Crime dramas are my thing; I mentioned it in an earlier post and I’ll mention it again. I just can’t get enough of them, the good ones at least. I tend to think I have relatively good taste when it comes to the genre. I mean, who doesn’t like Hawaii Five-0, 24, the C.S.I series (Miami more so), The Blacklist, Narcos?.. the list is endless. A few months ago, I tried out a relatively new crime drama series in F.B.I and I went into it not expecting much; I wasn’t convinced it would be as good as most of my favourites are or have been.
In hind sight, having watched all 22 episodes of Season 1, I’d say I was both right and wrong in my early assessment. Right in the sense that it lacks some essential bits that the likes of 24 or Hawaii Five-O excel in. Wrong in the sense that the episodes have very interesting criminal cases which provide the right kind of tension and drama that a typical audience member needs. Furthermore, there’s a distinct and compelling score by Atli Örvarsson in the episodes which perfectly compliment the happenings of certain scenes.
Summarily, I can say I enjoyed Season 1 because it possessed a lot of great elements which I think should carry on to to the next season. Nonetheless, there’s equally a lot of room of improvement, hence this feature article. Here’s a short list of things that we should expect of Season 2, slated to premiere on September 24th of this year.
1. ENHANCED CHARACTER DEPTH & DEVELOPMENT.
Special agents Maggie Bell and Omar “O.A” Zidan , played exceptionally by Melissa Peregrym and Zeeko Zaki respectively, have almost everything you want in a crime drama leads. They can pull off incredible and daring stunts, they are intimidating, they can do the crime drama talk real good… what more would you want from them? Well, a substantial amount of character depth and development would be useful, thank you very much! Yes, I know the episodes are all about the crimes from their development, their build-up and their resolution. However, there should be some meaningful focus on the lives of the main characters in amongst the crime solving.
To be fair though, there are some isolated cases in Season 1 that prove otherwise i.e. the investigation of Jason Bell’s murder (Maggie’s husband) and the drug trafficking arc which Zidan’s cousin is involved in; both characters have some development and depth in the latter. Are the instances enough though? Not in the very least.
That said, the ending of Season 1 teased something interesting as far as Bell and Zidan’s relationship is concerned when Zidan asks her out while they walk into an elevator; perhaps a possible romance in the upcoming season? Who knows? A romantic arc between the two wouldn’t be all that bad going forward as it will act as a “pull away” from all the tension and drama and possibly provide an avenue for enhanced character depth and development.
2. UNDERLYING SERIAL STORIES.
The above subtitle might be a bit hard to understand for the layman so I’ll go ahead and explain it. A serial story is basically continuing plot that unfolds in a sequential episode-by-episode fashion; in the case of a T.V series, or even a film franchise.
Season 1 of F.B.I is bereft of compelling serialized storytelling and I think, or rather I believe, Season 2 would be so much better if it incorporated an exciting and riveting serial story all through alongside the standalone crime investigation stories. A good example of this would be having the Mexican drug cartel which Agent Bell busted at the end of Season 1, go on a witch hunt for her from the beginning of Season 2 until the final episodes. In this way, the audience’s connection to the different story arcs and the characters involved would be strengthened even more.
3. A LONG-STANDING VILLAIN
Where there is a great hero(es), there’s a great villain(s). I believe that when you’re focused on two crime fighting F.B.I agents through the course of an entire season, watching them solve crimes episode-by-episode (sometimes almost effortlessly), there needs to be a long standing villain. Plain and simple. A villain who will provide considerable challenge to the heroes; the hard to kill/capture type whose arc spans the whole season.
Going back to the example I gave previously, Bell and Zidan can go up against the new leader of the Mexican drug cartel in Season 2; one who is out for revenge after what transpired in the last episode of season 1. Shows like Hawaii Five-0 and 24 have had some great long standing villains and I think F.B.I can tear a page or two from the mentioned shows going forward.
(Imagery courtesy of CBS Network)