After watching the series premiere episode of Taken on NBC, I have to say that it left me feeling a bit hollow inside. Not to mention that the first episode pretty much set off all my “premiere warning bells,” during that premiere episode.
The premise is:
A young Bryan Mills (played by Clive Standen) must fight to overcome personal tragedy and exact revenge on those responsible in this modern-day origin story behind the “Taken” film trilogy. Still reeling from his devastating loss, Mills is quickly recruited by the leader of a covert CIA operation to work on her team – a job that awakens a very particular — and very dangerous — set of skills in the former Green Beret.
The film series, Taken, on Amazon.
I’m not sure who thought this would be a good idea, because I wasn’t sure about the idea of taking a premise like the origins story of Bryan Mills and putting it to paper. Don’t get me wrong. I thought it was a good idea. The creative team behind the show had the entire world available to them. But then they seemed to totally miss the mark for me.
First things first… the series starts out this Mills sister getting killed in a botched attempt to stop bad guys by Mills. Except the bad guys he stopped weren’t even the guys that killed her on the train.
But then the bad guys are caught and all is said and done.
Except suddenly we have, I can’t count, how many covert organizations pursuing Mills from out of nowhere and he seems to be ready for them. Except that in his scuffles with the bad guys, it’s not the same Bryan Mills we saw in the Taken films. This is the punching bag Bryan Mills edition.
But fine, maybe this is before his time when he learned his ‘certain set of skills.’
Despite some slight resemblance to Liam Neesom, in certain angles and lighting, the casting doesn’t feel like a good match up. But then again, how can you find someone who looks like Neesom? So if this is Mills in his early days, I guess it would be OK. I mean, we all have to start somewhere, learning our specific set of skills. Right?
But then there are those “premiere warning bells” I mentioned earlier.
What I mean by that is that when a really good show starts its TV run, it is done with great writing that engages your enthusiasm, imagination and excitement. Characters are introduced in a kind of gradual format, as the show starts up and evolves around a wonderfully engaging bit of content. You find or learn things about a character, maybe two, that grabs your attention. And your sympathy.
But then there are the shows where the creators, for whatever reason, throw the entire package at you, peppered with action moments. In the series premiere of Taken, we were introduced to so many characters that were sort of defined and not defined, with the big bad guy of the episode getting caught, that, well, that was the shortest movie ever.
And though I came into the show with some anticipation, I left with a meh feeling.
Over on IMDb, it has a 6.9/10 rating, after only 800 votes. Hmm, how many production employees & friends do you think chimed in here? I never believe an IMDb score until after a few thousand users have chimed in. Over on Rotten Tomatoes, it got a 35%. Which actually is more along the lines of how I feel about it. Maybe the show will get better, but I’m not holding my breath and with so many shows set up in my DVR, a new one has to have a good feeling right away or I pull it from my schedule.
More than likely, I will be dropping Taken from my schedule.