Tuesday, November 14, 2017

NEW TV Review: Wisdom of the Crowd

Everything wrong with Wisdom of the Crowd can be summed up in an episode of The Orville called "Majority Rule."

Though for the more politically inclined, perhaps this is better summed up by the realization that the lead, Jeremy Piven, is also one of the producers, a Bernie Sanders supporter, and the setting is San Francisco, hippie capital of the universe.

Zuckerberg knockoff Jeffrey Tanner (Jeremy Piven) leaves his social media empire in order to hunt down "the real killer" of his daughter, who died over a year before. He's using Sophe, an AI program that uses crowd sourcing to investigate crimes -- presuming that a few million eyes on the same piece of evidence will see more than a few cops working a case.

Think about this a moment, please: the Internet is going to solve crimes. Yeah, really. But don't worry, we have magical filters that will not only filter out political bias, but also internet trolls. This smacks of The Machine from Person of Interest, and making is an app feels like the late lamented APB. Then they layer on political BS, because it's San Francisco, we have a good socialist Brit (played by Harry Potter's Natalia Tena), a lefty Muslim "hacktivist" idiot, another IT guy who I expect to come out of the closet any time now ... because it's San Francisco, no one can be straight.

Of course, we have Tanner's ex, a member of Congress played by Monica Potter. Sorry, but Monica Potter is beautiful. I used to confuse her with Julia Roberts ... many, many moons ago. Here, they make her look kinda ugly, as though she has had heavy plastic surgery. I'm not sure if Potter has had the Mark Hamill face lift, or if she's supposed to look like Nancy Pelosi. She's grating, adds nothing to each episode, but will probably be the key to the year-long conspiracy series arc.

By episode three, we have the politics-heavy episode, where every right-winger is a Nazi.  Because we're supposed to believe that San Francisco is a racial powder keg ... and no, they don't discuss Oakland. Because that would be racist, I'm sure.

Episode 4 is the "viral suicide game," which was so message-heavy, it's fake. And in a world where we have crowds gathered underneath a jumper, you're going to have at least one idiot crying "JUMP! JUMP!"  So having "the internet" come to the rescue there? No. I call BS.

Their politics is so out of touch, they literally brought out a white militia group from 90s central casting. We won't even go into the lousy "business law" subplot which is a struggle over ...600 lines of code. Which even I know is solved by REWRITING THE CODE.

Despite having an okay start, and Richard T Jones (who deserves a much better series, that will stay on for any length of time) this show is really only for the socialist at heart.

Given that Piven is one of many Hollywood types that is accused of sexual molestation, assault and / or rape, I expect this show to crash, burn, and die in a fire. The show started at a mere 8.83 million viewers, on CBS, a channel that canceled the far superior shows The Mentalist and Unforgettable when they had 9 and 10 million viewers, respectively. The low point for the raitings have been under 7 million.

So even if you like this show, expect this crowd-sourcing fantasy to require crowd-funding to stay alive.

While the pilot is okay, starting at a strong 7/10, it's going to 4/10 and crashing. 


  1. Declan,
    CBS cancelled the Mentalist? I thought it was because the star had had enough and wanted to do other stuff.
    Hmmmm makes me wonder if the sex and drugs just fry Hollywood execs brains. Or now with the sexual predator examples that a lot of shows are killed due to casting couch issues

    1. At the time, I heard cancellation, I heard nothing else.

      Would you prefer I instead reference "Unforgettable," which was cancelled with 10 million viewers ... and had to be brought back before another network grabbed it?


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