By Pauline Perenack
One of the most highly anticipated panels at Comic Con this year had to be ABC’s new series Stumptown. Based on the graphic novel of the same name, the series will follow Dex Parios (Cobie Smulders), an army veteran with PTSD as she becomes a private investigator in Portland, Oregon, and takesthe time to care of her brother.
Audiences at the panel were treated to the cold opening of the pilot, which showed star Cobie Smulders’ character Dex work her way out of the trunk of her own car, and fight her kidnappers. After this footage, writer Greg Rucka, executive producers David Barnard, Ruben Fleischer, and stars Smulders, Jake Johnson, Michael Ealy, Adrian Martinez, Camryn Manheim, Tantoo Cardinal, and Cole Sibus came out to discuss what’s coming up for this season.
Here are the full highlights from the panel.
- Rucka grew up in Portland which is the background of the show. Growing up, he always wanted to write a PI, and Dex is that character.
- Smulders says that Dex is a unique hero in that she has no superpowers, nor is she super skilled. She’s just a flawed human, and a scrapper.
- Since Dex has PTSD, Smulders spoke with an expert on it, in addition to reading a lot about women in combat.
- Martinez says that his character Tookie has lots of dark secrets, but ultimately acts as a guardian angel to Dex.
- There will be an ongoing love triangle between Dex, Johnson’s character McConnell, and Ealy’s character Detective Hoffman.
- While the show is based on the graphic novels, it only uses the spirit of them, rather than being a direct translation. Deviations from the novels begin in the pilot.
- Rucka was ok with the deviations because he believed that directly translating would be a recipe for disaster.
- The music of the show is very prevalent, and becomes a character in of itself.
- The show is a procedural, and a serial. It’s very character driven as we get into the season, including diving into the secret past of McConnell.
- While we don’t initially know what happened to the parents of Dex and Cole Sibus’s Ansel, by mid-season we’ll begin to learn more of where they went.
- Some episodes will be completely told in flashbacks.
- Manheim’s character is the most different from the book. She has a different name – Bobby Cosgrove – and is female, rather than male. She picked the name herself by looking through the directory of her son’s school.
- Johnson has yet to begin filming, so is just as interested as to his character as viewers are.
- Manheim’s character Cosgrove does not approve of the pairing between Dex and Hoffman.
- The show addresses Dex’s bi-sexuality in that Dex is sexually fluid. She recovers from her PTSD through sex, and is essentially up for anything.
- Manheim says that while Cosgrove and Dex can’t meet eye to eye on how they handle things, ultimately, they both have a deep respect for each other.
While we didn’t get to see the whole pilot, the cold opening was enough for me to want to watch the show. Just the scene of the hipster kidnappers doing a blind coffee taste-test made the show real and weird enough for me to buy into it. Smulders also hasn’t gone wrong yet with the characters she plays, and the added star power of Manheim, Johnson, and Ealy make this a show that should be watched.
Stumptown premieres on ABC on September 25.