TV Review – Scorpion
It is fall and that means there is a new crop of TV shows assaulting the airways. One of the shows that caught my eye (for reasons I cannot entirely explain), is called Scorpion. It is supposedly about a group of geniuses who form a special unit in the US government to solve crimes and right wrongs and hunt bad-guys. The standard sort of fare.
I was not expecting much, though the first episode proved splendidly awful. It was tripe, clichéd and illogical. It was Flash Gordon bad – so bad it was kind of good. It was funny, when it was trying to be serious – or at least intense. All the emotional, concluding moments were far too contrived to take seriously and the plot was over the top to say the least.
Bored, I watched the second episode. I was expecting another ridiculous romp. Unfortunately it was so glaringly bad that I could not loose myself in the outrageous plot line. In fact, it was almost offensively stupid and illogical.
Where to start my actual complaints?
While I would rewrite everything, I don’t think it is so entirely without potential. However, the main character makes zero sense. He cannot be emotional disconnected and the leader of a team of misfits that all need special handling. No person is that conveniently inept. He also cannot be a genius at everything if he still needs a team of secondary characters. So, one of the first things I would do (besides recasting the flat and poorly acted parts) is to redefine the group members, their roles and more importantly their limitations.
The ‘Human calculator’ and ‘Mechanical superstar’ should be rolled into one character; ‘the Engineer’. The lead should be brilliant at computers and software and average at other things. The amazing psychologist should be the team leader – he has the skills for this position. This is the character who should be responsible for interacting between the group of misfits and the rest of society. I would then add someone with a different expertise, something in either physics or biological sciences.
Further, when faced with a problem the characters should play to their strengths, fall apart with their weakness. Their dialogue should also reflect their roles in the group. This would help with character development and consistency. For problems completely outside their purview, they should fail. Or at the very least call in guest characters to help/lead them threw that challenge.
Finally, we need to address the idea of genius. What is a genius? According to this show, those who are good with math and incompetent at social interactions are geniuses. I am not certain that you have exhibit characteristics of autism to be classified as super-duper brilliant – but then I didn’t spend a lot of time studying this concept. Also, everyone understands that the IQ test is not the be-all end-all of intelligence testing right? The test is largely based on cultural knowledge. Besides, how do you define intelligence? Everything has to be learned so what are we really measuring? This however is a question best left to other people (like my brother who has actually some background in this area).
Anyway, I just want to say that while I don’t hate everything, Scorpion is a terrible show. Atrocious writing, terrible acting, zero chemistry and absurd plots make for poor TV – except for the numerous viewers who have no discerning taste.