Review of "Ransom" on CBS From The TV MegaSite

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"Ransom" review by Suzanne 1/10/17
Airs Saturday, 8/7c on CBS

I enjoy watching this show, but I don't think CBS has much faith in it. I wouldn't expect it to be around for very long. They premiered it on New Year's Day and then they moved it to Saturdays (which has been a graveyard for many years, with mostly re-runs, newsmagazines and football). It's an entertaining show, but perhaps the problem is some might not find it believable.

The show is about a small private group that helps to negotiate with kidnappers (when the bad guys tell them not to phone the police).  The first episode was interesting because it was a boy that had disappeared years ago and was just now being ransomed. Another episode deals with a baseball player that needed a kidney, and the ransomer wanted money in exchanged for the kidney (it was kind of a complex story). Handsome Luke Roberts plays Eric Beaumont, the leader of the group. He's an expert on negotiations.

In the first episode (like in most shows nowadays), we see the action through the eyes of a newbie (a useful plot device), Maxine (Sarah Greene).  She was turned down for a job with Eric by his profiler, Oliver (Branden Jay McLaren).  Maxine impresses Eric, who hires her anyway.  Maxine has a secret - her mother was once kidnapped, and Eric negotiated for her release. However, she died.  Still, she doesn't seem to blame him. Ever since, she's wanted to do his job (she's a little bit obsessed).  There's also a former police officer helping Eric, his second-in-command, Zara (Nazneen Contractor).

I'm going to second-guess CBS here and wonder if the fact that there isn't a big name attached to the project that may be why they think it won't do well. Or perhaps the negotiator angle is too limiting in what stories they can tell. It reminds me a little bit of a one-season show, "Kidnapped" (except that one was ONE kidnap victim all season, not one per episode), and a little bit of "Without a Trace."  Or perhaps they think that today's audiences want to be challenged a little more and will no longer watch episodes that are self-contained. However, all of the NCIS shows are that way (more or less), and they do well. I think one problem may be that none of the actors on the show stand out particularly, and there's nothing particularly fun, quirky or special about the show. It's just a solid procedural.

Anyway,  I hope it does well. CBS, don't give up on it!


Ransom stars Luke Roberts as Eric Beaumont in a drama inspired by the real-life professional experiences of the world-renowned crisis negotiator Laurent Combalbert and his partner Marwan Mery. Ericís team is brought in to save lives when no one else can. He understands criminals better than they do and uses his insight into human behavior to resolve the most difficult kidnap and ransom cases. Despite the stakes, he refuses to resort to violence, even when confronted by some of the most dangerous criminals in the world. While Ericís considerable powers of manipulation make him the best at what he does professionally, they often complicate his relationships with family, friends and colleagues. His team consists of psych-profiler, Oliver Yates, ex-cop Zara Hallam, and aspiring investigator Maxine Carlson. Maxine, the newest member, is eager to prove herself but a dangerous secret from her past may pose a threat that even the great Eric Beaumont is unable to resolve.

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