SPECIAL OPS: LIONESS: SEASON ONE
Starring: Zoe Saldaña, Laysla De Oliveira, Dave Annable, Jill Wagner, LaMonica Garrett, James Jordan, Austin Hébert, Jonah Wharton, Stephanie Nur, Hannah Love Lanier, Michael Kelly, Nicole Kidman, and Morgan Freeman
Creator: Taylor Sheridan
At season’s end, I was less concerned about the abuses suffered by Cruz Manuelos (the character) than those enacted upon Laysla De Oliveira (the real-life actor) because of the role that was written for her. Against the backdrop of a star-studded crew who perform as expected, it felt particularly tragic that she should be flip-flopping between the over-the-top Marine and clever CIA operative. Lamentably, Lioness’ own bemused purpose vacillates between the dark, politically charged House of Cards and The Unit’s focus on the tier one special operations community; both of which tower over this most recent Taylor Sheridan creation.
Even as a fan of series creator Taylor Sheridan, I’ve long noted that writing female characters is not his strong suit. So, with Lioness, a Homeland-style series that revolves around TWO women (Zoe Saldaña, Laysla De Oliveira), Sheridan’s shortcomings are doubly noticeable. Plus, and it’s hard to tell if it’s De Oliveira’s acting ability or her simply trying to save a poorly written character, but she’s overbearing in her attempts to portray a badass, never-say-quit Marine who doesn’t take shit from anyone. Overall, it's derivative, cheesy, unnecessarily melodramatic, and proof that Sheridan, who is the writer/creator of seven active series, is doing way too much.