Monday , May 27 2024
Can the hook for this series continue to exist or do they need to find another way to keep the audience involved?

Reigning in Raines’ Imagination

There I was last night watching Raines and wondering why. I’m just not sure I get it.  Goldblum is good, but he’s playing, roughly, the guy he always plays. He’s sarcastic, sardonic, and generally an ass.  My kind of guy.  But still, the hook of talking to dead people, even if only in his imagination, it feels…well, bad.  It still feels like a terrible hook for a show, and I think I’ve realized why.  It’s a multiple episode story-arc, not viable long-term show.

Last night on the show, Raines pointed out that it was a hook, mentioning how he was “the cop who talked to himself.”  Tons of people at the police precinct have started pointing out to him that he talks to himself.  He’s even started seeing a shrink about it.  The entire story of him talking to himself (or his imaginary visions or whatever you’d like to call it) has to progress.  It has to move forward.  The way he deals with it all has to move forward, and really the only logical way that I can see at this point of it moving forward is for it to end, for him to get better.  That’s right, I’m hereby referring to Raines as sick and needing to get better.  If someone can explain to me another way for this series to progress, a way to work it out so that Raines isn’t off his nut I’m happy to entertain it.

So then, let me throw it, have you seen Raines?  Doesn’t this feel like there’s no way it can go long-term?  How did Graham Yost sell this show?  Maybe I have too much faith in man, but I have to believe that you can’t go in to a development office at a network and sell an idea like this without having a way to have the character progress.

Let’s go with that assumption then: the producers have a plan in place (I’m naïve, that’s fine, go with me here).   Do we care?  Are we going to go with the series that long?  How long is the talking to his imagination going to be drawn out before it progresses?  Is the rest of the show interesting enough to have us keep tuning in?

Last night’s episode certainly wasn’t.  As soon as the city councilman is brought into the story, it’s clear that the victim, Julio, is his son and that the councilman killed Julio.  Raines doesn’t catch up to the viewer however for another 20 minutes, and that’s a problem because we now have a show in which the audience is rapidly getting tired of the main character AND the plot of the episode isn’t compelling enough to keep the viewer watching. 

Next week, Raines makes the move to Fridays at 9.  The audience interest level, according to the ratings, hasn’t been great, but is a significant improvement on the lead-in (Andy Barker, P.I.), so maybe that’s enough to keep it going for a while.  But I doubt it.  I’ll be tuning in again next week, after all I have no life.  But what about everyone else?  Goldblum fans will be there, but I doubt many others will follow. 

About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.

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