Stumptown: Cobie Smulders Leads Adaptation

ABC's "Stumptown" stars Camryn Manheim as Lieutenant Cosgrove, Adrian Martinez as Tookie, Michael Ealy as Detective Miles Hoffman, Cobie Smulders as Dex Parios, Jake Johnson as Grey McConnell, Cole Sibus as Ansel Parios, and Tantoo Cardinal as Sue Lynn Blackbird. (ABC/Matthias Clamer)

Cobie Smulders leads Stumptown as the adaptation of the graphic novel series made its series premiere on Wednesday night.

Through flashbacks, we learn that Dex Parios (Cobie Smulders) used to serve in military intelligence.  Yet she also isn’t the easiest person to work with.  She has gambling debt up the wazoo with Sue Lynn Blackbird’s (Tantoo Cardinal) casino.  At the same time, Dex is the first person that casino owner Sue Lynn turns when grandaughter Nina (Blu Hunt) is missing.

Basically, Dex has yet to become an official private investigator in the initial Portland-set pilot. Events transpire that pave the way to do so especially teaming up with Detective Miles Hoffman (Michael Ealy) in searching for Nina.  Anyway, Dex lives with her disabled brother Ansel (Cole Sibus), who also works at Grey McConnell’s (Jake Johnson) bar.

One thing to know about Dex is that she is bisexual.  While we don’t see this in the pilot, I’m hopeful we’ll see the depiction of her sexuality going forward.  Regardless, it’s a win for LGBTQ representation and adds to the bisexual tally.  The series premiere also comes after Bisexual Visibility Day, too.

The music in general is great in the pilot.  There are so many classic rock songs being used.  Granted these songs are almost as old as the car itself.  Cassette tapes feel so rare to see these days in a digital-heavy world!

It’s always nice to see a comic book or graphic novel series that isn’t heavy on visual effects.  The visual effects are certainly limited in the pilot but they make great use when they do use them.  For instance, the opening is exactly the type of open that this kind of show needs.  It catches our eyes and gets attention.  Plus, you can never go wrong with using Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.”  Okay, so it’s somewhat for comical effect but still fun to watch nonetheless.

Pilots have a lot of work to do.  They have to introduce characters while also moving along at a brisk pace.  The Stumptown backstory gets set up rather well if you ask me.  Obviously, you’re in a better position if you read the Greg Rucka-penned series.  If you haven’t, it’s still enjoyable.  You can never really go wrong with Cobie Smulders.  I love what she does with the role in the pilot.  As for as the series itself, Stumptown displays some promise as a television series and I can’t wait to see more episodes of the series.

“Forget it Dex, It’s Stumptown”
DIRECTOR:  James Griffiths
SCREENWRITER:  Jason Richman
PRODUCERS:  Jason Richman, Ruben Fleischer, David Bernad, Greg Rucka, Matthew Southworth, Justin Greenwood
CAST:  Cobie Smulders, Jake Johnson, Tantoo Cardinal, Cole Sibus, Adrian Martinez, with Camryn Manheim and Michael Ealy

Produced by ABC Studios, Stumptown airs Wednesday nights on ABC at 10 PM ET/PT. Grade: 4/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.