Monday, April 27, 2015

Stalker returns to CBS tonight

Tonight on CBS, the return of Stalker.

The one and only Maggie Q, the first Asian-American female to carry an hour long show (the classic Nikita) stars alongside Dylan McDermott -- who you know and love as Bobby on The Practice, from American Horror Story's first season and a go-for-broke funny guest appearance on Will & Grace (among many other credits but Dylan committed to his guest spot, he didn't wink at the audience, and he was a hilarious guest star as a result).

This is Mike's favorite show of the 2014 fall through 2015 spring season.

And in these remaining episodes as the season wraps up, you also get Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino.

The show made a mistake, a big one, when it debuted.

It was gross that Dylan was stalking someone.

The show runner thought it would come off "edgy."

It didn't.

But in the time since, we've learned it's his son and he and his ex are working through whatever for the good of the child.

So the 'ick' factor is gone.

If you sampled the show earlier and didn't like it or if the reviews put you off (it was a huge mistake not to reveal upfront why Dylan was watching that boy), hopefully, you'll give it another try tonight and the next two Mondays.

Maggie Q is historic for what she did.  Ava and I noted in 2013:

In the US versions, Nikita's been blonde.  In all three previous versions, Nikita's been White.  Maggie Q is bi-racial.  With a White father and a Vietnamese mother, she's Asian-American.  And carrying her own show.
August 27, 1951, The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong aired its first episode.  That DuMont Network program featured Asian-American actress and star Anna May Wong.  Wong had found fame in silent films, then moved on to talkies before pursuing the stage and overseas films. At the age of 46, she began starring in The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong which was the first TV series in the US to star an Asian-American woman.  And her character?  A spy.
Much is rightly made of African-American Kerry Washington being the star of ABC's one hour drama Scandal.  Similar attention should focus on Maggie Q's accomplishment.
Q's carried the series for three years.  She's played a vengeful and untrusting Nikita who wanted to bring down Division who managed to transform into a team leader in the second season and to someone with an ever increasing sense of right and wrong in the third season.  She's handled each evolution with skill and careful shading, forever finding new dimensions in Nikita -- the trained assassin who fights her way back to humanity.

If we say we want diversity on TV (and we should want it, it makes for more interesting stories if every character isn't exactly the same in looks, background, ethnicity, race, etc.), we need to be willing to support those programs that offer it.

Doesn't mean you have to love Stalker.

But you should at least give it a chance.

And, yes, Maggie Q, playing a completely different character, is yet again spellbinding.

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