Pilot Review: Stalker on Channel 9

Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q hunting stalkers.  Source: Provided
Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q hunting stalkers. Source: Channel 9/Provided

“Stalking Stalkers is all very Stalkerish”

I’ll just come out and say this….I HATE Bones, Castle and other weekly crime procedurals where a male detective solves crimes with his female partner…..and then they marry.  You all know what I’m talking about right?  Crime solving becomes second focus behind all the sexual tension between our leads….I swear everyone was waiting for Benson and Stabler to throw off their SVU suits for wedding attire.

Okay, now that rant is over, another weekly crime procedural is coming our way, but thankfully, the likelihood of our two leads hooking up seems pretty slim (I’m 8 episodes in and zilch sexual tension exists between our two sluethy leads) leaving for a rather creepy and torturey (my new word) crime show.  Now to be blunt, Stalker wasn’t that well received by critics when it premiered back in September 2014 in the US.  Words like ‘nasty’ and ‘worst’ were used however, I still gave the series a shot, and now, it’s become a weekly must watch for me.

Starring Maggie Q (Nikita) and Dylan McDermott (Hostages), Stalker follows Lieutenant Beth Davis (Q) and new partner Detective Jack Larsen (McDermott) as they hunt down stalkers as part of the LAPD’s Threat Assessment Unit (or stalkers unit if you may).

Things don’t start off too smoothly for Davis and new partner Larsen, who’s just transferred from New York.  She’s heard the rumors about his affair with the wife of a superior officer back in New York and she’s not to keen on his way of breaking the ice i.e – complimenting her breasts.  Obviously it doesn’t work and actually, McDermott’s Larsen comes off as the least likable character in the pilot.

Our main story-line focuses on a masked man with a penchant for young pretty women, gasoline cans and lighters…the opening scene in particular in which a young woman (played by Pretty Little Liars’ Torrey DeVitto) screams 90’s slasher flick Scream’s opener with Drew Barrymore – but without the “what’s your favorite scary movie line”.  At the same time, keeping out heroes busy, Williamson wants to make it clear that stalking is not a one way sex street so we a also get a college guy (Darren Kagasoff, “The Secret Life of the American Teenager”) stalked by a former and obsessive roommate (Erik Stocklin, “Mistresses”).

Both story-lines are engaging enough though they are constantly interspersed with filler scenes involving Larsen trying to make his new boss like him (you know she eventually will) and much like most new shows in their post-pilot episodes, various aspects of the show are tightened up and back characters including Det. Janice Lawrence (Mariana Klaveno) and Det. Victor Rausk (Ben Caldwell) begin to make more of an appearance and impact.

While Stalker is mainly a weekly crime episodic (with cases fleshed out by familiar faced guest stars including AnnaLynne McCord (Beverly Hills 90210), Jessica Tuck (True Blood) and Caity Lotz (Arrow) among others), it doesn’t take long for the season long story arc to take shape that plays about in most of the episodes following.  Without revealing too much, it does involve Beth, her mysterious and traumatic past that we never really get to know much about and the return of a loonie we meet very early on.

I did enjoy Stalker and from the handful of episodes I’ve seen, it improves upon it’s pilot that was so widely panned.  You can take it as a PSA on how to avoid not being stalked/killed or take it for a pretty darn creepy show looking at a topic not heavily covered by the masses of crime shows flooding our airwaves.

Stalker begins this Sunday night (April 12th) 9:30pm on Channel 9