tek's rating: ¾

Stumptown, on ABC
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This is based on a comic book I've never even heard of. The title refers to a nickname for Portland, Oregon, where the show is set. It's about a former Marine named Dex Parios (Cobie Smulders), whose life is kind of a wreck. She has PTSD, and has been unable to hold a job since leaving the military, and has gambling debts, and likes to drink a bit more than she probably should. She also blames herself for the death of her former lover, Benny Blackbird, who had joined the Army because of her. We also occasionally see Benny's mother, Sue Lynn Blackbird, a tribal casino owner with considerable influence in Portland, with whom Dex has a rather complicated relationship. Less complicated is Dex's relationship with her younger brother, Ansel, who has Down Syndrome; the two of them are very close. Dex also has a friend named Grey McConnell (Jake Johnson), an ex-con who now owns a bar called Bad Alibi. Grey is also friends with Ansel, and employs him as a barback. Dex also has a sort of friend-with-benefits, a police detective named Miles Hoffman (Michael Ealy). And we occasionally see his boss, Lt. Cosgrove (Camryn Manheim). Another recurring character is a food truck owner named Tookie, who eventually starts working with Grey.

Well, it's a couple of episodes before Dex decides to become a private investigator, though in those first couple episodes she basically does the work of a P.I., without a license. To get her license, she needs to get some experience working with an active private investigator, and there are a couple of episodes where she works with a shady P.I. named Artie Banks (Donal Logue). Things don't go particularly well between them, but he does help her get her license sooner than she would have with a more reputable detective. The final few episodes of the season involve Dex's investigation into Benny's death, which she learns was more complicated than she thought. Other than that... I'm not sure what else to say about the show. It's a little bit quirky, I guess, but also a bit dark. And I guess it's a good mix of drama and humor. It was supposed to get a second season (it ends with a number of cliffhangers), but unfortunately its renewal was later rescinded due to the Covid-19 pandemic. So I'm really disappointed about that.

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