Smart people no have feelings. . .well just *enough* feelings
Day/Time: Monday 9pm EST/8 pm CST
Where are we?: LA
The Feds are raiding a farmhouse in Ireland. . .clearly they’re after some international threat. . .nope, just a kid with a Space Shuttle shirt who hacked into NASA (which is weird, because I knew a kid who I think actually did that. . .).
Fast forward to adult him (Walter) and he’s awkwardly and coldly breaking up with a lady at a place where he’s supposed to be fixing the WiFi. So extreme genius = autism? The show explains it away with having so much left brain usage that the right brain doesn’t function, which they say controls emotion and I say nooooooot really. It’s complicated, but the brain’s lobes are interconnected, and at the base level, both sides of the brain are doing some emotional processing and it isn’t completely lateralized to one side or the other (thank you, psych degree). Anyway, we’re supposed to believe he’s an emotional robot, so fine. Also, Katherine McPhee is a waitress there and has bangs I object to and her son is clearly playing chess on the counter with salt shakers and stuff, but everybody acts like he’s troubled.
Walter is apparently friends with Finch from American Pie (psych genius), someone who looks a little like Harry from Mad Men (math genius), and a lady (mechanical engineering genius). Oh, and he’s the “computer genius”. It’s like the least appealing version possible of the Village People. They’re trying to make a difference by taking side jobs or something until the same guy from the Feds as in Ireland shows up and explains to them that the air traffic control software at LAX got corrupted and if they don’t fix it, 56 planes are going down. Oh, and he’ll pay them 50k each to fix it. Robots rejoice!
They need a place with really stable WiFi – oh, how about that diner with that weird kid who plays with sugar packets (it’s CHESS. ARGH!!!) and his mom who had way better hair on Smash? They get there, kick everybody out, and start trying to figure out what to do. Blah blah blah, corrupt files, tech jargon that isn’t that techy, blah blah blah. Also, the corruption has affected two other area airports (Burbank and Orange County, I think), so the 56 planes can’t land there. Aaaaand plot loophole closed, thankyouverymuch (oh, except Phoenix, Vegas, and Reno are all less than 90 minutes away and according to this plot don’t have corrupted software, but whatevs. . .although I think they lost all communication so not whatevs).
Attempt 1: Talk to air traffic control and get the original floppy (whhaaaaa?). – Computer Genius Village Person
Why it fails: Well, aside from computers not having floppy drives in 2014, the disk is 15 years old and nobody has it anymore.
Attempt 2: Break into the backup system and get the file. Oh, and do it quickly because it automatically backs up every 12 hours and in about 10 minutes it’ll back up the corrupted version – Psych Genius Village Person/Mechanical Engineer Genius Village Person
Why it fails: Psych Genius Village person puts it next to the car speaker, which has a magnet that erases the hard drive (ummm no, but fine).
Attempt 3: Find someone on the plane who has an analog phone and would leave it on during flight and get the software from them during a flyover over some rando airport
Why it fails: Plane is flying too fast to get the info
Attempt 4: Download the software to something that will get plugged into the plane and then the plane will fly SUPER low over rando airport, Computer Genius Village Person and AAHHH THOSE BANGS will drive in a Ferrari convertible at 200 mph under the plane, Bad Bangs will reach up, grab the cord, plug it into the computer, download the software and unplug it in time for the plane to pull up and not crash
Why it works: We’re at minute 50 and all the planes of people would die
In between, there’s McPhee trying to give a pep talk to Walter and him explaining that he’s too smart for that shit to work on him. Oh also, your kid is a genius and playing chess with condiments (THANK YOU). UGH THAT HAIR begs to be in the car b/c her son needs to see her help so he’ll respect her (ooohhh but I thought he was too smart for feelings. . .).
They also raised stakes by counting down the time until all the planes die, Math Genius Village Person kept rattling off the odds that they’d succeed (seriously, the only thing he did was calculate how many watts to set a power surge for in Attempt 2. He should be the first one voted out. And that includes McPhee), and then having fighter jets follow the planes, ready to shoot them down over the ocean if they ran out of fuel, so there wouldn’t be plane guts all over the 405.
We end with Kid Genius in a Space Shuttle shirt talking to Walter because he “recognizes his own.” Barf. They talk about rewinding their dreams because they’re so smart.
Reaction: Overall, this was a fun show. And maybe I’m swayed by the plane/computer/car sequence, but that was really awesome to watch. Katherine McPhee is WAY more likeable here than in Smash. It feels like it’s trying too hard to make it seem like nobody can understand the life of a supergenius, but having grown up around some, I’d disagree. It was a little heavy handed with all of the everything is against these guys, but it’s an easy watch although it looks like they’re heading toward a having McPhee as a love interest for Walter, and no thanks. This is not a story about romance. This is a story about robot people finding a way to contribute to society and maybe producing a few disco hits along the way.
What it’s against on my TiVo (yeah, somebody upgraded in the off-season):
Slot 1: Dancing with the Stars
Slot 2: Dallas
Verdict: I’ll give it a shot
Prediction: They’ve clearly spent a lot of money producing this show, and it’s fun enough that I think it’ll have teeth. Although, it’s up against a couple of reality strongholds, so we’ll see.
Yes to Season 2.
On-Screen Food I Want: Apple
Someone Hiding from INS: Yes
Over-dramatic Local News Promo: “Hear about the newest things your teens are looking for in Social Media!”
Very Obvious Product Placement: Volkswagen and Ferrari (although you’re in a diner, no soda? Missed opportunity. . .)
Oh my gosh! That’s: Finch!