Tuesday, October 23, 2018

They Went There.

I hadn't been planning to watch it, but CTV happened to play the opening episode of The Rookie last night, so I decided to take a look.  The series stars Nathan Fillion as John Nolan, a 40 year old LAPD rookie.  He decides to join the force after intervening in a bank robbery in his small town, putting his life at risk in the process.  It seems to me that would be a red flag for any recruiter.  In any case he's assigned to the Wilshire patrol area, much to the discontent of his watch commander, Sergeant Wade Grey(Richard T. Jones).  Grey accuses Nolan of suffering from a midlife crisis.  And it's not hard to think he's right, especially given that Nolan is romantically involved with fellow rookie Lucy Chen(Canadian Idol season 3 winner/Dark Matter regular Melissa O'Neill), who is not surprisingly considerably younger than he is.  Yep, they went for the cliché.  We also go to cliché land with the third rookie, Jackson West(Titus Makin), the son of a veteran LA cop, whose first experience under fire may be an indication he's not up to the job.

We do have a surprisingly heavy regular female cast here.  Afton Williamson plays Talia Bishop, Nolan's training officer.  She has a friendly rivalry with West's training officer Angela Lopez(Alyssa Diaz), both women hoping to make detective.  Mercedes Mason plays Captain Zoe Andersen,  commanding officer of the various main characters.  Rounding out the regular cast is Chen's training officer Tim Bradford(Eric Winter), who comes across as a bad cop.  We learn he has a troubled wife he's estranged from, leading to the obvious question of whether he's nasty because of her problems, or  her problems are because he's nasty.

This being 2018 they've decided to use some footage from the perspectives of police car video cameras and officer body cameras.  Whether they'll keep this up as the series continues is an obvious question.  It no doubt complicates filming, and some viewers may not like the jiggling perspective of the body camera footage, which seems to be done using actual body cameras.

Will the show succeed?  Given that it's still a "cop on the beat" show, despite the hook of a 40 year old rookie, it will have to convince viewers that it's not just more of the same.

Part of what led me to watch is that it was immediately preceded by Magnum PI.  After watching the pilot I missed the following episodes, so it was time to give it another shot.  I'm still not convinced about Jay Hernandez.  I also found it odd that we have another episode with a kid in it.  The best part of the episode was a cameo appearance by Cyndi Lauper as a low rent defense lawyer.

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