This article contains information that could be considered too revealing according to our spoiler policy. Proceed with caution. You can't unsee it!Reason The show doesn't premiere until January 1; we got a screener.
Should You Pony Up for Ransom?
You're not going to believe this, but there's a show about an elite team of crime-stoppers who thwart bad guys. On CBS of all places! But is Ransom as good as the three dozen other shows that are exactly like it?
What Is This Thing?
Stop me if you've heard this before, but a charismatic white dude leads a heavy focus-grouped parade of ethnicities in the ongoing battle against criminals -- many of whom are going to be kidnappers, apparently.
When Is It On?
After CBS premieres it after 60 Minutes January 1, it moves to its permanent time slot: Saturdays at 8 PM.
Why Was It Made Now?
Because there is a danger, apparently, that someone will tune into CBS at any given moment and accidentally stumble across a show where someone -- preferably a white guy in charge of a ragtag group of professionals from all races and creeds -- isn't bringing a criminal of some sort to justice. "Gah, Sheldon and his nerd friends keep talking about science... when is some evil-doer going to get his? If I don't see some baddie being brought down by some extralegal troop of mercenary crime-stoppers, I'm drafting an angry letter to Paul Ryan" may or may not be the very email my mother is composing right now.
What's Its Pedigree?
Ransom is, disappointingly, not an adaptation of the 1996 Mel Gibson picture of the same name, but rather based on the real-life exploits of real-life crisis negotiator Laurent Combalbert. For the purposes of this performance, our French hero has been replaced by an Englishman speaking with an American accent because there is only so much continental flair we are prepared to accept in Trump's America.
If you like your shows uncomplicated, your heroes more or less uncompromised and your villains dead by the third act, then Ransom is just what your court-ordered therapist has prescribed to fill the hole in your life that assorted CSIs, NCISes, and various and sundry Mentalists have been unable to address. Plus, there's a thoroughly incompetent red-headed lass (Sarah Greene) added to the crime-fighting team for no apparent reason in this first episode just because she shares a mysterious past with otherwise unflappable thwarter-of-kidnaps Eric Beaumont (Luke Roberts). Let the sparks fly as this master crime-fighter schools his young padawan on the proper way to dispense justice when you aren't bound by the rules of law.
The price for all this crime-bustin' is that you have to sit through an episode peppered with lines like "I just graduated suma cum laude at Northwestern" or "We focus on saving lives, Mr. Miller." I don't know about you, but I hear exchanges like:
"Professional negotiator...never heard that one before."
"Most people don't...until they need one."
...and I think, "You know, would it be so bad if those Greek kidnappers just held onto that kid for a few years. He'll probably get to learn a trade in the meantime." Your mileage may vary, but as of now, Ransom doesn't feature anything you won't find on any other CBS drama of the last Olympiad. For the most part, that won't bother CBS's core audience of reactionary shut-ins, but perhaps you feel differently. If that's the case, you're unlikely to see anything in Ransom that's going to drive you to abandon ship.
Perhaps you turn to your beloved after watching three solid hours of CBS procedurals and say, "You know, my dear, I fear that even with all these Scorpions and Elementarys and Criminal Mindses, there are still crimes going unpunished and complicated, crime-solving geniuses going unappreciated." You will receive no response, of course, because your beloved has long since left you for someone more interesting. So at least you've got Ransom to keep you warm at night with the reassurance that somewhere someone is making sure that fictional baddies are getting theirs, even at a time when real-life baddies most assuredly are not.