Friends, you know that cool story by old school sci-fi writer Phillip K. Dick that was adapted into a cool movie starring Tom Cruise in 2002? Well now it is a cool TV show on FOX! Having premiered this fall, the show has the same basic premise as the film: In the future police use psychics (called precognitives or pre-cogs) who can predict murders before they happen to prevent (pre) crime. In the movie, Tom Cruise’s character, a police officer, goes on the run after the pre-cogs identify him as a future murderer. In the television show, it is 2065 and the pre-crime program has been discontinued and the pre-cogs, held against their will and forced to work for the police since they were children, were sent off into the world to fend for themselves until one of them comes out of seclusion/hiding and approaches a police detective with an offer to help her prevent murders. She takes him up on his offer and they become partners. Other people from their lives are pulled into their circle to help them out in various ways.
What’s cool about the show?
It’s racially diverse. The police detective/lead character, Lara Vega, is a black woman. Her boss and former partner is a Latino man. Her best friend/co-worker/co-conspirator is an Asian woman. The other 4 main and secondary characters are white but lots of people of color are featured in every episode, whether they are the focus of that week’s episode or they are just background characters in the Minority Report world. This isn’t the strangely all white world so many people seem to inhabit in a lot of TV shows.
The show is also cool in that it is made clear that LGBTQ people will still exist in the future. Yay! None of the main characters has yet been revealed to be queer, but LGBTQ people are clearly and purposefully put into the fabric of the world. In 7 episodes I have seen many same-sex pairs in the background of scenes. Examples: Two men hanging out with their children in a park. All sorts of pairings in a dance club visited by Detective Vega and her pre-cog partner, Dash while on an undercover op. Dash casually looking at photos of a murdered man and his male partner in the murdered man’s home when he goes to investigate on his own. There is no comment or special attention drawn to these people. Clearly people are not so pressed about sexual orientation 50 years from now. Again, yay!
The aesthetic is worth commenting on as well. The world of 2065 is obviously more scientifically advanced than ours, especially in the case of common everyday use technology, but it is not so far-fetched that we cannot recognize it. I mean, 50 years is not *that* far ahead. Sadly, this show would have been a perfect complement to the gone-way-too-soon Almost Human. I loved the really cool look both shows had/have. And they are not cheap effects either-something very important to me. Thought went into how things should look and function and what is reasonable/feasible/realistic for 50 years from now. That goes for clothing as well. It’s slightly futuristic, but not 5th Element crazy. Like how you could time travel back to 1965 and see clothing that people wear today, just with variations in cuts, materials etc.
There are also fun nods to current pop culture. In one episode Vega and her boss are in a VR training exercise and they are arguing about music. Her boss pretends not to know who Beyoncé is and when Vega is scandalized by his apparant ignorance, he lets her know he is kidding and says he “appreciates the classics.” When Vega and Dash go undercover in a singles club, getting wristbands that will tell them who they are compatible with via a simple touch, Vega wonders if dating was better in her mother’s day—when people got to *really* know each other through texting and apps!
The show isn’t just about the cool aesthetics of the future though, there is a lot of interesting speculation and commentary about social and ethical issues that are soon going to be things we have to deal with. Or things we are already dealing with, just taken further. Just like you would expect from good science fiction. For example, in the show pre-crime is eliminated because eventually someone raises a stink about charging and locking up people for crimes they haven’t technically committed (though it takes about 10 years), but in its place they develop a program that monitors all citizens and uses algorithms and patterns to predict behavior and the police go after people based on it. Basically, it's the Patriot Act with much better tech and software.
Okay, okay. Still not convinced? You want me to show you, an American TV viewer, what you REALLY care about? Fine. You should watch Minority Report for all the reasons I gave above and ALSO because the cast is hot. Like really, really hot in some cases. Ahem.
"Lara Vega" played by Meagan Good (a good police detective with a now very complicated life)
"Will Blake" played by Wilmer Valderrama (Vega's annoyingly cheeky former partner and now boss)
"Arthur" played by Nick Zano (precog who gets names and numbers in his visions and Dash's much cooler/much hotter brother)
"Agatha" played by Laura Regan (precog that feels the emotions of the victims in her visions, very protective older sibling)
"Akeela" played by Li Jun Li (Vega's very cool best friend/co-worker/co-conspirator)
"Dash" played by Stark Sands (Vega's partner, Arthur's totally uncool brother and the precog who sees the murders in his visions)--he's more adorable than hot but that's still a plus!
"Wally" played by Daniel London (the precog's former caretaker who now works with Dash and Vega to prevent murders)
Will you now give the show a chance? You can watch all 7 episodes on Fox or On Demand. If you are not hooked in two episodes, I will give you back the zero dollars we bet on it. But if you are...spread the word and let Fox know that this show deserves a chance to build a loyal audience and that you want more shows like this!