Television Reviews

The Future Looks Grim for Minority Report

The Future Looks Grim for <i>Minority Report</i>

Turn back the clock to the ancient days of 2002, and you may recall Tom Cruise starring in a gritty, sci-fi thriller called Minority Report. Loosely based off a science fiction story of the same name, Minority Report depicted a world where police could stop murders before they happened. This was thanks to the assistance of three special children known as Precogs, gifted humans with the ability to receive visions of the future. The system works great until Cruise’s character is accused of an upcoming homicide, at which point he has no choice but to go on the run, clear his name, and prove the future is not predetermined. It’s been over a decade since the film’s initial release, but Minority Report is being resurrected as one of Fox’s newest fall dramas. There’s no denying the series has an impressive pedigree, but is that enough to ensure its future?

Set eleven years after the events of the film, Minority Report opens on the young Precog, Dash (Stark Stands). Unlike his other siblings, Dash wasn’t content to remain isolated from the world, and spends his days racing to crime scenes in hopes of stopping the death he foresees. All his efforts prove in vain until he stumbles upon Detective Lara Vega (Meagan Good, Anchorman 2) a talented officer with a passion for justice. Together, the two prevent crimes before they happen, all while keeping Dash’s abilities hidden from the public. Unbeknownst to them, the other Precogs are haunted by a chilling vision of events to come.

From the beginning, it’s clear this freshman show has its work cut out for it. The original Minority Report was lauded by critics for deep themes of free will and self-perception, viewers will find none of that here. Much like last years failed series Almost Human, Minority Report is really just a typical buddy cop drama with a few futuristic gizmos to make it sparkle. The pilot episode felt remarkably canned, and for a new drama trying to rake in viewers, that’s bad. If Minority Report hopes to avoid getting axed, it had better find some way to distinguish itself soon, otherwise its future will be remarkably short-lived.

That’s not to say the show doesn’t have a few things working for it. Dash is a lovable hero, and Strands does an excellent job at portraying him as a sympathetic underdog. His interaction with the world around him is fun to watch, and also a little sad, since you can tell he just wants to help but doesn’t know how. As for Good’s character, Detective Vega, she has enough potential to keep viewers tuned in. Minority Report has yet to explore her motives in any real detail, so her development could be promising.

But what will Christian viewers think of Minority Report? Honestly, it probably won’t even garner their attention. Nothing about the show is blatantly offensive, and so far it hasn’t crossed any lines conservative Christians really care about. At its heart, Minority Report is just a crime drama. Christian audiences will simply have to judge the show by their own standards.

Overall, Minority Report has had a rough start, and needs serious work if it wants to turn from a television spin-off into a successful drama. It's not an impossible task, but one that means the show's fate is still undetermined.

*Published 9/23/2015