HomeTelevisionReview: FBI Definitely Won’t Interest Millennials

Review: FBI Definitely Won’t Interest Millennials

Photo Credit: CBS

FBI Series Premiere Plot Summary:

New York City FBI agents Maggie Bell (Missy Peregrym) and Omar Adon Zidan (Zeeko Zaki) investigate a series of bombings connected to the city’s gangs.

Most millennials don’t care about procedurals. The only surefire to get them to watch procedurals is to put superheroes in them, but even then I’d wager that my generation prefers the more serialized Marvel series. In an age where you can watch an entire season at once, watching formulaic, self-contained stories each week just doesn’t do it for the young folks.

While older generations enjoy procedurals, that doesn’t mean quality doesn’t matter. When you have similar plots each week, the best way to keep viewers coming back is to have interesting and likable characters. There’s a reason why NCIS has stayed on as long as it has. Even as cast members have left, NCIS has replaced them with other well-written characters. Because of this, no doubt a solid number of millennials watch the show, despite the format.

It’s here that FBI doesn’t try hard enough. Our heroine, Agent Bell, has a perfectly fine emotional arc in the pilot, but her backstory is woefully cliché. I bet you can guess what it is without me telling you. I’m not saying her backstory can’t work. In fact, it’s worked in a lot of other media. Still, introducing it just to tie into the premiere feels like the wrong move.

If you’ve seen any of the commercials for FBI, you know one of its executive producers is Dick Wolf, the man behind the Law & Order franchise. One thing Law & Order is known for is pulling stories from the headlines. While this pilot doesn’t directly adapt a real life event, it does contain aspects of true stories. In the case of this episode, it’s the gang MS-13 and white nationalists. While these particular topics make the plot more interesting, it’s a shallow and temporary fix, getting people riled about things they already care about. While the show will likely tackle racism again in the future, the pilot is just using it to prop up an otherwise unengaging series.

So, is this to say there’s no value in FBI? If you’re looking for something to put on in the background, it’s not terrible. While predictable, the tried and true ways of creating suspense work well enough that you’re curious to see how the case is resolved.

If FBI can flesh out its characters, it has a good chance of remaining on the air. Even if it doesn’t, older viewers’ TV habits might keep it alive. But I can’t recommend it right now if you’re looking for truly gripping television. There are much better options.

Rating: 5.5 out of 10 (Acceptable Entertainment)


Aaron Sarnecky
Aaron Sarnecky
Aaron Sarnecky is a Senior Writer and Former TV Editor for The Pop Break. He is a TV/Film grad of Rowan University and the fraternal twin of Senior Columnist Josh Sarnecky. The two record retrospective podcasts together. Aaron probably remembers that canceled show you forgot existed.

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