Comic-Con@Home Panel Review: Stumptown

Last year, Cobie Smulders traded her SHIELD badge for a P.I.’s license in Portland, starring in ABC’s Stumptown. She played a former vet with PTSD and a car with a quirky cassette player, solving crimes and taking care of her brother.

The show will be back on Wednesdays next season, although production has been delayed due to the coronavirus. Smulders was joined by the showrunner and her co-stars Jake Johnson and Michael Ealy in a panel for Comic-Con@Home.


The show also welcomes Monica Breen, fresh from being a producer at Agents of SHIELD. She says she liked the action and the use of music, but the characters were the best. “They did good things,” she says, “but they weren’t super-heroes. They weren’t perfect, their lives were messy, their relationships were messy, their romances, like there was something so funny to me about…there was no ‘will they, won’t they’ (about Dex and Grey), they did, now what?” Breen called it “adult fun” that makes it different from other dramas.


Smulders described Dex’s first season as facing her past. “At the beginning, she’s covering herself,” she says, “She’s protecting herself, and so throughout the season it was really fun to play her slowly aknowledging all of these faults of the past that she really needs to fix to move forward.”
She’s also pleased the show had Dex meet other vets who have had the same experiences.

Greg Rucka, who wrote the graphic novel that inspired the show, and showrunner Jason Richman, also discussed at great length about how they developed Dex and brought some of her character from the graphic novel to the series. Richman was interested in why she wanted to be a private investigator. “I was really interested in a character who was kind of lost, and would get into something, and not looking it as a career,” he says, “but it was sort of the culmination of the good and bad things that she’d done in her entire life, all the interactions, all the damage and everything wrapped up into one, it’s sort of the only thing that she could possibly do with all those things.” The show does an interesting job showing Dex getting her license, and finding a place to do business.
However, it treats Dex’s bisexuality as no big deal. Smulders says Dex is someone who’s up for anything. “To me it’s just felt like this is who this person is, and it was a really cool thing to explore and play out,” she says.

The show featured a triangle between Dex, Grey (Johnson) and Miles (Ealy), but Johnson doesn’t think he’s in a triangle. “In the scenes we were doing,” he says, “didn’t feel very ‘love triangle’. It felt to me that Grey and Dex were friends, and there’ll always something between people who were really connected, but it didn’t feel as present as the scenes with Dex and Miles in terms of their romance.” Johnson also points out Grey and Miles actually get along, as two romantic rivals usually don’t.

Soon, Dex will have a bigger problem: the return of her mom after 12 years (thanks to Ansel calling her). Not much was revealed about that in the panel, but they’re still discussing how that will be part of season two, and who will be playing that part.


The panel is below, but all videos from Comic-Con@Home are at
https://www.youtube.com/user/ComicCon/videos

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Post Author: David Mello

Worked nearly eleven years at a radio station as a board operator, news reader, and assistant producer for baseball broadcasts. Have been a staff writer for Whedonopolis since July 2008