I’d give the first 2 eps a 3.5 out of 5. Good action, and I think a decent reimagining of an Equalizer-type character for today, but it could do with a lot less preaching on how Oppressed certain groups think they are. Clue, people: if cops caught a teenage girl of any skin tone boosting a car or stealing a hundred-dollar dress, they’d throw her behind bars. Stop with the moaning about who gets dinged for “just a little teenage rebellion”. Theft is theft, violence is violence, and the kid’s whining about it – there are ways to write a sympathetic rebellious teen character, and so far the writers are not.
The character of Robyn McCall – huh. On the one hand, I can understand why some reviewers might want, instead of Queen Latifah, someone who looked a lot more action hero-ish. OTOH, she’s supposed to be ex-CIA, and a real-life CIA operative is supposed to be someone who doesn’t stand out as they poke various problems around the world. And really isn’t supposed to stand out as the person to suspect when a bad guy turns up dead in a dark alley. As the fictional British spy James Asher put it, your best defense against being suspected of murder, theft, espionage, and darker deeds is “simply not being the sort of person who would do that kind of thing”. She looks like a middle-aged woman. Who’d suspect her of being CIA? Plausible.
Also, the action sequences so far – while still Hollywood! – are much more reasonable than the all-too-frequent Waifu hijinks. Robyn McCall uses firearms, surprise, and overwhelming force when she takes down men. She does not trade blows with them, she doesn’t try to physically outlast them. Fight fast, fight hard, and if at all possible fight with ambush tactics. That’s how a woman who wants to survive bad guys should fight.
Having an excellent hacker and a sniper as backup does not hurt. Not at all.
I’d call it Urban Fantasy. As in, not “magic”, but people definitely going beyond regular human capabilities. *Shrug* I have no particular problem with that, I write fantasy. I would never in a million years try what the character pulls because hello, reality. But even the original Equalizer had elements of the slightly superhuman. So that doesn’t bug me.
The moralizing does bug me. Robert McCall might have done a bit of it in the original show, but he was talking about justice and caring about individuals instead of international power plays. Race never came into it, because justice is blind.
I miss that point of view in fiction. I wish Hollywood had kept it.
So. *Shrug* Could be better, is still entertaining.