With Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD coming to an end with the seventh season, new comic book blood is needed to fill ABC’s network timeslots. Unfortunately, most the Marvel action is headed to Disney+, so ABC has grabbed another comic book property that will take them into the TV comfort zone of procedural crime drama.
Stumptown is based on the Oni Press comic of the same name, and it follows Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother) as a former Marine who has become a disheveled, seemingly directionless private investigator with a good chunk of debt to dig herself out of. That makes her the perfect candidate to get caught up in plenty of random investigations with some seedy criminals and frustrated law enforcement. Watch the Stumptown trailer below for a taste of what’s on the way.
Here’s the official synopsis for Stumptown from ABC:
Based on the graphic novel series of the same name written by Greg Rucka and illustrated by Matthew Southworth, Stumptown will follow the story of Dex Parios, a strong, assertive, and sharp-witted army veteran with a complicated love life, gambling debt, and a brother to take care of in Portland, Oregon. Her military intelligence skills make her a great P.I., but her unapologetic style puts her in the firing line of hardcore criminals and not quite in alliance with the police.
Our own Jacob Hall was on hand at San Diego Comic-Con when the show’s opening scene and a little sizzle reel were screened for the crowd in attendance. While he’s hopeful that the series can provide a worthy adaptation of the Oni Press comic book in question, the limitations of network television have him skeptical:
“The appeal of Stumptown on the page is that it’s deliberately old-fashioned. You don’t see a lot of traditional P.I. stories in the comic book medium and the thrill comes from Rucka’s knack for character and Southworth’s lived-in artwork. That makes for a difficult transition to television, where procedurals are a dime a dozen. The elements that make Stumptown so special in its source material could be easily shaved away by a television adaptation, especially one on ABC, a network not necessarily known for airing shows which allow us to really sink in and get to know troubled, well-worn characters like the comic version of Dex. As much as I enjoyed the full scene, the sizzle reel immediately put my guard back up.”
That’s pretty much the vibe we get from this trailer too. While Cobie Smulders looks solid as the private investigator with plenty of experience and sarcasm to spare, there’s nothing that seems to differentiate the series from the dozens of others that have done the same thing. Sure, the presence of co-stars like Jake Johnson and Michael Ealy help sweeten the deal, but that can only go so far. We need to see more from the show in order to maintain interest in watching it.
Stumptown is created by Jason Richman who will also serve as an executive producer along with Ruben Fleischer (Venom), Dave Bernad, Greg Rucka, Matthew Southworth and Justin Greenwood. The series premieres on September 25 at 10pm ET on ABC.
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