TV Review - Wisdom of the Crowd
Jeremy Piven (Entourage and Ellen) stars as Jeffrey Tanner, a rich, white guy, a tech billionaire whose daughter was murdered in San Francisco. Yet, he doesn't think the man convicted is guilty, so he develops a social media app to help solve the crime. The app allows every user to feed tips or theories. It's basically crowd-sourcing police work, which in reality already is happening. Police throughout the country and world already use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to help solve crimes. What Jeffrey does is basically centralize and privatize it.
That's the actual trick to this show and the others like it. It puts forward this idea that police work would be handled better in private hands. It says privatizing policing is better, which is the mindset of vigilantes. Some might think that's an unfair assessment of what Jeffrey and his team are doing. Some might see Jeffrey's social media app called Sophe as basically a glorified, neighborhood watch, but one that's online.
This series does make sense in a way as a reaction to so many recent TV shows that have cast doubt on the criminal justice system. Shows like Netflix's Making a Murderer, HBO's The Night Of and Netflix's The Confession Tapes, or even podcasts like Serial have collectively shown how police and prosecutors can get it wrong. Those shows have revealed how detectives and attorneys can overlook clues or even suspects, if they are over-zealous, over-confident or simply desperate to close cases for whatever reason, including political ones. This series could stand as a reaction to all of that, recognizing that someone outside the system needs to pick up the slack.
This show is a police procedural like so many on CBS and a lot of them have people at computer stations searching and investigating. When I say it doesn't distinguish itself from the crowd, that police procedural crowd, what I mean is exactly that. It's just people at computer stations, nonsensically typing. At least, in CBS' Hawaii Five-0 or NBC's Blindspot, the scenes of people at computers is broken up with cool action scenes. This series doesn't have that, so if this show is guilty of anything, it's guilty of being boring.
Running Time: 1 hr.
Sundays at 8PM on CBS.