1:30pm PT by Daniel Fienberg
Take Me to the Pilots '17: CBS' 'Wisdom of the Crowd'
[I'll remind you at the top of every single one of these: These entries are not reviews. They're gut reactions to not-for-air pilots that could change in big and small ways between now and September or October or midseason. Full reviews will come then. They'll be longer. And more carefully considered. The opinions may even change. Who knows?]
Show: Wisdom of the Crowd (CBS)
The Pitch: "Due process is for dinosaurs and liberal cucktards" or "Mob Justice"
Quick Response: Given how dismissive Wisdom of the Crowd is of anybody who has any pause or reservations about the idea of dispensing justice via privacy-violating crowdsourcing, it immediately alienates anybody who thinks the premise is a bad idea. I think the premise is a bad idea and found the show excruciating, even moreso than last season's run of "Eccentric billionaires outsource public services" dramas, which both failed. Neither CBS' Pure Genius nor Fox's APB were as aggressively smug as Wisdom of the Crowd, which plays as a non-stop lecture on the advantages of mob rule and seems almost hilariously unaware of how sites like Reddit, when they're not doing interesting crowdsourced investigative work, are also hives for misinformation and conspiracy theories and nuttiness. All of those privacy concerns Person of Interest found provocative and meaningful, Wisdom of the Crowd ignores or sneers at. Take away the premise and what you're left with is an ultra-earnest Jeremy Piven — not my favorite Jeremy Piven, even if Mr. Selfridge apparently validated this version's existence — a totally wasted Monica Potter and a diverse but forgettable ensemble cast straight out of the CBS Ensemble Cast Production Facility. Pity Richard T. Jones, whose only job is to voice logical flaws with the premise and get shot down. Regarding the storytelling: Sandwiching emotional moments from your main character's intense investigation into the murder of his daughter around a clumsily playful scene of him banging a workplace subordinate is not a great look for anybody.
Desire to Watch Again: Ha. This pilot soured my desire to watch any TV of any other kind for a full 12 hours. Counterproposal: Wisdom Teeth of the Crowd, about a man who, after a bad extraction, decides to crowdsource all of his future dental needs and let internet trolls pull his teeth.
Take Me to the Pilots '17: The CW's 'Valor'
Take Me to the Pilots '17: ABC's 'The Mayor'
Take Me to the Pilots '17: Fox's 'Ghosted'
Take Me to the Pilots '17: NBC's 'The Brave'
Take Me to the Pilots '17: CBS' 'Young Sheldon'
All of My 2016 Take Me to the Pilots Entries