Keep a safe distance from this derivative crime series, or you may put yourself in danger.
Ok, I’ll admit I am struggling to find anything remarkable about Stalker.
Despite having the name Kevin Williamson (Scream, Dawson’s Creek, The Vampire Diaries, The Following) attached, this is 44 minutes that feels highly derivative of procedural US crime shows. Are we supposed to be taken in by the fact it specialises in all things stalker-y? Meh.
Maggie Q (Nikita) stars as Lieutenant Beth Davis, the head of a Los Angeles-based Threat Assessment Unit. She tells us that 1 in 6 women in America have been the target of stalkers and 1 in 19 men.
“Anyone can be a stalker,” she says. “…anyone can be a victim.”
And it seems the inter-webs are to blame, along with apps that give us too much access.
“Social media is the #1 reason stalking has tripled,” she explains.
Sorry ’bout that. I guess gun laws have nothing to do with it, nor America’s obsession with celebrity. But I digress…
She is soon joined by former Hostages and American Horror Story star, Dylan McDermott as homicide detective Jack Larsen who has moved to LA. He sleeps around, we learn, because “apparently he can’t help himself.” Poor guy.
He’s joined the TAU having watched movies including The Bodyguard, Swimfan and Fatal Attraction, in one of the few savvy moments that remind me I am watching a Kevin Williamson creation. It’s a pity he didn’t watch Hostages. God knows, I had to.
In Stalker, McDermott’s character is an American asswipe: a misogynistic boor who reads a crime scene like a show off, or possibly to audition for The Mentalist.
The crime these two are swept up in involves a stalker who is dousing women in petrol and setting them alight. There are the usual scenes of suspects who will become red herrings, you know the drill. There’s also a subplot of a second stalker case with gay overtones.
Along the way there’s a lot of characters talking ‘at’ one another (rather than ‘to’), some questionable camera lingering on Maggie Q given the subject matter and a bit of histrionics for good measure. McDermott’s character is also a deliberate contradiction given he is seen following his own target in his own time. Oh and did I mention the vigilante footnote?
The writing feels like a routine plot that would suit The Mentalist or Criminal Minds, rather than having enough distinction so as to justify a Pilot, let alone a Series. Maybe it will improve, but with the dull McDermott I’m not holding out much hope.
Biggest crime? I just didn’t particularly like anybody. Where is Dexter when you need him?
Stalker airs 9:30pm Sundays on Nine.