A Moment in Fandom: Gabriel Union in Night Stalker
|"Carl Kolchak" & "Perri Reed"|
I had heard of Gabrielle Union being on this show, but only in passing. Some folks even blamed her for its cancellation (three guesses why). I rented the discs with a grain of salt, for multiple reasons.
First...up until this show, to say I detested Stuart Townsend would be a grave understatement. I loathed him in League of Extraordinary Gentleman; I thought his portrayal of Dorian Gray was pathetic. When he took on the role of Lestat in the aptly named Queen of the Damned (emphasis on the "damned"), my eyeballs wanted to eat themselves. When I learned he was the original choice for Aragorn in the LOTR trilogy, I wanted to kiss Peter Jackson for changing his mind at the last moment.
As of now, courtesy of Night Stalker, Townsend is fully redeemed in my eyes.
For those of you who are unknowing, as I was, Night Stalker (2005) was a revival of a show from the 1970s. It aired for six weeks, but the last episode wasn't aired during the original run. In the new version, Carl Kolchak, a rebellious crime reporter, returns. He's basically the Agent Mulder of the show, while Gabrielle Union is Agent Scully. They are accompanied by a young, nerdy camera guy, and they all report for The Beacon in Los Angeles.
I am so proud Gabrielle Union got this role, even if only for a few weeks (and so were the people who casted her. She was cast before Townsend after over 100 actors auditioned for their roles). There are four main characters - three white males, one black female - comprising the boss, two reporters, and the camera guy. We don't deal or care much for the boss; he's a boss. The camera guy is cute, nerdy, and totally adores Union's character.
Union is the senior crime reporter, not Townsend, which surprised me. All three men obviously respect and admire Union's character. She is always treated as a lady, she looks fabulous in literally every single scene, and she was obviously intended to be seen as sexy (we see her sashaying through her upscale apartment in her underwear and the camera finds any any excuse to focus on her ass). Not to mention every other man keeps hittin on her. In the episode "The Five People You Meet in Hell" (great title, by the way), we see Union's life threatened by a criminal she helped put away. We also see all the men in the show bend over backwards to keep her safe...a la Angel Coulby's Guinevere in Merlin.
Also, unlike other shows, the fleshing out of Union's character began very quickly. We learn that she went to a good university where she was part of a secret society for the best and brightest, and that her father's a doctor. We even get to actually see her family interact.
|You know...like normal folks?|
|From the 2nd episode "The Five People You Meet in Hell"|
"No chemistry," my ass.