CliqueClack TV

What’s this show called … The Finder?

Each week I review a show that's new to me. Good idea, or punishment (mine or yours)? You be the judge. But either way, if I had to watch it, the least you can do is read what I have to say....

I was wholly unprepared for what I was getting myself into when I sat down to watch The Finder. I knew that the show was about Iraq War vet Walter Sherman (Geoff Stults), an investigator with the unusual ability to find things that others can’t, but then what does that mean? Unclear, but with John Coffey from The Green Mile (Michael Clarke Duncan) co-starring, I figured it was worth finding out.

This is one series where I could see the argument for multiple viewings before making a call. In some ways I was reminded of Terriers, although there’s no question that the chemistry between the actors on The Finder can’t be compared to the awesomeness of the gone-but-not-forgotten Hank (Donal Logue) and Britt (Michael Raymond-James). Geoff Stults is the guy you know you’ve seen on tons of shows (although I still can’t place him even after browsing his IMDb page) … he brings a level of familiarity and comfort with him to his portrayal of Walter that allows you to connect with him despite his peculiarities. And while I don’t know that Leo Knox (Duncan) would play that well on his own in this setting, alongside Walter he works.

It’s the conceit of the show that I think likely takes time to get used to. There’s a subtly to what Walter does — in many ways he’s not that different from a detective, although he’s not solving crimes — that isn’t obvious in a single viewing. Sure he “found a meal” (really a chef) in the episode I saw, which is different, but how many things can he find that would make this series so different from crime solving shows? Only repeat viewings would tell you that.

Which means that what’s necessary to get viewers to tune in again are solid characters and good writing. In addition to Walter and Leo, the cast includes Deputy U.S. Marshal Isabel Zambada (Mercedes Masöhn) and Willa Monday (Maddie Hasson). Isabel is Walter’s love interest — and, I assume, the only thing that legitimizes what he does for a living — while Willa, a not-quite-reformed thief, looks to be Leo’s project.

Isabel has potential. She wasn’t around much this episode, but I think she adds an interesting edge to the show. What I wasn’t crazy about was the “we’re two people having fun but you’re not relationship material so we’re not a couple” vibe surrounding Isabel and Walter. Either have them date or don’t … the pro forma drama that comes with non-official couples never pays off as much as shows clearly think. It’s just not worth going down that road.

Willa, on the other hand, seemed more like she was there to give Leo something to do. She’s surly and sullen and clearly not very appreciative of the second chance she’s been given working with the team. The character obviously needs to maintain the crook in her — otherwise she wouldn’t be a three dimensional character as written — but it would have been nice to get the impression that she was at least having a semi-decent time being there.

Some moments of note:

  • When Federico Vasquez (Alex Fernandez) stood up and said “This restaurant is closed.” I don’t know, but there was something so cheesy about the moment. It was hilarious!
  • Willy Wonka was referenced, but specifically the Gene Wilder Wonka, not the Johnny Depp one. Um, no?
  • Walter was talking about the “smoke monster,” a reference to the way that Alejandro Lopez-Fernando (Ignacio Serricchio) cooks. He couldn’t remember what series had used that moniker … anybody?
  • Isabel’s birth control alert going off on her phone. Always a lady!
Photo Credit: FOX

2 Responses to “What’s this show called … The Finder?”

April 18, 2012 at 4:54 PM

It’s worth watching again. It’s light fare but I find the interaction between the characters to be great and I like this spin on the detective serial.

April 19, 2012 at 5:09 AM

The Finder is based on a series of novels, much like the show Bones. While the novels do not share the same universe, on TV they decided that they would be good companion series which is why the Finder was sort of a spin-off of Bones … and why characters from Bones have been featured on various episodes of The Finder.

The “back-door pilot” that aired as an episode of Bones was a bit different in tone but more or less the same idea as the actual show … they decided to go with a lighter tone for the actual series.

As for what the Walter does … he doesn’t really solve crimes … he just finds what people are looking for … whether or not it is ACTUALLY what they REALLY are looking for … usually life is much more complicated and Walter will find the truth behind what people seek (regardless of whether it is what they thought they wanted)

It is an interesting idea (I haven’t read any of the novels) … and it makes for some easy-going TV … which is nice when most of the other procedural shows are pretty dark (criminal minds, for instance)

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