The pitch is exciting: Oscar winner J.K. Simmons, an amazing actor we’d pay to see in anything, stars in an espionage show that takes place across parallel universes. Boom, done, sign us up, right?
That’s the pitch for a new Starz show called Counterpart. Now, there’s every chance that when the show actually airs in over a year, it will be very cool. But an early teaser clip was just released and... just watch it.
If I hadn’t just told you what the show was about, would you have any idea from that clip? No, of course not. You’d think it was a show about Simmons as some kind of assassin. Which, admittedly, could be good, but that’s not the hook of the show. The hook is the scifi angle—especially the fact that as Simmons’ character learns more about the parallel universe, he realizes the only person he can trust is the alternate version of himself. How badass is that? Two J.K. Simmons for the price of one! But you get none of that from this early peek. Instead, you get a teaser for a scifi show with no scifi in it, and it just bums me out.
Maybe I’m missing something? Maybe the earbuds are special? Did he flip universes in the car? I’m guessing there’s something here that isn’t quite clear yet, but as it stands now, it doesn’t seem like the most effective way to introduce potential audiences to the project.
Counterpoint will air on Starz next winter. And you’ll next see Simmons in Justice League in November.