Stop Insulting My Intelligence, CBS

Intelligence (Photo: CBS)
Intelligence (Photo: CBS)

I had to drop Intelligence. I knew going in it was going to be a steaming pile, but it wasn’t the fun steaming pile I had hoped for.

After an alarming 16 million people tuned into the premiere of Intelligence, the new cyber thriller from CBS, we seemed doomed to suffer through the winter version of Under the Dome. Fortunately, most of those viewers exercised sound judgment and abandoned the show less than a week later. I wanted to persevere, hoping that the show would step away from the self-seriousness of the pilot to become a romp through the world of techno-espionage. Sadly, it took three-and-a-half episodes to realize what I hoped the show would become and what star/producer wanted would never be one and the same.

Here is a laundry list of things to hate about this show:

  • There is zero humor in the proceedings. The only attempts at jokes involve snobbery and slights that are so inside baseball, even those in the know would wonder if they should chortle or not.
  • Zero character development. Gabriel’s wife became a suicide bomb in the second episode. She was mentioned in passing at the beginning of episode three, and that’s the last we heard about that mis-adventure. Gabriel maintained his beige-ness throughout.
  • The only bad guy who wasn’t a person of color was the uber-nerd, uber-cowardly traitor who turned over the inventor of the microchip. He’s also the only non-good guy to not be brutally dispatched. That’s beyond racist, CBS.
  •  If the real CIA/Secret Service/Cyber Command were as inept as the powers that be are on this show, it’s amazing we haven’t nuked ourselves several times over.
  • The only difference between Intelligence and any other cyber thriller: we have a guy droning in monotone what he’s Googling rather than watching someone furiously typing their queries. As tired as that trope is, it’s important to remember Show > Tell.

There is one thing I like about Intelligence: at least Gabriel’s last name isn’t McCloud.

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About Mike McComb 931 Articles
Mike has been writing about TV online since 2008, when he started the blog WTF Little House on the Prairie? The blog was a project to practice writing about television analytically prior to getting an MA in Television-Radio-Film from Syracuse University, or as he likes to call it "TV Camp." After a lengthy stint at TVLatest, Mike wanted to launch a site that brought in classic TV, diamonds in the rough, and the shows everybody watches. E-mail:
  • Aaron Mucciolo

    …or that he didn’t have a son named Chip

  • I found Scorpion to be very insulting. I don’t claim to have a 197 IQ (perhaps 130) but it was so bad I’d think a person of average intelligence should be insulted by the BS they’re shoveling.