• Bet Against The Player

    by  • September 12, 2015 • Broadcast Decency, Paley2015, Paleyfest, Violence • 0 Comments


    Mindless violence with a unlikely and confusing premise.

    Former FBI agent-cum-international assassin Alex Kane is now a high-priced security consultant in Las Vegas. Or he was, until his ex-wife was brutally murdered…and Alex found himself lured into a shadowy “game” run by the mysterious “Pit Boss.” The ultra-wealthy have created a computer which can actually predict crimes before they are committed. The wealthy gamble on whether or not a chosen “Player” can stop the crime before it is carried out. With his only help coming from tech genius Cassandra, Kane takes up the challenge of stopping crime before they start — and finding his ex, who he now suspects has only been kidnapped – by becoming “the Player.”   

    The Player’s confusing backstory is merely window-dressing for the program’s true goal: unleashing as much non-stop, mindless violence on the TV screen as any big-budget summer blockbuster movie. In the course of only one episode, Kane’s estranged ex-wife is brutally murdered — immediately after Kane has slept with her, of course. (If Hollywood has taught viewers anything, it’s that the hero’s Significant Other exists only to have sex with, be killed to motivate the hero, and be stuffed into refrigerators. After all, it’s not as if women are real human beings!) Then follows a seemingly endless hour of gunplay, fistfights, car chases, car crashes, shattered furniture, blood-spurting wounds, murder, malice, and assorted mayhem. The extreme intensity of the violence is matched only by the laziness of its writing.

    For those seeking rampaging, testosterone-fueled mindless violence on a Thursday night, The Player may be worth a look. For anyone else, it’s worthless.


    The Player premieres Thursday, September 24th at 10:00 p.m. Eastern on NBC.



    Christopher Gildemeister is the PTC’s Head of Research Operations. He began as an Entertainment Analyst at the PTC in 2005. From 2007-2016, he was Senior Writer/Editor, responsible for communicating the PTC’s message to the public through newsletters, columns, and the PTC Watchdog blog. Dr. Gildemeister holds a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America.

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