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'Minority Report' fan react: Good episode, but is it too late?

Season 1 | Episode 5 | “The Present” | Aired Oct 19, 2015

Sadly, Minority Report has been on a downward slide. Fox’s sci-fi show hasn’t been doing great in the ratings, and it’s recently been downgraded from 13 episodes to 10, which has made many think that the show is already on its way out the door. But Minority Report had its best episode Monday. “The Present” gave us much-needed backstory on Lara and why she is who she is. But is it too late to save the show?

“The Present” begins as we see Lara’s dad’s final moments. (He was also a cop.) As we find out through the episode (with the help of Dash and Arthur), Lara’s father was killed by a woman who was, at that point, a junkie working for her dealer in order to get another hit. But nowadays, the woman does her best to rehabilitate prisoners by giving them work in her company’s call center, taking them on field trips, and keeping mementos in glass cases to remind them of their humanity. One of those mementos, Lara’s father’s old-timey pocket watch, is something she keeps to remember her past and the mistakes she’s made.

With two big, emotional setpieces to provide well-conveyed gravitas, this was easily the strongest episode since the pilot. In the first, Arthur finally agrees to help Lara—who, at this point, believes that she might be the victim in Dash’s premonition because of a vintage Washington Redclouds jersey—and joins Dash in this uber-CAT-scan contraption which will mine their collective brains for memories of Vega’s death. When we see the memory play out in a projection, Meagan Good’s acting abilities are finally given center stage.

Good has long been an actress who’s been underrated and undermined by Hollywood, and, frankly, her own audience. If you’ve seen films from her body of work (e.g., Eve’s Bayou), you’ll know that she can handle tough roles. But, much like Michael Ealy, who can also handle more than what he’s routinely been given, Good is too narrowly cast as the “hot, fast girl”—which can lead audiences to believe that’s all she’s capable of. The scene in which Lara violently reacts to seeing her father’s last moments alive showed the kind of emotion Good and the show should be mining each episode. Minority Report has often kept Lara in a rote kind of Abbie Mills–lite aesthetic, and Lara’s not Abbie (and Meagan’s not Nicole Beharie). This moment, though, was a moment of pure character connection for both Good and the audience; the actress finally had something of substance to work with.

In the second highlight of the ep, Lara faces off against the woman who killed her father. However, the woman wants to show that she’s changed—and that she now has a family. As it turns out, the woman’s son is the one with the jersey, and it’s Lara who was predicted to be the boy’s killer. Lara is filled with disgust and fear when she figures out that her own anger-fueled grief could be a catalyst to her becoming someone who kills a child—albeit a child who is pointing his mother’s gun at Lara. She manages to diffuse the situation and no one is hurt. There was a lot for each actor in the scene to sink their teeth into, and that kind of emotional push and pull is what the show should have been aspiring to each week.

But, as I said above, is it too late for Minority Report? Did this episode come too late in the season for things to turn around?

From where I’m sitting, Minority Report has two main issues: It’s a sci-fi show that has probably taken too long to establish its world and its characters, and it hasn’t found its audience.

There are two shows that are doing well that have had (or still have) trouble with their characterizations—Tyrant and Rosewood. Tyrant‘s first season was all about finding the characters; the scripts seemed cluttered and clunky as the creative team worked to find the characters’ grooves (something that was more or less confirmed by Cameron Gharaee in my interview). Rosewood has become something that my sister and I watch ironically, something we’ve never done before when it comes to television. We just like seeing how unrealistic the characters and their situations are, with the latest development being Annalise suddenly developing feelings for Beaumont, even though she’s never had any inclination to like him before. But both shows have been able to connect with an audience, which gave (or has given) them enough room to find themselves. That’s something Minority Report has yet to do.

Would Minority Report be in a better state if they had quickly established the key facts of their futuristic world and dove headlong into emotionally rich storylines? Maybe. But there’s also another show on TV that’s very good but still struggling to find and keep an audience—NBC’s The Player. So who’s to say what Minority Report‘s fate could have been or will ultimately be.

What do you think about Minority Report and its chances? Give your opinions in the comments section below!

Minority Report airs Mondays at 8/7c on FOX.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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