Either it’s an attempt to give the show more of a profile, or they’re trying to dump all the episodes earlier so they can cancel it faster, but ABC is airing two new episodes of their rookie cop show, The Unusuals, this week.
One airs Tuesday after Dancing With the Stars (this is good, right? I don’t know because I avoid celebrities doing things with professionals shows at all costs) where it is pre-empting Cupid, and the other episode airs on its regular timeslot Wednesday night after Lost, which is still terrible.
Seriously people, besides Dollhouse, The Unusuals is the only mid-season replacement that’s any good. Well, Kings is good, but there appears to be zero hope for that one. Thanks for fucking nothing, NBC.
But there’s certainly room for improvement on this cop show.
First, the “everybody has secrets” crap is quickly beginning to drive me crazy. Yeah, we do all have our secrets, but very few of the people on this show have secrets that are intriguing. For instance: I do not care that Christian cop used to be a bad guy. I also do not care that Yankees first base player turned detective Walsh threw some ball games for cash, which somehow got his girlfriend killed.
Second, there are an awful lot of characters who are being ignored in favour of watching Walsh cook gross food. The detective who’s an ass, the altar boy, the rich chick, the poor chick, the chicken, the daredevil, the hardass boss. I’d rather watch them deal with day-in, day-out police work in weird ways than I would want to see some overarching plot to connect everything, ie: Sssseeeecretsss. It just feels really unnatural and tacked on.
Third, I love Amber Tamblyn. I do. I really, really, really do. I have a total girlcrush on her. But I’m sorry, I don’t buy her as a detective. She’s coming across as reeeeeeeeally young and high-schooly. In fact, the only time I’ve really bought her as an adult is when Schraeger quickly hugs her trust fund manager in front of her new partner and whispers “If you tell him I’m rich I’ll kill you, I have a gun.”
This is not to say this show is bad. Hell no. Like I said, so far, I think it’s one of the best mid-season replacements going. Especially because the jury’s still out on Dollhouse, which is tragically failing to really suck me in like I expected it would.
I still love, love, LOVE Adam Goldberg’s thus-far fantastic portrayal of Eric Delahoy, a detective who has a brain tumour that will kill him in six months. Goldberg is leagues above most of the other actors on this show. In fact, I’d go so far as to say I think he’s elevating everyone else around him. His scenes with Harold Perrineau and Terry Kinney have been really tight. But Kinney’s character seems a little off from one scene to the next. One minute, he’s telling Schraeger to “find out their secrets” and the next, he’s trying to connect with Delahoy. I only liked the scene with Delahoy. And Perrineau… sigh. He’s good. I know he is. But I’m putting him in the “another thing Lost ruined for me” category. Didn’t we almost have it all, Augustus?
But Goldberg? Goldberg is the SHIT. He is NAILING the tone of this show. He’s worked just enough insane bravery into the character’s spastic sarcasm and moody irritability for it to be wholly believable in this world. I also admire his committment to the moustache. /M\ It suits his character and a lot of cops have staches. And I secretly think he’s hot. Oh God. I’m going to pay for that at Boobtube headquarters.
Ultimately, I just wish this show would drop the lame “secrets” plot, or at least be a little more subtle about the altar boy’s involvement in Kowalski’s death. Oh and guess what? I ALSO don’t care about Kowalski or the fact that he’s dead, cuz I never met him! OK. I KIND OF care about Kowalski, but only because of his secret locker of mystery.
At any rate, this show is MILES better than Southland, which bored me to tears in its first half hour. It’s just extremely dour and sombre and sad looking. I have no interest in watching ER with guns. I barely had an interest in watching ER, you know? Maybe if they armed the detectives with deadly helicopters instead of guns. Maybe then. Oh… no. No, that still wouldn’t work.