tek's rating: pending

Stumptown, on ABC, Wednesdays at 10PM
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This is based on a comic book I've never even heard of. The title refers to a nickname for Portland, Oregon, where the show is set. It's about a former Marine named Dex Parios (Cobie Smulders), whose life is kind of a wreck. She has PTSD, and has been unable to hold a job since leaving the military, and has gambling debts, and likes to drink a bit more than she probably should. She also blames herself for the death of her former lover, who had joined the Marines because of her. We also occasionally see the mother of her late boyfriend, Sue Lynn Blackbird, a tribal casino owner with considerable influence in Portland, with whom Dex has a rather complicated relationship. Less complicated is Dex's relationship with her younger brother, Ansel, who has Down Syndrome; the two of them are very close. Dex also has a friend named Grey McConnell (Jake Johnson), an ex-con who now owns a bar called Bad Alibi. Grey is also friends with Ansel, and employs him as a barback. Dex also has a sort of friend-with-benefits, a police detective named Miles Hoffman (Michael Ealy). And we occasionally see his boss, Lt. Cosgrove (Camryn Manheim). Another recurring character is a food truck owner named Tookie.

Well, it's a couple of episodes before Dex decides to become a private investigator, though in those first couple episodes she basically does the work of a P.I., without a license. To get her license, she needs to get some experience working with an active private investigator, and there are a couple of episodes where she works with a shady P.I. named Artie Banks (Donal Logue). Things don't go particularly well between them, but he does help her get her license sooner than she would have with a more reputable detective. Other than that... I'm not sure right now what else to say about the show. It's a little bit quirky, I guess, but also a bit dark. And I guess it's a good mix of drama and humor. And I look forward to see how it all develops, over time. Meanwhile, I do like the characters.


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