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Spring 2012 Review: The Finder

27 Jan

The Finder, a spin off from the Fox’s Bones from the same creator, should really be (like Bones as well, from what I know of it) on USA.  (disclaimer: I have embarrassingly never seen a full episode of Bones, so what I know about it is mostly taken from what I’ve read on wikipedia and what I’ve seen from snippets from accidentally leaving TNT on after Law & Order is over.  I hope to remedy this, but it hasn’t happened yet)  It has every aspect of a USA show down pat.

First, a short description of The Finder.  The titular finder is Walter Sherman, a former major in the military who was discharged after serious brain surgery.  He seems mostly all right, surprisingly, after this brain injury, but it has left him ( or kept the same, it’s unclear what changed after the inury) with a preternatural gift for finding things, or people, and any things or people, but it has also left him with some mental problems, including, friends worry, a possible breakdown if he can’t find something he’s looking for, which is his single-minded obsession.

He resides at a bar in the Florida Keys with best friend and lawyer Leo Knox (portrayed by Michael Clarke Duncan) where he waits for clients to show up asking for something to be found.  In the beginning of the first episode, he finds a guitar for John Fogerty (good get, he sings Fortunate Son, and the theme song) and the body and story behind a deceased air force member’s disappearance for his son who comes in looking for him.  Rounding out the character list are Willa Monday, a gypsy and small time teenage criminal who is out on probation working at the bar (it shows how terrible I am at determining age, as I thought the actress who plays Monday, Maddie Hasson, had to be in her early 20s, but she just turned 17) and Deputy U.S. Marshall Isabel Zambada, with whom Walter seems to have a friendly and romantic relationship.  Walter and Zambada also appear to help each other on occasion professionally.

Now, The Finder as it relates to the USA prototype.  A two-fer main team sets it up right next to Psych, White Collar, and Royal Pains (and actually Sherlock, not on USA, as well).  Like all three of these shows, The Finder has a main character who has extraordinary skills, not quite supernatural, but far above the abilities of a regular person.  The second main character is responsible for harnessing these abilities, making sure they are used in the best way possible.  The Finder, likes these other shows, contains traces of slight darkness, just so we don’t get too happy, that we could have to deal with over the course of the show, such as Walter’s potential mental imbalance (actually Psych doesn’t have that at all, it’s mostly just comedy, but for White Collar it would be the constant concern Neil will turn back to his criminal lifestyle).  These shows also feel like they’re on mood medication – there’s no unrestrained highs or lows, and because of the lack of lows in particular, the highs aren’t necessarily as high.  The same factor that makes these shows so easy to watch a random episode of is what makes them not draw you in and captivate you enough to watch every single episode in order (even though I do for a couple of them, so hypocritical of me, but the point stands).  It makes them good, but makes it difficult for them to be great.

Will I watch it again?  Honestly, probably I won’t in any sort of regular fashion, but I don’t have any real objection to it.  The premise is not a bad twist on every other show exactly like this and I like Michael Clarke Duncan.  I didn’t not enjoy watching the episode, I just don’t necessarily feel compelled to come back.  Could be ideal watching when I don’t really want to pay attention to something, or when it hits its fifth season and starts having Sunday TNT marathons.