Friday, April 10, 2009

Nope, still can't watch cop procedurals

It's been awhile since I've blogged...for some reason I've kind of lost patience with a lot of the shows I watch and have been either falling way behind or giving up on quite a few shows. But there have been a lot of midseason shows starting up so my DVR hasn't exactly been empty. I guess cop shows are the thing again because there were three new ones this spring: Castle, The Unusuals, and Southland. Even though I've pretty much never been able to get into crime procedurals, I checked all of them out, mainly for certain actors that were in them. And well, nothing's changed, I still can't really get into procedurals...

Castle: Nathan Fillion is in this, who I love. The pilot was actually a lot of fun, Nathan Fillion plays Richard Castle, a bestselling crime novelist (who plays poker with James Patterson!), who is called in by the NYPD to consult on a string of murders that are copied straight out of his books. I like the cast--Fillion is really funny and charming, Stana Katic as Beckett is convincing but likable as the tough detective, and Castle's 15-year-old daughter, Alexis, is cute and smart and gives a nice other dimension to Castle. She's more of an adult than her dad, sort of a Gilmore Girls type situation, but as she's a side character she probably won't get as annoying as Rory.

Anyway, after Castle helps solve the case, he decides that the detective he worked with, Detective Kate Beckett, is going to be the inspiration for the main character in a new series of novels and he uses his connections to be allowed to do "research" by tagging along with her on homicides. And so the procedural is born. I watched the second episode and it was interesting but not sure how long before I lose interest. Out of the three this is probably the one I'd be most likely to keep watching though.

The Unusuals: Amber Tamblyn (of General Hospital, Joan of Arcadia, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants...) is in this. It's the NYPD again, homicides again, and has a quirky sort of comedy angle to it also. The pilot was not very good at setting up what kind of a show this is going to be...except that the characters all have a "thing." Amber Tamblyn is Detective Casey Shraeger, a former Upper East Side princess who dropped out of Harvard to join the police academy; her partner is a former first baseman for the Yankees, Harold Perrineau (of Lost) plays a detective who's terrified of death and wears his bulletproof vest at all times, while his partner (Adam Goldberg) is ignoring a medical condition and is instead trying to get himself killed on the's all really odd. I think it's supposed to be partly about how all the cops have their secrets or something but then there's all the murder cases too...I'm not sure if I really get it.

Southland: Ben McKenzie (of The OC is the reason I checked this one out. It's funny, on the OC, he was the "fish out of water" as the kid from Chino in Orange County, and here's he's the reverse: the "fish out of water" as a privileged kid in the LAPD. That's one similarity among all of these shows...I guess TV writers are fascinated with the idea of upper-crust people deciding to become cops (Detective Beckett in Castle has a similar backstory too). Anyway, while the other two shows are trying to be a bit more light, Southland is really serious. I mean, it's from the people who created ER, so it's got a similar sort of heavy, emotional, dramatic, urgent feel to it. There was some interesting stuff in the pilot, but I just don't find these kinds of shows...entertaining?

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