“The Equalizer” represents both of those a variation of its style and as straight up a CBS drama as they arrive. Borne out of the cult ‘80s CBS display starring Edward Woodward and 2014 blockbuster starring Denzel Washington, the 2021 iteration of “The Equalizer” mashes the two variations jointly to generate a standard exhibit that leans on its star to retain factors appealing. It is easy to fully grasp why CBS would lender on that mix operating in the usually buzzy put up-Super Bowl slot it’s significantly less distinct if this initially episode will be uniquely gripping sufficient to seize a massive enough viewers to justify the preference.
Like Woodward and Washington before her, Latifah’s Equalizer is a former distinctive agent who decides to aid individuals additional specifically, bypassing supervision and the ensuing bureaucratic purple tape altogether. When we very first meet her, on the other hand, Robyn McCall is largely just restless her key routines are shuttling her teenage daughter (Laya DeLeon Hayes) to faculty and trading gentle banter with her aunt (Lorraine Toussaint, woefully underused in the otherwise crowded pilot episode). And nevertheless when her former mentor William (a suitably smirky Chris Noth) tries to encourage her to be a part of his lucrative personal stability company, she refuses. She’s not intrigued in going back again to the CIA, which led her to a catastrophically bungled occupation in Afghanistan, nor in providing out. As a substitute, she wants to support “the individuals I couldn’t save” — a drive that just about straight away pans out as William walks away and a distressed younger girl in will need of saving crosses her path.
As formulated by Andrew Marlowe and Terri Miller, this edition of “The Equalizer” would make an hard work to established by itself apart from the many others whilst also lining up with what a single may possibly count on from a CBS drama. Its hero is hardened but quippy, throwing out traces like, “you can not purchase back again trust” and countering the insistence that “everyone has a price” with narrowed eyes and a deadpanned, “not me.” She quickly calls on her buddies — a bespectacled hacker and wisecracking sharpshooter — to enable her with the situation of the 7 days, forming an underground group that will be recognizable to everyone perfectly-versed in community procedurals. (That retains particularly genuine supplied the reality that they are performed by Adam Goldberg and Liza Lapira, two charming actors who are extremely acquainted with broadcast ensemble displays.) The battle scenes are effective and perfunctory, and the case large stakes but very simple plenty of to get solved in 40 minutes or less. And sure, of class The Equalizer ends up managing away from a making as it explodes into flames. By the close of the 1st episode, it is obvious that the exhibit is less of a model new get on “The Equalizer” than it is a straight up take on a CBS procedural about a rogue agent with a heart of gold.
The key change that “The Equalizer” is then banking on to established it aside from the rest of the network’s lineup is the truth that its middle of gravity is Latifah, an govt producer and legitimate star who has no hassle shrugging on this newest function. A scene late in the pilot, in which Robyn gently but firmly tells her daughter that society’s odds really do not favor Black women, also underlines the show’s true motivating premise: that Robyn is a Black girl making an attempt to do correct by people who way too often drop by means of the cracks. Absent any particularly interesting twists on the procedural custom from whence it came, this “Equalizer” will do effectively to flesh out the specificity of the lady driving it.
“The Equalizer” premieres Feb. 7 soon after the Tremendous Bowl on CBS.