BWW Review: Rucka & Southworth's Graphic Novel STUMPTOWN Premieres as ABC's Break-Out Fall Show to Watch!
When you first hear the word "graphic novel," you likely think about superheroes, but there are so many more genres in the comic book business. Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth created STUMPTOWN, a four-issue hard-boiled detective series that has jumped from page to screen this fall season. Whether it's around the water cooler or on social media, the premiere everyone has been talking about so far is ABC's Stumptown, starring Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother, The Avengers). The show airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m.
A strong first episode is always important in ensuing a show's future in its early days. Shows get canned quickly, and if buzz is there from the very beginning, as it was when Stumptown first debuted this past week, it's a good indicator that the show will stick around for a while. Throw in a well-known actress such as Smulders, whom is known for both her starring role as Robin in the long-running comedy How I Met Your Mother and as her more action-packed role in Marvel's Cinematic Universe, where she has played S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill in six MCU movies, beginning with the first Avengers film in the franchise. Stumptown marks a change of pace from her first TV series, but fans of her MCU work won't be surprised by her more serious, action-packed, bad-ass role in Stumptown.
Smulders stars as Dex Parios, an Afghanistan war vet with a gambling problem. She has PTSD and has never gotten over things that happened in her past. She gambles them away and is in debt. When tribal casino owner Sue Lynn Blackbird offers to wipe her debt away if Dex finds her kidnapped granddaughter, Dex's life takes a new direction as she gets tangled up with the Portland Police Bureau. The series will follow her becoming a Private Investigator and taking matters into her own hands. The series also stars two other TV series vets, Michael Ealy as Detective Miles Hoffman (Almost Human, Barbershop) and Jake Johnson as bar owner Grey McConnell (New Girl, Let's Be Cops). The show already hits at a love triangle between the three, with chemistry between Dex and both men.
The series also features Cole Sibus (Spare Room) as Dex's brother Ansel, who has Down Syndrome and works helping Grey at his bar. The relationship between Dex and her brother was a highlight of the first episode and the two had some great interactions with one another that really elevated the show.
Stumptown has a lot of promise, and all of its actors have great chemistry with one another and really brought the show to life. Smulders slips right into the new role and will surprise a lot of people who only knew her as a comedic actor. Stumptown is definitely this fall's new show to watch! You can catch the first episode On Demand now, and the rest of the season will air Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.