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Lack of Substance Can’t Sink Stylish Blindspot

Lack of Substance Can’t Sink Stylish <i>Blindspot</i>

If there’s one thing to be said about NBC’s new fall drama, Blindspot, it’s that the show certainly knows how to make an entrance. Within the first minutes of the pilot episode, a women is seen emerging from a duffel bag in Times Square like an infant from the womb, branded head to toe in elaborate tattoos. Who is this woman? Why doesn’t she remember anything, and what’s the secret behind the images painted on her body? These questions make for a great story, but are they enough to make great television?

Jumping back to the plot, it’s revealed this severely-inked Jane Doe (played by Jaimie Alexander, Thor) is more than just a piece of absent minded human canvas. Each tattoo is somehow connected to a crime that has or will happen. “It’s a treasure map,” says Special Agent Kurt Weller (Sullivan Stapleton, 300: Rise of an Empire), “There’s no X that marks the spot. There’s hidden letters, random numbers, map pieces without context or names. It’s a puzzle.” Jane herself is something of a puzzle as well. She’s highly trained in hand-to-hand combat, an expert marksman, and can speak an obscure Chinese dialect fluently despite having no memory of how she acquired these skills. This leaves our characters wondering; is Jane an asset, or an enemy?

More than a few critics have compared Blindspot to The Blacklist, another NBC crime drama, and it’s not difficult to see why. Both shows have the FBI teaming up with a mysterious individual to fight crime, both feature a strong female lead, both have overarching mysteries behind them, and both choose to play it safe with their viewers. Blindspot doesn’t try to force anything on its audience that they haven’t seen already. Jane’s tattoo’s make for a great display, but in the end, they’re not all that different from Reddington’s blacklist. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, stability is useful to freshman shows hoping for a second season, but it also makes them predictable.

Where Blindspot really excels is with its main character. Alexander does a phenomenal job in her portrayal of the amnesiac Jane Doe. Equal parts tough and vulnerable, her performance will leave viewers questioning what they would be like without their memories. Would you still like the same foods? The same music? Would you rediscover your old habits or form new ones? It’s a touching exercise, and one that’s even fun to empathize with.

As of this moment, Blindspot is considered one of the falls more successful new dramas, but it’s still unlikely garner fans among Christian viewers. Simply put, the show contains too many variables that won’t sit well with a faith-based audience. Christians are still divided on the morality of tattoos, of which Jane has dozens, and the show is not shy about displaying her more intimate designs either. Throw in some cursing and intense violence, and you have the recipe for a show Christian viewers want no part of.

For those already invested in this optical puzzle, Blindspot will proved a steady, stable drama with all the action and female empowerment they could ask for. As for the viewers that choose to abstain, they can rest knowing they won’t miss anything they haven’t seen already.

*Published 9/28/2015