Just finished catching up on the pilot. The upside is 1) I actually finished watching it versus all the others that I haven't, and 2) the cast did well with what they were given... which wasn't much more than the usual network crap. And no, I never saw the episode of BONES that spawned this spin off.
At first I had my doubts, and then I noticed Michael was in it. Can't say he's among the notable actors I'd list out, but he has such an ease in front of the camera that he can play the worst or best of humanity and you still can't help but like him. He's got a presence that fills the big or small screen as much as he does. The rest of the cast was solid, querky, and has a tiny tiny bit of room to wrestle their way to something more. But let's hope the writers give Maddie and Mercedes something more than awful tropes and cliches they've been stuck with... please! And that brings us to the lazy... the writers.
I counted no less that 11 obvious places of where gigantic leaps (jumps) occurred like a film that broke and got spliced together with some quick audio edits for what was lost. The lack of actual plot development and execution was glaring. This episode was hanging on by a thread where the writing is concerned, and that thread was mostly kept from breaking by the the cast. The writing was so choppy and thin and juvenile that the cast could only pull my rating back up to a 5.5. On their own, with even a half decent script (and directing), they could have pulled a 7 out of me at least. Those two numbers should tell you where I would have rated the writing. As to the directing, that's best left unacknowledged, as it wasn't present enough to even be rated.
But I'll give the cast their due, and kudos to them so far. They are the only reason I will try a couple more episodes.