2 New Cop Shows

I find that generally pilots suck. There are two main reasons why this is a) I don’t know the characters so I’m not particularly interested in what happens to them and b) there’s no chemistry between the actors yet. Just like the way you interact with your coworkers on the first day of work is totally different than six months down the road. I watched two pilots over the weekend with low expectations for both. Not only were they pilots, but they were both cop shows. TV’s most critically acclaimed shows are/were cop shows – NYPD Blue and the Law & Order franchise. I don’t know if it was critically acclaimed, but I also enjoyed Homicide: Life on the Street.

The challenge for any genre show that follows a spate of others is that is has to be original enough to stand on its own, and still engaging. Both The Unusuals and Southland are different than the other cop shows on TV.

The Unusuals separates itself from other cop dramas by trying to be funny – eh, quirky. I get the feeling it is supposed to have the same vibe of The Office, except in a squad room. The acting is credible (by credible it means I’m not distracted by bad acting). Here is background:

The funniest thing about the pilot is the lady on the police scanner. I think that once this show hits its stride, it can be pretty funny.

I also watched the premiere of Southland. I didn’t expect much because it was being promoed a the next great drama. Call me a cynic but most shows that make this claim usually fall below the hype. Southland is from the producer of ER, and you can tell, but in a good way. I haven’t watched ER in years, but I remember it having this kind of frenetic pace as it jumped from scene to scene. Not overwhelming, but it kept the viewer on her toes. The other thing that turned me off was the prominence of Benjamin McKenzie in the promos. I don’t dislike him, but I don’t expect him to carry a show. And with the OC being his body of work, it wasn’t a motivation to tune in. It was Regina King that got my attention. There are so many characters in the show that it definitely qualifies as an ensemble cast. In addition to King and McKenzie, Tom Everett Scott and C. Thomas Howell are also on the show.

I was actually impressed with the pilot because the characterization left me wanting more, the acting was well done. The storytelling revolved around cases, so at the end people went to jail or whatever. Other than that waaaay to long speech made towards the end of the episode the show had a realistic air about it. My favorite thing was the bleeping. Yes, they bleep a scripted show. In real life, when violence taking place and lives are on the line, people use offensive language.

The Unusuals airs Wednesdays at 9PM and Southland airs Thursdays at 10.


~ by 2muchtv on April 14, 2009.

3 Responses to “2 New Cop Shows”

  1. What did you think of Lie To Me and Castle? If you care to chat, drop me a line at dcunningham@trlawing.com
    Are you into comedies at all?

    • I’ve heard good things about Lie to Me, although I haven’t seen it myself. Castle looks like it might be interesting…but doesn’t stand out

  2. Lie To Me will certainly increase your ability to see through others and if you know anything of Nathan Fillion’s work, you know he’ll give you a pretty good chuckle…

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