The Telefile

The Finder: No Bones About It

by Angel Cohn January 13, 2012 6:00 am
<I>The Finder</I>: No <i>Bones</I> About It

This show was created as a spinoff of Bones, and they did a backdoor pilot during the course of the last season (which was awkward and terrible, like those things usually are). But the official premiere episode of The Finder didn't really have much in common with Bones at all: there was no quirky science, little in the way of gross corpses and no FBI agents. Instead, we got a former military man who has a special gift (not a learned one, like Brennan), a reluctant U.S. Marshal who helps him out on occasion, a big beefy partner and an insufferable juvenile delinquent serving probation at his bar for no real reason. The best and most original thing going for the show is the cute little maze in the title logo. In fact, this procedural "drama" feels more like a USA Network program than the spinoff of a once-clever Fox medical cop show.

Seriously, watching The Finder, you can check off all of the signature elements that have made most USA series such lighthearted, largely forgettable fluff. Attractive stars? Geoff Stults and Maddie Hasson are easy enough on the eyes (she even ends up scantily clad in the middle of the premiere). A job they are undeniably the best at? Yup, Walter is the best "finder" on the planet and can locate any missing thing/person -- even John Fogerty's missing guitar. Familiar faces? Stults has surely done his share of TV, and Michael Clarke Duncan is hard to forget. Set in a scenic locale like Miami or the Hamptons? The Florida Keys fit that bill. People getting beaten up and/or killed, like on Covert Affairs and Burn Notice? Indeed, Marshal Isabel totes a weapon at all times and Leo fits the bill for a heavy. A troubled past like Mike on Suits or Annie with her boyfriend on Covert Affairs or Michael on Burn Notice? Walter has issues with the military that have forced him to live a bit off the grid, taking the cases he wants for fun and profit. Comic relief like Sam Axe or Auggie? Sure, thanks to some back and forth banter, most notably between Walter and Leo. A stupid title like Royal Pains or Burn Notice? Hey, it's called The Finder. And he has to repeatedly mention that he FINDS things in every episode. That fits our definition of dumb title.

Unfortunately, this show airs on Fox, not USA, so it seems a little out of place. With the dud that was Terra Nova, lackluster seasons of House , Fringe and Bones itself on a downhill slide (the less said about Glee, the better), this unremarkable new show isn't exactly what you'd call a good sign for the network. Then again, there may still be a large audience of viewers for the American Idol results show who find themselves too exhausted from that mental challenge to expend the effort required to change the channel on their remotes. As for us, we'll just wait for our favorite USA shows to come back instead.

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