…and before next WHYBW, I’ll be reviewing Sando (Australia: ABC), Krypton (US: Syfy) and anything else that appears on the radar in the next few days, as well as previewing next month’s The Crossing (US: ABC).
SEAL Team took a week off again, so after the jump, the regulars: Black Lightning, Counterpart, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, The Good Fight, The Looming Tower, The Magicians, Timeless and Will & Grace.
In the US: Sundays, 8/7c, CBS
In the UK: Acquired by Sky Living
There is a genre of drama known as ‘competence porn’. Don’t worry, this isn’t what it sounds like.
The defining feature of ‘competence porn’ is a character who’s just good at everything. They’re rich, they dress well, they’re good at their job, they don’t make mistakes, they don’t trip over cracks in the pavement. Whatever life throws at them, they use their top-notch brain, balletic grace and wealth of experience to overcome the odds and beat their adversaries.
Usually, it’s a straight white male who’s the star of competence porn – think James Bond, Sherlock Holmes or even Matt Damon in The Martian. But not always – Olivia Pope in Scandal is straight black female competence porn, for example.
Now, in Instinct, we have possibly the first TV instance of gay white male competence porn*. Based on a James Patterson novel, its shockingly competent central hero is Dr Dylan Reinhart, a well dressed, best-selling author, university lecturer and former CIA field officer and paramilitary, capable of slapping around bad guys while simultaneously theorising about whatever psychological issues led them to try to hit him in the first place. He’s also gay and gave up his CIA career so he could he could get married and have a normal life with his now ex-husband.
When a serial killer starts murdering people and sends the NYPD a copy of Reinhart’s book about mental abnormality, detective Bojana Novakovic (Edge of Darkness, Shameless) seeks out Reinhart and enlists him in the hunt for the killer. Which is handy because Reinhart’s agent is pressing him for a new, exciting book and Novakovic hasn’t got on with any of her new partners since the death of her ex-partner and fiancé. Gosh, if only this was the start of a beautiful, completely platonic, crime-solving partnership.
All of which sounds great and wonderfully diverse, if otherwise a little bit formulaic. The only problem? Reinhart is played by Alan Cumming. Yes, this Alan Cumming.