STUMPTOWN Season 1 Premiere Spoiler-Free Review; "Cobie Smulders Is Amazing"

Based on the series of graphic novels by Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth, Stumptown is the latest comic book to be brought to the small screen and we're now reviewing last night's premiere on ABC...

Reviews Opinion
These days, it's hard to find a network that doesn't have a series based on a comic book as part of its line up and that might explain why ABC's Stumptown has flown under the radar over the past few months. Starring Spider-Man: Far From Home's Cobie Smulders as Dex Parios, the show follows the damaged Army veteran as she embarks on a new career as a private investigator. Using the skills she learned while in the military, Dex drinks and gambles too much, all while dealing with PTSD and the death of the man she loved. It's a fairly familiar premise in some ways but Smulders elevates the character in a way that will ensure you instantly start rooting for her brash, tough as nails, P.I. 

Things start off strong with some killer action and a great soundtrack that remains a constant throughout the premiere. The "Three Days Earlier" trope is a little tired and the approach to Dex's origin story is definitely heavy on exposition but well choreographed fight scenes and some solid twists and turns as she investigates the case of a missing girl should be more than enough to keep you hooked. As effective as this opening episode is in many ways, it's a shame it doesn't boast a much stronger story as there's an awful lot here that feels familiar and it will now be down to future instalments to deliver cases which hopefully take us down routes which aren't quite so safe. If not, Stumptown runs the risk of becoming just another generic piece of weekly episodic crime television.

However, the introduction of what may be a very unique big bad and supporting characters who definitely have a lot of potential (Jake Johnson might just end up being a standout) help matters a great deal. It's Cobie Smulders who steals the show, however, as she elevates the material in a big way and, for Marvel fans, this could just be the Maria Hill series you've been dreaming of. 

Dex works outside the law and something the show definitely deserves credit for is making that feel real. There are too many shows out there (Jessica Jones, for example) where someone like this can do pretty much whatever they like without consequence but as Dex takes matters into her own hands with the law in hot pursuit, it really does feel like there's some risk to her action and that makes this story a lot easier to invest in. By the time the premiere ends, the stage is set Stumptown to be a show that might very well be essential viewing if it can build on these foundations and deliver a series which is able to stand out from the crowd on a weekly basis. Right now, it's Smulders who is carrying that weight and she will only be able to elevate the material for so long before viewers potentially lose interest. 

Cobie Smulders is amazing in Stumptown and with plenty of awesome action and a lead it's easy to root for, the series has all the makings of must-watch television providing it can up the ante moving forward. 

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