Table of Contents
Photo: ‘Trigger Point’
A Refreshing Take on the Classic Concept
When thinking of most police or military action dramas or movies, the first thought that comes to mind for me, right or wrong, is using violence to achieve the goal of “saving the day.” We think of a brave armed service member or outnumbered officer shooting and outthinking their way out of a difficult and hairy situation, ala ‘Die Hard’, ‘Rambo’ or the most recent entry for television ‘The Terminal List.’ These shows are built this way because that makes them exciting and gives our characters, chiefly the protagonist, clearly defined stakes and an opportunity to root for them. ‘Trigger Point’ falls within the same sort of shared universe but is very far from being a carbon copy of one of those types of shows.
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Starring Vicky McClure as expo (explosives) officer Lana Washington, the series is focused on showing us an entirely different, albeit equally as enticing side of the police business. As Lana, McClure is one of two officers alongside her fellow expo officer Joel Nutkins (Adrien Lester) who are called to the scene of an alleged bomb threat to investigate and if necessary, detonate the explosives on scene. Sharing the crime scene with a SWAT-type team loaded to the gills with guns gives for a really interesting contrast for our two expo officers who are on hand to prevent the loss of life as opposed to being prepared to take it. No doubt, a sometimes necessary endeavor if it can prevent more civilian casualties, but in this case we see the work of the expo officers play out without the need for gun violence from the squad.
The stakes of identifying and needing to decide whether a bomb will detonate or not are inherently there, but the writing is very well done to continue to amp up both the tension and the stakes. Each scene and act builds upon itself like all good procedurals do, but from the jump, we are introduced to some incredibly heart-pulsing sequences that really do a tremendous job of keeping you on the edge of your seat. Following these expo officers from their first entrance on the scene to the ultimate concussion of whatever will happen with the explosive or not is truly a very interesting and eye-opening experience. For all the reasons listed above, we always equate the cops and heroes of our film and television with being the ones able to shoot and kill to save the day, but the reality is the work of these expo officers is even more critical to preventing as much loss of life as possible.
‘Trigger Point’ – Good Shows Need Good Chemistry
Looking back at the greatest shows of all time there is always one distinct requirement, chemistry. Whether it be sitcoms like ‘Friends’ or ‘The Office’, or dramas such as ‘The Sopranos’ or ‘Breaking Bad’, there always needs to be some sort of element of strong chemistry (especially in the case of ‘Breaking Bad’) between the protagonist and their sidekick. Such is the case here in ‘Trigger Point’ with the relationship between Lana and her co-expo officer Joel. From the jump, we are presented with two close friends sharing a passion for their work who are not afraid to tease and joke with each other. They do so in an incredibly loving and fun way, while never losing sight of the stakes at hand for what their actual work entails.
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The character’s relationship is fascinating as it comes across as incredibly genuine. She, a late 30s white woman, and he, a black man in his middle age, have this shared bond and passion for what they do that gives them a strong backing. We don’t learn much of it in the first episode, but Joel mentions the types of explosives they were both used to in Afghanistan, giving them a solid potential shared backstory. After all, it takes a special kind of person to be willing to strap in and put their life on the line in the face of imminent danger so for them to have found each other’s friendship and company is not entirely surprising, though it does come across refreshing.
A New Look for Peacock
Peacock has had an interesting run as a streamer in its first two years. It has survived largely by relying on the existence of its old original content from NBC like ‘The Office’ and ‘Parks and Recreation’ as a draw for audiences to subscribe after they were able to access those shows on Netflix for so long. Picking up an English original that aired on ITV initially is something we have come to expect from an HBO Max or an Amazon that has the ability to take a chance and miss on a show or two.
Choosing to go down the international route with ‘Trigger Point’ is a really interesting change in strategy for the streamer that is still trying to figure out what it is, which makes it all the more intriguing of a move. This kind of maneuver to get into international space is a bold step for the newest of streamers. This is the kind of play that is needed to either make Peacock a legitimate contender or see it fall completely flat. The streamer has been chugging along thus far on the strength of old NBC shows and the charming but not world-changing ‘Rutherford Falls.’ It will be really interesting to see if ‘Trigger Point’ is able to make a splash for the streamer and help it to stand out amongst its peers.
After all, it is something of a proven concept already. It’s been a while and insane to think about but we are 14 years removed from the Kathryn Bigelow best director-winning film ‘The Hurt Locker’ starring Jeremy Renner about armed forces working to dismantle explosive devices in the middle east. The two share a similar concept, though I am thus far more interested in ‘Trigger Point’ and what it has in store for its audience in terms of a storyline and to learn more and go on the journey with Lana Washington’s character. All episodes of ‘Trigger Point’ season 1 are streaming now on Peacock.
Cast: Vicky McClure and Adrien Lester | Directed By: Gilles Bannier and Jennie Darnell | Written By: Daniel Brierly
By Mark Raymond
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Mark Raymond is a writer and screenwriter who believes himself to be the only person desiring to work in film who originated in New York and currently resides in Los Angeles. Mark was inspired to write from a young age and has always desired to connect and uplift others through his work, as those that motivated him did for him. Mark feels very strongly that the world could use a lot more positivity and optimism, and is therefore very aligned to the mission of The Hollywood Insider to not spread hate or gossip, but instead to build each other up and shine a positive light on anyone bold enough to put their heart and soul into a piece of art. In his writing, Mark aims to use his signature wit to highlight the severity of the more serious and pressing issues of our time, to shine a beacon of light through the darkness. A devoted ally to all, he seeks to inspire and use his platform to give a voice to the voiceless and let his readers know that while everything may not be great right now, one day it can and will be.