Mr. & Mrs. Smith -- A look at the pilot script
ABC had garnered a fair amount of press over this one because of the obvious tie-in to the Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie movie. The big news is that the creators of the movie are back for the TV show. Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Swingers) and Simon Kinberg (X-Men: The Last Stand) have signed on to try and transform their movie to the small screen.
Based only on the script, I think they have succeeded. If you have seen the movie, you'll feel right at home in this world. It once again tries to balance the marriage of John and Jane with their unconventional career choices. There is some fun stuff as we learn about their home life. John's ongoing references to what Dr. Phil has to say are funny, as is a scene where John finds himself at poker night with the ladies of the neighborhood.
Along with that, as you would expect, there are some high energy action scenes filled with guns, knives, fisticuffs, and international intrigue. The opening scene, which finds our heroes trapped in the back of a runaway car looks to set the stage for the action part of the show very well. It reads like Alias, with less angst.
Of course, the move from the page to the screen is a big step. Given that these are the same people that made the movie, I'm confident that the look and feel are going to be there. The big question will be in how the actors chosen for the roles come across in these parts. For the most part, I'm optimistic on that front.
I really like Jordana Brewster as Jane. Aside from the fact that she's a knockout, I think she can handle the high-tech spy action. We saw a little bit of that with her role in D.E.B.S. That movie was more to the spoof side of the genre, but she was one of the highlights.
Martin Henderson is a little more of a wild-card for me. He was very charming in Bride & Prejudice, and he had his share of action in Torque. I'm not completely sold on him as the leading man, but willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
The rest of the cast, as of now anyway, is filled out with Julia Ormond as Jane's boss, Mother, Rebecca Mader (Justice) as Jane's partner Jordan, and Bridgette Wilson (The $treet) as the Smith's neighbor Ann. That's a pretty good start to a cast.
So, with all that said, I'm really looking forward to the show. It sets up nicely to be episodic, but it's got a little something different than the vast collection of cop and lawyer shows out there. The fly in the ointment though...is that the high-tech gadgety spy/detective show is a hard sell.
Over the past few years there have been quite a few of these that I liked that just never caught on with an audience. Spy Game (Linden Ashby, Allison Smith), Eyes (Tim Daly), Snoops (Gina Gershon, Paula Marshall), Three (Julie Bowen, Edward Atterton), and my favorite of the bunch, Mr. & Mrs. Smith (Scott Bakula, Maria Bello) all have one thing in common. Aside from being in the same genre, none of them managed to make it through their first season.
That doesn't seal the fate of the new Mr. & Mrs. Smith. TV is a strange place where occasionally the most unlikely of shows finds a place to flourish. It doesn't exactly instill a lot of confidence either. We'll know next week whether or not ABC is going to gamble on picking this one up for the fall. Should they pass, fans of John and Jane's story can hang on to the hope found in rumors of another movie.