With the summer season upon us, broadcast television becomes a wasteland of reality programs and reruns, right? Not so fast. On Thursday, June 21st, ABC will debut its new scripted dramedy, Take Two. So, having watched two episodes of the program, is this summer show worth a second look?
Take Two picks up just as former crime show starlet Sam Swift (Rachel Bilson) is leaving her stint at a rehab facility. But it’s not all bad news, though, as she soon learns she’s been offered a part in a feature film. In a bid to add some authenticity to the role, Swift decides she needs to shadow a private investigator and see how they work. Thankfully, her agent knows a down-on-his-luck P.I. who owes her a favor, Eddie Valetik (Eddie Cibrian). With that, the unlikely duo is off the races. Along the way, Swift’s actor instincts prove valuable to the investigation despite a few bumps in the road and yada yada yada they become partners.
As you can probably tell by my blow off synopsis, there’s not that much that’s original about Take Two. Any junior TV buff or binge watcher could surely rattle off a list of shows featuring two leads who can’t stand each other but are forced to work together, eventually cementing their bond. Additionally, the “outsider brings a new perspective” trope has also been well worn. That said, I still found myself enjoying the show for the semi-procedural comedy/action/drama that it was.
To me, the main source of what makes Take Two work is star Rachel Bilson. Just like in some of her previous roles in films like The Last Kiss or show’s such as How I Met Your Mother, I found Bilson’s Sam Swift to be remarkably likable… which comes at the expense of the show’s “bad girl on the mend” plot point. Perhaps I’m naive in that sense, but that part of her backstory and those apparent years of substance abuse just don’t really present themselves in her performance.
With that out of the way, one thing I will say is that I’m interested to see what a typical episode of Take Two entails. Part of me expected the second episode of the show to be purely a case of the week adventure, but it still managed to include elements of a larger arc. Given my concerns about said arc, I’d actually like to see the show take on a more traditional procedural structure and forgo some of the drama. In other words, it might as well just go ahead and be the USA Network show it seems to want to be.
All in all, ABC’s Take Two is dumb fun, but fun nonetheless. Given its summer premiere slot, I wouldn’t expect too much of a future or audience for the show and it doesn’t quite seem to fit the ABC mold (he said having never seen Castle, which shares an EP with this program…). Then again, with Disney looking to take control of Hulu and doubling down on direct-to-consumer offerings, perhaps Take Two can have a second act somewhere out there if its broadcast ambitions don’t pan out. In any case, if you’re looking for something scripted and not too mind-consuming this summer, Take Two isn’t a bad option.
I give ABC’s Take Two 3.5 out of 5 psychic visions — I mean — actor intuitions. The show premieres June 21st at 10 p.m.
Kyle is a writer living in Springfield, MO. His deep love of Disney and other pop culture finds its way into his stories, scripts, and tweets. His first book “The E-Ticket Life: Stories, Essays, and Lessons Learned from My Decidedly Disney Travels” is available in paperback and for Kindle. http://amzn.to/1CStAhV