The Equalizer (2021) s01e01

They don’t use the song.

The movies didn’t use the song either, did they? I love that old “Equalizer” theme song. Stewart Copeland.

Anyway.

“The Equalizer: 2021” is Taken with Queen Latifah only she’s an altruist and not only using her very particular set of skills to help family members in danger. She’s got a teenage daughter, Laya DeLeon Hayes, and an aunt, Lorraine Toussaint, so undoubtedly they’ll be in danger at some point in the show should it go on long enough.

Latifah’s also got sidekicks because it’s 2021 and everyone’s got to have their team. She’s got former CIA mentor Chris Noth (fully embracing the silver fox thing finally), hacker Adam Goldberg, and sniper Liza Lapira. Lapira and Goldberg are married because they never met anyone else with so little charisma in an easy caricature part (it’s particularly sad to watch Goldberg miss trying to recapture the depth of his Dazed and Confused stoner). She’s got a trendy Manhattan bar and he’s officially dead but lives in a Lex Luthor converted subway lair. It’s not a good lair, unfortunately. It’s pretty boring, in fact.

The pilot has Latifah saving Lorna Courtney from being assaulted and finding out Courtney’s on the run after being digitally framed. Could it somehow involve self-driving car tech bro Michael Rady?

Also there’s cop Tory Kittles, who’s after Courtney, but is actually a good guy—even Latifah thinks he’s a good guy after his lengthy monologue about being a good guy actually. Presumably the series will do something with Kittles and Latifah’s chemistry, which isn’t great, but isn’t non-existent like Goldberg and Lapira’s.

It’s interesting to see a very standard eighties not cop cop procedural done in 2021—though, not really because it’s pre-Covid and feels very dated—but the script’s not good. Co-creator and co-writer Andrew W. Marlowe wrote some truly godawful scripts in the late nineties and hasn’t improved. So there’s nothing creative in the writing, but Latifah’s fun to watch beating up shitty dudes. And Noth’s, you know, Noth.

Maybe Goldberg and Lapira and the writing will get better.

Also maybe not… Probably not. Marlowe’s a curse.

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