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Old 09-27-2019, 07:36 PM
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Stumptown


Anybody catch the premeire of Stumptown on ABC?

Cobie Smulders (late of How I Met You Mother) plays an unemployed Army veteran with PTSD who helps find a missing teenager. This will apparently lead to her becoming a licensed P.I. in the coming episodes.

I kind of liked it. While there were a number of well-worn crime-show cliches (most notably the out-of-control car that, instead of crashing into anything, heads straight toward a handy ramp-like structure and goes spectacularly airborne), and her investigation seemed to progress a little too quickly and conveniently, the pacing and tone made for an entertaining hour of turn-off-your-brain television. They seem to be aiming for a Rockford Files with a female lead vibe - a high bar, but if they keep the right balance between serious and silly, they might pull it off.

Smulders did a nice job with the tough but flawed lead; sassy and seemingly confident, but full of anxiety and self-doubt. It will be her performance that ultimately makes or breaks this show, I think.
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Old 09-28-2019, 12:13 AM
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I saw it and enjoyed it, and will be tuning in again. Good cast (Smulders really carries the show, and I'd say she's more than up to the challenge), pretty good dialogue, not a bad case for her to crack right out of the gate, interesting Portland setting, etc. I like that it has prominent contemporary Indian characters, too.

The fight in the car was exciting but I always wonder why the driver in those kind of Hollywood scenes doesn't just brake hard and stop the car (other than the need for more excitement for the viewer). Why keep going - even accelerating - when you're so dangerously distracted and not in full control of the car?

Smulders plays a Marine and not an Army vet, BTW.
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Old 09-28-2019, 09:06 AM
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I liked the ongoing bit about the car's mix tape (cd player?) always playing an appropriate song.
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Old 09-28-2019, 09:18 AM
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Good performances actually, in a badly written episode. Cobie Smulders better learn how to not wear a ton of makeup while pretending to be a tough PI. You don't get in a fight leaving you cut and bruised without smearing some of that pancake makeup.

This was a pilot for a show which will be somewhat different, it has a chance to get good writers and direction and become something like Rockford Files with a female lead as mentioned above. Even without that it will limp along for a while with a small but dedicated audience that has less trouble suspending disbelief than I do.
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Old 09-28-2019, 11:11 AM
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We enjoyed it. The ongoing joke of the mixed tape stayed amusing throughout, and she carried off the bad-ass part of her character very well. Glad to see some Native American actors getting work.
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Old 09-30-2019, 02:43 PM
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if they keep the right balance between serious and silly, they might pull it off.

Smulders did a nice job with the tough but flawed lead; sassy and seemingly confident, but full of anxiety and self-doubt. It will be her performance that ultimately makes or breaks this show, I think.
Agreed.
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Old 09-30-2019, 03:16 PM
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I saw it over the weekend. It was OK, but I could do without the war-veteran-with-PTSD element. (Apparently the show is based on a graphic novel, so presumably that's from there. It's still a tiresome cliche.)

Last edited by Dewey Finn; 09-30-2019 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 09-30-2019, 04:25 PM
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They also had Cobie slightly misuse peoples' names a couple of times. It cracked me up because I felt like it was on purpose. I think it's a way to knock people down a little bit. I hope they continue that 'bit'.

I'll definitely be watching it again... that and Unicorn. The new Walton Goggins sitcom.
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Old 09-30-2019, 06:15 PM
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I enjoyed it, despite the rather cliché'd plot of the pilot; thirding the Rockford Files vibe, with maybe just a touch of The Big Lebowski thrown in, and there's the potential for some interesting character development.

Also, please keep feeding Smulders the snappy dialogue; she's got a great delivery.

Taco truck guy: "What happened to your face?"

Dex: "What happened to your face?

Last edited by El_Kabong; 09-30-2019 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 10-03-2019, 11:27 AM
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Well, S1E2 aired. I'm hopeful this is going to be a good one. We got a little insight into Grey's background; which can be full of story arcs as well. The 'bad-cop' Lieutenant Cosgrove even showed some signs of being reasonable; which I wasn't expecting. I thought they'd have her be the cop that always hates what Dex is doing, no matter what. Can't wait for S1E3.
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Old 10-03-2019, 08:08 PM
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Shubotsky did a pretty good job as an action hero in Avengers and Jack Reacher 2. So, not much of a surprise she's pretty good in Stumptown.

What's the title supposed to mean?
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Old 10-03-2019, 08:18 PM
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Shubotsky did a pretty good job as an action hero in Avengers and Jack Reacher 2. So, not much of a surprise she's pretty good in Stumptown.

What's the title supposed to mean?
Portland was a lumber town - I suspect that's the origin of the title...
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Old 10-03-2019, 09:41 PM
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...the reviews here looked promising, so I checked it out.

:: less than a minute in, my favourite sing-a-long song Sweet Caroline starts playing...then the bad-guys start singing along... ::

Thats cheating! Instant click-bait for someone like me. There is no way I'm not going to keep watching the show after an opening like that.
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Old 10-03-2019, 11:59 PM
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...and two episodes in: I think that Stumpdown will fill that "not-too-demanding-procedural-with-great-characters-left-by-elementary" gap nicely for me.
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Old 10-04-2019, 12:24 AM
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Agreed. I like it so far.

I didn't guess where the lovelorn-client plot was going, so that's a plus.
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Old 10-04-2019, 02:09 AM
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I tuned in at first chiefly to gawk at the local scenery, but it's engaging and just fresh enough to keep me coming back for a while. I'm hoping it doesn't get too soapy and keeps a strong "case of the week" focus.
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Old 10-04-2019, 09:07 AM
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When the land was cleared for the original Portland plat that left a lot of stumps. Hence the nickname.

The nickname had a resurgence back in the 70s. E.g., there was a Stumptown cafe around SW 12th & Market at that time.

Since then the most famous use is by the coffee brand Stumptown. Portland's answer to Starbucks, barely.
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Old 10-04-2019, 09:38 AM
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Missed it, but thanks for the reminder.
I'd commented, on seeing the previews, "I'd watch Cobie smolder in anything..."
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Old 10-04-2019, 02:15 PM
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The weekly abrasions and busted lip don't exactly add to her looks, though.
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Old 10-04-2019, 02:45 PM
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The weekly abrasions and busted lip don't exactly add to her looks, though.
True, but I like that she generally gets her ass kicked when fighting people bigger than her, at least until she manages to find some sort of weapon and/or opening for a crotch-shot.

Which I is also Rockford-like, for those who see the similarities between the shows.
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Old 10-18-2019, 12:03 PM
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Finally saw this streaming on Hulu. Binged 4 episodes.

I like it, although the friend and prison kingpin story arch is wearing a little thin. Loved seeing Donal Logue. Hope his character returns from time to time.

But she does get her ass kicked in every episode. In reality, she would already have concussions and would be well on her way to CTE.
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Old 10-18-2019, 12:56 PM
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Getting better, I think it needs to focus more on Dexedrine with less time on the side stories. The other characters are fine, but just show their interaction with her, don't let the side stories branch off. The Rockford comparison is apt, we saw the whole story from his point of view, no soap opera teases on what's happening elsewhere.
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Old 10-18-2019, 03:29 PM
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I'm not sure I bought Artie's sudden change of heart. We may find out he's still playing her. Or it could be interesting if he's actually trying to become a better person, but falls back into his scumbag ways now and then out of habit. I guess we'll see how it plays out, but the whole "Grinch's heart growing three sizes" bit is kind of weak sauce. I like the idea of the character much better as a rival than as an ally.

Last edited by Wheelz; 10-18-2019 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 10-18-2019, 04:18 PM
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I'm not sure I bought Artie's sudden change of heart. .
I was assuming that he was playing her and that she was on to him. 'People don't change!'
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Old 10-18-2019, 04:54 PM
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I'm not sure I bought Artie's sudden change of heart.
Donal Logue is much better at the "kind of sketchy but a good guy deep down" than as a really bad guy.
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Old 10-18-2019, 05:51 PM
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Donal Logue is much better at the "kind of sketchy but a good guy deep down" than as a really bad guy.
His Gotham character was a lazy, corrupt cop who eventually became a good cop. But the transition occured over the course of several seasons, not in one day because somebody yelled at him.

Anyway, I have a feeling (or at least I hope) that Artie will keep developing, perhaps in unexpected ways.
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Old 10-18-2019, 06:38 PM
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His Gotham character was a lazy, corrupt cop who eventually became a good cop. But the transition occured over the course of several seasons, not in one day because somebody yelled at him.
His character in Sons of Anarchy was a once good cop (maybe) who went about as bad as you can get.
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Old 10-21-2019, 08:36 AM
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When the land was cleared for the original Portland plat that left a lot of stumps. Hence the nickname.

The nickname had a resurgence back in the 70s. E.g., there was a Stumptown cafe around SW 12th & Market at that time.

Since then the most famous use is by the coffee brand Stumptown. Portland's answer to Starbucks, barely.
Ok, so that explains "Stumptown". What about "Rip City"? (One episode was titled "Rip City Dicks" and also there was a scene in Grey's bar where he was wearing a "Rip City" t-shirt.)
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Old 10-21-2019, 11:30 AM
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Ok, so that explains "Stumptown". What about "Rip City"? (One episode was titled "Rip City Dicks" and also there was a scene in Grey's bar where he was wearing a "Rip City" t-shirt.)
This comes from legendary Trail Blazers' announcer Bill Schonely. He got excited once in a late first season game when someone made a really good basket and yelled "Rip city!". It quickly became a catchphrase for a good basket. How it got attached to the city itself is just people being goofy.

(Just don't ask me about the 50 �� t-shirt MrsFtG wears. Um, that's supposed to come out 50"tree emoji".)

Last edited by ftg; 10-21-2019 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 11-01-2019, 12:24 AM
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Still watching, and still enjoying it, all in all. The cop stuff is a bit cliched but I can overlook that. Smulders really is good in the role. My favorite bit: the PPD lieutenant calls Det. Hoffman while he's "on vacation in Hawaii" and he comes to the door, still talking, to find her standing there with her phone to her ear.
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Old 11-01-2019, 12:27 AM
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Was Cobie Smulders in this episode? I thought I saw her but that might have been a commercial. I really enjoy this show about the friends and family of a PI. Maybe they can work her into one of the stories.
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Old 11-02-2019, 06:40 AM
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They seem to be aiming for a Rockford Files with a female lead vibe - a high bar, but if they keep the right balance between serious and silly, they might pull it off.
I don't think I have ever seen a full episode of Rockford Files, though it was around when I was a kid and I am aware of it by general osmosis, and yet as soon as I watched the first episode I told myself "this is like a new Rockford Files".

Turns out the original idea for this show - which is based off a comic book series which was in turn a planned TV series, so it came full circle - was, according to its creator, inspired by Rockford Files.

I think it has succeeded in that, judging by how many other people have independently made the same connection.
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:18 AM
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I like the show, but one thing is a little distracting. Every time they mention Detective Hoffman, for a fraction of a second I expect to see a dog. I can't be the only one.
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Old 11-02-2019, 04:23 PM
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I like the show, but one thing is a little distracting. Every time they mention Detective Hoffman, for a fraction of a second I expect to see a dog. I can't be the only one.
You're not.
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Old 11-02-2019, 10:21 PM
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:: wags tail ::
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Old 11-02-2019, 11:21 PM
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Watched ep 5. If I hadn't seen her name in the credits, I would not have recognized Janeane Garofalo. Nice cameo by C.J. McCollum of the Blazers.
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Old 11-03-2019, 01:41 AM
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If I hadn't seen her name in the credits, I would not have recognized Janeane Garofalo.
I wonder if that means, as once a name actor and significant figure, she will recur.
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Old 11-03-2019, 01:53 AM
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Watched ep 5. If I hadn't seen her name in the credits, I would not have recognized Janeane Garofalo. Nice cameo by C.J. McCollum of the Blazers.
I thought that was her but didn't check the credits.

I don't know why this is being compared to the Rockford Files. I think that just came out of the PR department and it's getting parroted. The Rockford Files was about Jim Rockford, not his friends and family and associates. Rockford was on screen for almost the entire episode for every episode except for the times he couldn't work while injured. There were plenty of appearances for Rocky and Angel and Dennis and Beth and the rest but the focus was always on Rockford and what he does to solve cases. This show needs to focus on Dex. This is the writer's fault, she needs good lines and plots that actually involve the character. She could be removed form the show as it is right now and it wouldn't make much difference.

Last edited by TriPolar; 11-03-2019 at 01:54 AM.
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Old 11-03-2019, 03:53 AM
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This show needs to focus on Dex.
...I don't know why you seem to think it doesn't focus on Dex (because it does focus on Dex), but the fact that it does spend time with the other characters is a positive for me, not a negative.

Quote:
This is the writer's fault, she needs good lines and plots that actually involve the character. She could be removed form the show as it is right now and it wouldn't make much difference.
If you removed her from the show it would be a different show. Everything revolves around Dex. The show is fine as it is. I'm loving it, and its my favourite new show on TV this season. I really don't want to see the show that you want to see. I think the writers have gotten the balance just right.
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Old 11-03-2019, 05:23 AM
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All shows are ensemble shows now, to one degree or another. Even superhero shows spend as much time with the hero's sidekicks as with the hero. It's the nature of the beast.
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Old 11-03-2019, 08:00 AM
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I am saying that the show is not like the Rockford Files. The only similarity is that both shows have a private detective. This one is no more similar to the Rockford Files than any other private detective drama.

I happen to like the show so far.
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Old 11-03-2019, 02:00 PM
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I am saying that the show is not like the Rockford Files. The only similarity is that both shows have a private detective. This one is no more similar to the Rockford Files than any other private detective drama.

I happen to like the show so far.
As noted above, I went back to it to see if it's smoothed out any. It still falls short. Writers, for some reason, always think they need to include a kid, usually some sort of rebellious teen or bratty younger kids, and an ex. In this case, they went for the mentally challenged kid who is a font of wisdom. I really dislike these memes and it makes the show unwatchable for me.
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Old 11-03-2019, 02:05 PM
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As noted above, I went back to it to see if it's smoothed out any. It still falls short. Writers, for some reason, always think they need to include a kid, usually some sort of rebellious teen or bratty younger kids, and an ex. In this case, they went for the mentally challenged kid who is a font of wisdom. I really dislike these memes and it makes the show unwatchable for me.
I think the pilot was the best episode and it's been degrading, but I also think this show was rushed into production and the writing can improve. Right now it's a soap opera, nothing like Rockford. Cobie Smulders is a fine actress given some decent writing, but it looks like once again she's being used just for her looks. Camryn Manheim may be the best character on the show so far, she's got the skills to make something out of her role. They should have just given her a show if they won't give the Dex character some meat.
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Old 11-03-2019, 02:33 PM
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As noted above, I went back to it to see if it's smoothed out any. It still falls short. Writers, for some reason, always think they need to include a kid, usually some sort of rebellious teen or bratty younger kids, and an ex. In this case, they went for the mentally challenged kid who is a font of wisdom. I really dislike these memes and it makes the show unwatchable for me.
I have not read it, but wasn't the brother in the graphic novel on which the show is based?
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Old 11-03-2019, 03:01 PM
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Writers, for some reason, always think they need to include a kid, usually some sort of rebellious teen or bratty younger kids, and an ex. In this case, they went for the mentally challenged kid who is a font of wisdom. I really dislike these memes and it makes the show unwatchable for me.
...yeah, for some reasons writers also like to include a protagonist, a bad guy, sometimes a love interest and sometimes even a love triangle. Those silly writers! Always finding ways to put characters in their TV shows.
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Old 11-03-2019, 03:10 PM
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I think the pilot was the best episode and it's been degrading, but I also think this show was rushed into production and the writing can improve. Right now it's a soap opera, nothing like Rockford. Cobie Smulders is a fine actress given some decent writing, but it looks like once again she's being used just for her looks. Camryn Manheim may be the best character on the show so far, she's got the skills to make something out of her role. They should have just given her a show if they won't give the Dex character some meat.
...what television show are you watching?
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Old 11-03-2019, 03:21 PM
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I have not read it, but wasn't the brother in the graphic novel on which the show is based?
No idea, never read it.

Banquet Bear: nice try at a straw man. The single parent with a kid has been done to death in recent years. Unlike an antagonist or a love interest (which goes back to, well, the beginning of writing), it seldom works as a subplot.
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Old 11-03-2019, 04:14 PM
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Banquet Bear: nice try at a straw man. The single parent with a kid has been done to death in recent years. Unlike an antagonist or a love interest (which goes back to, well, the beginning of writing), it seldom works as a subplot.
...not a strawman. The "single parent with a kid" hasn't been "done to death." Single parents who happen to be a Private Eye haven't been done to death either. And Stumptown isn't even a TV show about a single parent with a kid. Ansel is Dex's brother. Perhaps, like TriPolar, you are watching another TV show? The dynamic between brother and sister, where Dex is also playing surrogate mother, is interesting to me. I can't think of that many TV shows with characters with Down Syndrome in the principal cast. I think representation is important. So I'm really not seeing a problem here.
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Old 11-03-2019, 04:51 PM
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...and the actor Cole Sibus is 21 years old. He's playing an adult, who works in a bar for goodness sakes, he's not a kid.
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Old 11-04-2019, 04:23 PM
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I don't know why this is being compared to the Rockford Files. I think that just came out of the PR department and it's getting parroted.
As the OP, and the first person in this thread to make the Rockford Files comparison, I can say that I came to that on my own after watching the first episode. I have no idea if they used the Rockford angle in any of their marketing.

I really didn't think the observation was all that astute. The tough-but-flawed P.I. (or soon-to-be-P.I.) with a grumpy disposition and a past who butts heads with the local cops. Jim had his Dad and Angel, and Dex has her brother and Grey. Jim got punched in the face a lot, and Dex takes her share of knocks. The overall pacing and tone felt similar to me as well.

Are they exactly the same show? Of course not. But I stand by the comparison.
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