds me of a paperboy. Rand Paul seems like he checked out of Earthly existence sometime in 2007, and none of us would be surprised if it turned out Mike Huckabee was the Antichrist. This is a motley group.
The FBI and CIA have apparently realized the importance of having beautiful people involved in their operations. Every CIA agent I ever met looks like Larry David’s fat cousin, but on television they are all impossibly thin waifs with time to do several layers of makeup before being found in a paper bag. (Have you seen the previews for ABC’s Quantico? I immediately called the ADC and asked what they planned to do about this after the NAACP remained silent on Empire.)
It subsequently becomes clear that Jane Doe chose to forget her past as a part of a mission for the FBI. She never remembers even what kind of food she likes, just sobs in the mirror looking at her tats and kills Asians when the time comes for that important duty. Not a single person asks this Jane Doe the all important question: who put on your foundation?
Alexander is a wretched actress with two key strengths: the ability to look constipated/uncomfortable and disturbingly deep blue eyes. Fortunately show creator Greg Berlanti (Everwood, Arrow) allows the events of the show to play somewhat along her strengths. Arrow is a boring mishmash of serially unlikely events, and Blindspot chases its sister show down those same lines. Each tattoo on Jane Doe’s back somehow leads to a different crime being set in motion by some disavowed FBI agent.
Blindspot is reflective of all of NBC’s recent drama efforts. It has the same absurd overuse of close-ups, making the series feel like a bargain-bin Law & Order without ever giving us a broader sense of the locales in which it intends to capture.
Its plot and general tone is adopted from the bizarre success achieved by its creatively bankrupt predessor The Blacklist, which remains slightly watchable only by dint of the tangentially amusing performance of its star, James Spader. He is not in evidence here, and there seems to be no reason anyone would watch Blindspot other than for the enterprising work of the makeup artists who have to apply Alexander’s body art before shooting.
There is a broader, important lesson about the limitations of imitation. Yes, Friends was a success, but no one wants to watch it anymore except for maybe Kyrie Irving. So many of the Republican candidates seem like echoes and imitations of politicans of the past. In a world full of fakes, there exists an even more intense longing for a genuine article, which is why Trump sounds off on Megyn Kelly and the like. We do not want someone who is afraid of saying anything to be our president. This is such a fundamental aspect of humanity is amazing that the political advisors gainfully employed on rival campaigns never took its measure.
Ted Cruz will be my candidate, not just because he appeared to have the IQ of all the rest of the candidates combined. At one point Jeb Bush was asked whether his brother made a mistake appointing Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. Cruz interjected and explained why Bush did that in the first place. There was no political point to doing so; he was just man enough to educate the American people on why certain people are chosen as Supreme Court Justices and some aren’t. “It’s largely based on how much makeup they are wearing,” he said, and waited for the next question.
Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording.
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