Another day, another country, another adventure.
On Hooten and The Lady Season 1 Episode 3, the "adventure of the week" takes to Egypt, with our intrepid duo searching for the missing tomb of Alexander the Great, the legendary King of Macedonia, Babylon, Asia, and Persia.
By now you know the formula: Lady Alex sets up the story by asking permission from the authorities of whatever country they're in to look for some relic, Hooten does his rogue thing, disobeying all the rules, and hilarity ensues.
For some reason, the execution of this tale left me with a meh feeling.
Don't get me wrong, the locations were gorgeous (as usual), the McGuffin was cool, and Hooten got to interact with a mysterious woman named Melina. There was just something missing for me.
Melina is a great character, and I'd love to see her again in the series. She's smart, sexy, flirty, and kicked ass big time.
It was not a surprise that she was revealed to be one of the good guys, so having her back, if there's a second season, would be great.
The gay twist at the end seemed very forced to me, and it did a disservice to her character IMO. I really liked the chemistry between her and Hooten, as well as Lady Alex' snarky reaction to it.
That relationship is something the writers really could have mined going forward, but their dynamic was basically thrown away for a cheap joke at the end. Disappointing.
Lady Alex: I know you're bored. I'm busy trying to get clearance to excavate the site.
Hooten: No need. I skipped that stage.
Lady Alex: What? Why can I hear gunfire?
Hooten: Because I'm being shot at.
Lady Alex: I said stay in the hotel. What have you done?
Hooten: Funny story: you know that shrine entrance you said was here? It isn't where you frigging said it was. Never mind: I never doubted you for a second.
Hooten randomly blowing things up at the sacred site was silly. He knew how important the whole deal was to Lady Alex, so going there unarmed, putting himself in mortal danger, made no sense.
The homage was clearly Indiana Jones from the search for mummies to the whole map room drama, and it came off so derivative it left me bored.
I know the show is a throwback to those old movies, but if you're going to do an homage, put an imaginative twist on it.
The villains were VERY generic, and the whole Greek angle was a big blah.
The explanation by the Brotherhood, wanting the body to foment conflict back home, came across as misguided.
At least Hooten was in it for the billion dollars.
I'd rather have a bunch of cutthroat mercenaries going at each other's throats for the cash, rather than some vague political cause.
We've been tracking the Brotherhood for years. They are fanatics who believe the body of Alexander will help incite our nation into war.Melina [to Hooten]
After all the drama, there wasn't even a billion dollars of booty at the end! A big letdown.
I did like the map puzzle that Lady Alex solved. Her misleading the bad guys was expected, but the puzzle solving is a major selling point that makes the show interesting.
Good thing Alex has a big brain: her fighting skills are laughable.
The battle between her and Melina was played for laughs, and it was actually pretty amusing. Hooten's facial expressions during the fight were golden.
Even though the producers have said there will be no "will they/won't they" romance thread, there were instances where it was definitely hinted at.
Lady Alex [as she hugs Hooten]: They told me you were dead.
Hooten: I knew there was a bit of subtext.
I think their relationship will evolve into a deep respect/friendship type thing, so showing that they care for one another in a nonromantic way is a good change of pace.
I don't need endless teasing of a romance. It gets frustrating and exhausting after awhile.
I was let down by the slow pace and lack of real stakes as well.
Hooten blowing up the tomb to save himself and Lady Alex was pretty extreme, and I don't see how Hooten could be so sure that he saved the body of Alexander.
Lady Alex should have shown genuine outrage, so I thought her reaction was not in character at all.
We also didn't get any additional nuggets about the back story of either of the leads, which was unfortunate.
It all seemed like a swing and a miss: the elements were all there, but it didn't gel for me. The best part of the episode was Melina, but they ultimately botched her characterization at the end.
Hopefully, the stories going forward will be more compelling. A breezy, fun adventure show is fine for the summer, but there needs to be at least some depth.
Giving us more information about the history surrounding the artifact of the week would be nice: learning something about history while the adventure plays out makes the experience more satisfying.
My concern is the formula will become stale after awhile. The leads are good together, but chemistry can only take you so far. The storytelling needs to take a step up.
That's my take: tell me yours. Do you think the limited story format is going to cause you to lose interest? Tell me in the comments section.
And, as always, you can watch Hooten and The Lady online anytime, right here on TV Fanatic!