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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

Profiler: Season 1 (review)

Clearly inspired by The X-Files — think, “Hey, let’s do moody FBI stuff without all the aliens and monsters!” — this late 90s NBC series pits the too-astonishingly genius criminal psychologist Dr. Sam Waters against all manner of insane madmen out to taunt and tease her with their bizarre murders. Alas, the gloomy stylishness gets undermined by the show’s dogged insistence on portraying Sam as both utterly brilliant and adamantly tormented while simultaneously avoiding all hints of humor — the self-importance on display is alternately hilarious and irritating. And series star Ally Walker is no David Duchovny; her actorly repertoire consists mostly of moistly open-mouthed pouts to indicate bewilderment and scrunched-up eyes to demonstrate deep thought, with a toss of her long blond hair for everything else. She may well have been FBI Barbie — “Profiling is fun!” — before The Bad Thing happened to her: serial killer Jack of All Trades killed her husband, and now he continually toys with Sam, which the series depicts with a perverse kind of glee. Extras are minimal and include a commentary track with Walker and costar Robert Davi on the pilot, and the set inexplicably omits one episode, so completists will be disappointed.


MPAA: not rated

viewed at home on a small screen

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