By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act April 6, 2013 at 12:09PM
I'd forgotten that this new series was to premiere this week - on Wednesday. And it did, by the way. I really didn't see very much marketing for it online, or much conversation about it on all the social media sites that I'm practically connected to 18 hours a day.
I suppose those folks with DirecTV, where the series is airing exclusively, likely did see promos for it leading up to the premiere episode.
Did anyone with DirecTV watch it? And if you did, your thoughts?
What I don't understand about DirecTV's marketing strategy for it is why they didn't take a page out of Netflix's House Of Cards release plan, which I think would've drawn more attention to the series, and maybe encouraged more new subscriptions to DirecTV. What Netflix did with House Of Cards was that they released episode 1 of the series online for FREE for one month, so even if you didn't have a Netflix account, you could still go to their website and watch episode 1 without having to sign up for the service.
DirecTV should maybe have considered a similar strategy. I can't say whether the move benefited Netflix in any way (they haven't really shared much about the impact of the series on their bottomline yet), but if part of DirecTV's intent is to attract new subscribers, by launching its very first own scripted original series, then why not take that chance?
As it stands, only DirecTV customers have seen the series, and, while I can't speak for others, the series just isn't enough of a draw for me to want to sign up for DirecTV just to watch it. I like Thandie Newton in most things I've seen her in, but after watching a 10-minute preview of the series (which we posted on this site a few weeks ago), there just wasn't enough in what I saw to really entice me. But maybe if I watched one full episode, I might want to see the rest.
Or maybe not. Signing up for DirecTV is a lot more involved and more expensive than a Netflix streaming account.
You can watch episode one of the series online, on DirecTV's website, but, again, you still have to be a subscriber to do so.
The reviews haven't been great either, which certainly doesn't help matters. Here's a sample:
From the Los Angeles Times:
DirecTV's 'Rogue' is a wreck of a crime drama... Overwrought execution and overextended characters, including Thandie Newton's grim-faced cop, deal the Audience Network drama a death blow.
From The Hollywood Reporter:
In DirecTV's first drama, Thandie Newton comes across more escaped supermodel than undercover cop as she chases implausible Caucasian gangs in Oakland... Ultimately what happens, as Rogue can’t find traction in its story, is that you realize nobody has the necessary magnetism to force a rooting interest. It’s not like Newton is a badass detective.
“Rogue” is an unfortunately distinctive name for such a me-too crime series — one that mistakes nudity, violence and profanity for edge and daring. DirecTV has cut its teeth with shrewd acquisitions — including the final season of “Damages” and “Hit & Miss” — but this original effort to play in the pay-cable game skews toward the ho-hum, guy-oriented offerings on Cinemax, without quite the unabashed sleaze factor.
And there are more reviews just like these 3. So, overall, not a good look at all for Thandie Newton's new series. At this rate, DirecTV may be wise to make the series available on VOD - like on Amazon.com's service. I'd consider paying the $2.99 each for the first 2 or 3 episodes, just so I could check it out myself, considering that I'm not a DirecTV subscriber.
The cop drama series sees Newton starring as an undercover cop, who, in a personal vendetta, comes face to face with a high-profile gangster, after her son is killed in a drive-by shooting.
The series debuted on Wednesday, April 3.
The official synopsis reads:
ROGUE revolves around Grace (Newton), a morally and emotionally conflicted undercover detective who is tormented by the possibility that her own actions contributed to her son's death. Grace's search for the truth is further complicated by her forbidden relationship with Jimmy (Marton Csokas), the crime boss who may have played a hand in the crime. A smart, complex, character-led thriller, the show explores loss, grief, identity, family bonds, second chances and redemption. Both Grace and Jimmy not only struggle with who they are, they also struggle with who they want to be. Both cross the line - morally, emotionally, sexually - with devastating consequences for their own lives and those around them.
In addition to Newton and Csokas, the cast includes Ian Hart, Claudia Ferri, Joshua Sasse, Jonathan Holmes, Sarah Jeffrey, Ian Tracey, Jarod Joseph, Matthew Beard, and Martin Donovan.
The pilot episode was directed by Brian Kirk (Luck, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire).
From what I can tell on DirecTV's website, you can actually watch the first 3 or 4 episodes online, if you're a subscriber, which some of you may have already done. Again, if you watched episode 1, or more, let us know what you think of the series so far.
For the rest of you, here's the 10-minute extended preview that I posted about a month ago; and following that, you'll find a 23-minute "Script to Screen" special: