Pink is one of those series that, frankly, I should have reviewed a long time ago. The adventure/drama focuses on Natalie Cross (Natalie Raitano), who kills people for a living — and is very good at it. But Natalie is haunted by her biological clock, memories of her tough-as-nails father and some occasional qualms about her chosen career path.
Created in 2007 by Blake Calhoun and Mike Maden, the show’s enjoyed a remarkable amount of success, with three seasons finding distribution across all platforms, including, most recently, Hulu (s NWS) (s GE). In addition, Calhoun beat out a talented group of experienced web series directors to win the Best Directing in a Drama award at the 2009 Streamys.
So it’s popular — let’s talk about whether or not it’s good. Sitting down with the show again for the first time since it premiered, I remained impressed by its high-quality production value. The only exception being some of the larger-scale action scenes (such as Natalie shooting at an off-screen helicopter at the end of Season 1), which felt a little awkward in execution.
In terms of the acting, I remember Raitano fondly from the campy good time known as the Pamela Anderson series V.I.P., and she’s a competent lead. Matthew Tompkins, who plays her father as a ghost and in flashbacks, is pretty over-the-top, though, taking the hillbilly stereotype to almost an alarming degree. Otherwise, though, the casting is pretty good, and I enjoyed the addition of Katy Rowe as Bunny in Season 2.
The show’s flashbacks are the writing’s major weak point, as they’re too numerous at times and just weigh down the modern-day narrative, which is actually quite interesting. The flashbacks also work too hard to drive home points that would be better made subtly; which is a shame, given that one of my favorite things about Pink is the attention it pays to one woman’s psyche, giving the character real life and depth.
That leads me to one of my least-favorite things about Pink, though, but an element which may be key to its popularity. It’s logical to assume that Pink picks up a fair number of views thanks to the way in which Raitano is objectified over the course of the series, but that same objectification simultaneously weakens the show’s power. There are numerous shots which pan lovingly over her body, and most of her interactions with anyone not related to her are given an unnecessarily sexy edge (such as the kill in this speed-dating episode). It’s an obvious compromise, but I’m just naive enough to believe that it isn’t necessary.
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